Yew House Plant


The Japanese yew (Podocarpus macrophyllus) grows well as a house plant and will tolerate shearing to maintain its height, appearance and width. A slow-growing conifer, the Japanese yew offers a pleasing green appearance with tiny cones on female trees. The cones stay with the tree for two years and ripen into a purple shade. Due to the plant's toxicity, place it in an area of the home that is out of reach of both children and pets.


Place the yew plant in a sunlit location that faces either east, west or south within the home for best result when indoors. The yew appreciates being placed outside during mild weather in a sunlit location. Place in partial shade if the weather is exceptionally hot. Move indoors when there is a danger of frost or prior to the winter months.


The foliage of the yew works well in flower arrangements or dried for decorations. During the holidays decorating a small yew house plant tree can add a festive air to the house. Clipping the foliage and placing it into a bowl adds fragrance and evergreen beauty to any table.

Pruning or Shearing

When grown as a houseplant the yew will benefit from regular pruning or shearing to maintain its size. It thrives when maintained at 4 to 5 feet in height. The plant can be pruned year-round.

Water Requirements

The yew house plant enjoys moist soil conditions but not overly wet. It also benefits from having its container placed into a saucer filled with moist pebbles to increase the humidity around the plant. The foliage of the tree enjoys a light misting daily with warm water to remove dust, keep it supple and increase humidity. When watering the yew tree use warm water so its system is not shocked.

Fertilizing and Transplanting

The yew houseplant transplants easily every two to three years. Use a general-purpose potting soil with peat moss or sand added to increase the soil's aeration. The plant also benefits from fertilizing with a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.

Keywords: Japanese yew plant, indoor yew plant, yew care, Podocarpus macrophyllus, indoor yew care

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.