Cephalotaxus Spreading Yew Shrub

Product Description

If you’ve been struggling to fill those tight spaces in your landscape with an evergreen shrub that’s shade loving, the Cephalotaxus Spreading Yew Shrub is the answer to all of your problems!

Cephalotaxus harringtonia Prostrata is a slow growing, soft needled, evergreen shrub that grows well in the shade. The spreading plum yew (as it is sometimes called) has long, dark green needles that stay green year long.

This makes the Japanese Yew plant attractive for basic foundation plantings or mass plantings. It can also do well planted around hedges or screens as a groundcover. The dense upright branches can add texture in the landscape because of the spirally arranged foliage and the yew can produce bright red berry like cones on female plants.

It is commonly referred to as spreading Southern Yew plant, and this versatile shrub is rarely bothered by insects and disease. Once it’s established it is drought tolerant, deer resistant, salt tolerant, and is excellent for filling under large trees and other shady areas. It is great for landscaping and tolerates shearing to maintain the desired size and shape.

Japanese Spreading Yew Shrub Care

Grows Japanese Yew best in the southern United States in USDA growing zones 6-9. It cannot withstand winter temperatures for too long. The dense spreading shrub can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide with shallow root systems.

Can handle full shade to part shade and is an excellent choice for planting under a large shade tree. Although the dark green foliage cannot handle full sun and it may cause browning of the leaves, this Southern yew plant is very heat tolerant in many places around North America.

Plant the spreading Japanese plum yew in well drained soil conditions in early spring for those deep green colored needles to have the whole growing season to establish. Well drained soil helps prevent root rot. Makes an excellent ground cover plant as its name suggests… the yew Taxus will spread to the area it is planted in!

The yew trees needle like foliage will make great looking landscape plants and the slow growth habit will keep your yard looking fresh all year long. It is a wonderful choice for winter color as it has slight cold hardiness and maintains its shiny dark green color year round.

Careful! The needles and scarlet berries of the toxic plant are harmful if ingested and have been known to cause yew poisonings.

Shop our Japanese Yew for sale!


Botanical Name

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata'

Sunlight Full Shade / Partial Sun
Foliage Color Evergreen
Mature Height 2-3 ft
Mature Width 3-4 ft
Growing Zones 6, 7, 8, 9 Growing Zones
Special Features
  • Low maintenance
  • Disease and insect resistant
  • Deer resistant
  • Drought tolerant

Shipping Info

Once your Cephalotaxus Spreading Yew Shrub order is placed, we will ship your plant(s) within seven business days year round unless during the checkout process you request otherwise in the space provided to do so.

Perfect Plants’ shipping specialists carefully package your plants using a proven packaging method that ensures your plants arrive healthy, colorfully alive and ready to flourish. We’ve coined the term ‘upside down box test’ and we do just that; we carefully package so that regardless of the direction your box is handled, it will not harm your precious plant that’s inside.

upside down test

No shipping process is without a problem from time to time. On rare occasions some plants may experience some of the following during their transit: drooping, minor leaf-loss and/or minimal yellowing/discoloration, minor limb damage, etc. These instances are quite rare, but can happen when shipping plants in boxes.

Plants normally recover within a few weeks after planting. If a damaged box has injured your plant on the inside, please notify us within 5 days of receiving you package(s) by emailing us a photograph of the damage.

We always do our very best to ensure that your plants are packed and shipped in the safest, gentlest and most effective way possible.

Will my plants and trees look like the photographs?

Absolutely! Unlike other online nurseries, our photos are of actual plants and trees we’ve grown here, on our family operated nursery.

our story Lloyd nurseryGrowing our own plants and trees helps to ensure we ship you the best quality plants that are free of pests and diseases.

Your plants and trees may however not ship with flowers on them, like the photographs. This all depends on the time of year you buy your plant or tree. Crape Myrtle trees, for example, only bloom during the summer months, so if you purchase one during the spring or fall, they would ship without flowers. Once planted, your plants will grow and thrive giving you flowers for many years to come!

Pot Sizes

Pot sizes (commonly referred to in gallons) are shipped in the same size nursery trade pots which may vary in actual volume. Some plants may have been at the approximate pot size listed, but require excess dirt to be removed so that you will not be paying any additional shipping costs. This doesn’t happen very often though.

Shipping Fees

Our shipping charges are based on the value of your order.  Please use the chart below to see what your shipping charge will be.

shipping matrix 2-16



The slow growing, spreading and low-lying nature makes the “Plum Yew” a great choice for tight spaces. The Cephalotaxus grows in full shade to partial sun. Water regularly until established, prefers medium to moist, well-drained soil. When planting multiples, allow for a 2-foot gap between plants.


Dig a hole approximately twice as wide as your new plant’s root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is equal with the ground level.

Loosen the root ball using a small garden spade or by hand. Breaking smaller outer roots can encourage growth into the new soil, but take care to not damage large primary roots.

Place the plant in the hole and ensure that it is situated evenly upright. Use the excavated soil to fill in around the root ball, using your foot to pack it in firmly. Thoroughly soak with a hose as you fill in the dirt. Take great care to not leave any gaps or air spaces around the root ball as this could kill the plant.

A 2-4 inch layer of mulch is strongly recommended to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth. Apply mulch over the entire planting area but keep away from the stems or trunk by a few inches. Ensure that the plant and surrounding soil is completely soaked with water.

To ensure the proper nutrients are available for the life of your Spreading Yew, our proprietary Perfect Plants Special Blend Soil and a once yearly application of Nutricote Total 360 Fertilizer are great considerations for your new plants!

8 reviews for Cephalotaxus Spreading Yew Shrub

Based on 8 reviews
5 star
4 star
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1 star
  1. Heidi Dhien

    The spreading yew came with great branch structure and not ‘Leggy’ like others I have seen online. Order was shipped quickly. Happy shopper. :)

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  2. Harry Shooper

    The yew shrub has taken over my shade beds under a large tree. I spaced 4-5 plants in this area earlier this year and they already need pruning!!

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  3. Alma McGree

    The Japanese yew was a great choice for my first online plant purchase. I will be ordering again as this company went out of their way to make sure my experience was excellent. Thanks!

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    • Perfect Plants (store manager)

      Yay! Yews are so nice because they provide year round green color and don’t take a lot of effort! Enjoy your new japanese yew!

  4. Robert A. (verified owner)

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    A limb was broken when the plant arrived, looks like it will heal.

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  5. Peter Caputa (verified owner)

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    The plants, packaging and speed of delivery is great.

    There is not a huge difference in size between the 1 and 3 gallon plants. The 3 gallon are older and branches a bit thicker, but they take up similar space once planted.

    One or two plants out of 6 had broken branches because of rough handling by shipping company. But, because of amazing packaging, they were in good shape overall. I just pruned the broken branches and they are good.

    Been planning to put in a row of these along the street in front of a stone wall. Excited to have it done. Love the look of the plants.

    Uploaded image(s):

    Image #1 from Peter Caputa
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    • Perfect Plants (store manager)

      Hi Peter, thank you for your honest feedback. Once planted, the yews should quickly spread to their mature sizes within a year or two. We are glad you love them.

  6. Michael H. (verified owner)

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    This little beauty was a joy to repot and begin it’s bonsai transformation.

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    • Perfect Plants (store manager)

      Dear Michael, thank you for leaving feedback on our Cephaloaxus Spreading Yew. How interesting you are preparing it for bonsai! Good luck and happy planting!

  7. Anonymous (verified owner)

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  8. Anonymous (verified owner)

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    These came packed well and in great shape. For a 1Gal I expected tiny plants, but they were big and full. A little pot bound but I scored them and they will do great in my shady spot.

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