Norfolk Island Pine Care Indoors is not difficult at all if you know everything about it and following the growing tips in this article.
The tall dimensions with geometric shapes and fine leaves make Araucaria heterophylla stand out differently in the homes! It’s one of the best tall houseplants and truly deserves your attention when it comes to tips on Norfolk Island Pine Care Indoors.
Other Names: Star Pine, Australian Pine, Norfolk Pine, House Pine, Triangle Tree, Living Christmas Tree, Polynesian Pine
Have a look at some awesome Norfolk Island Pine pictures here
Norfolk Island Pine Origin
Native to Norfolk Island in the south pacific ocean between New Zealand and New Caledonia, this needled evergreen is a relative of the monkey puzzle tree and not a true pine. This is actually a tropical plant that grows up to 200 feet tall in its natural habitat!
Christmas Tree Alternative Houseplant
It is the only houseplant that makes for an excellent Christmas tree, and this is one reason why it’s called “Living Christmas Tree!“
The best part is, instead of discarding it after the festive season, this slow-growing plant can be kept permanently indoors, where it looks beautiful with its pine-like leaves and spectacular height! What’s more, the Norfolk Island pine can be trained as a bonsai too!
See more Christmas tree alternative houseplant here
Propagating Norfolk Island Pine
The single plant of Norfolk Island Pine comprises male and female reproductive organs, making it a gymnosperm. You can grow it from seeds, but it is going to be a long and time-consuming process.
You can also grow it by taking 5-6 inches cutting from a healthy tree. Do make sure that you are taking only the terminal cuttings, i.e., a stem or branch that is a part of a terminal bud. You can find it easily on the vertical stem at the top of the plant. This will ensure that the shape of the propagated plant remains proper.
Apart from that, it is a pretty straightforward process, where you just have to plant the cutting in a soilless potting mix after applying a rooting hormone on the cut end.
Best Norfolk Island Pine Varieties
Norfolk Island pine does not have cultivars or varieties, the only type available is Araucaria heterophylla. Some other species from this family are misbranded as the original plant and include – A. bidwilli, A. columnaris, and A. araucana. If you get one of these species, grow them under the same conditions as the original one.
Requirements for Growing Norfolk Island Pine Indoors
Place the plant where it can absorb as much light as possible–Several hours of direct sun will make it happy. If you’ve got a big window, keep it within 3-4 feet of it–The closer, the better, but make sure the leaves are touching the window glass in winters.
The plant can withstand indirect light as well, but the fact is it doesn’t qualify in the list of best low light plants. Also, timely rotation of the plant is required so that every side gets an equal amount of light.
If, unfortunately, you’ve got a dark house and have limited hours of indirect light. It would be wise to keep your normal LED lights or lamp on around the plant for at least 15-16 hours to substitute the natural light. You can also use grow lights!
The plant is not too fussy when it comes to picking the soil as long as it has good drainage. For best growth, use your regular houseplant growing medium. Equal parts of potting soil, peat moss with sand or perlite also works.
This subtropical plant is drought-tolerant and survives occasional dry spells. It is recommended to allow the soil to dry out between watering. Increase the watering rate in summer and reduce it during winters.
The best practice is to keep an eye on the topsoil and touching it with your index finger to see whether it is dry or not.
A Tip: If you notice needles are turning yellow, then it’s a sign that the plant needs more hydration.
Temperature and Humidity
Norfolk Island Pine likes a warm temperature range and grows best in the usual indoor temperature, around 60-85 F (15-30 C). It can survive in a cool and hot climate, but there are exceptions. It can not tolerate when the temperature dip below 35 F (2 C). When it goes around 50 F (10 C), you should start protecting it by transferring it to a sheltered area or indoors.
In winters, you’ll need to take care of humidity. You can track relative humidity in your home using a device or app. If you find the air dry, set a humidifier around the plant to increase the moisture in the air.
Norfolk Island Pine Care
Feed with a liquid all-purpose fertilizer like 10-10-10 or 8-12-4 just two to four times a year. This slow-growing plant doesn’t need heavy feeding, and low fertilization will also help retain its manageable height.
Young plants are slow-growing, so you don’t need to re-pot them every year, but once the Norfolk pine becomes pot bound, re-pot the plant in one size bigger container during spring.
A Tip: Whether you repot the plant or not, it’s a great idea to replace the old soil with fresh new potting soil every year, especially around the root ball!
Remove dead and diseased leaves with branches from time to time. To keep the tree in shape, you can give it an occasional trimming on the sides to ensure the shape is manageable and the plant looks neat. Also, never trim the top of this conifer.
Pests and Diseases
Norfolk Island Pine is slightly toxic to dogs and cats. If pets consume it in a high amount, they suffer from mild mouth irritation, vomiting, and stomach upset.