Magnify glass

Podocarpus Chocolate Box

Bronze green leaves turn reddish in autumn

A beautiful dwarf conifer of unique appearance that mixes well with other shrubs, perennials and grasses. It forms a low mound, eventually up to 90cm (3ft) in height with a similar spread. The straight short twigs are clothed in tiny, bronze-green leaves and resemble fat pipe cleaners. In winter the foliage changes to reddish-chocolate and the plant positively glows.


Plant in full sun at the front of border, on the rock garden, in gravel or scree, or in a pot or container. Ideal where space is limited.


Any well-drained fertile soil. Best surrounded with grit or gravel to protect foliage from wet and soil splash. Use a loam based compost with grit in pots. No pruning required.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Conifer
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowering March - April
Evergreen Yes
Plant height 75 cm - 100 cm
Plant width 75 cm - 100 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 60 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H5

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Flower border and beds, Patio container, City garden, Courtyard garden, Mediterranean garden

Typically available

From April to September