How to care for a Norfolk Island Pine

These Charlie Brown lookin' pines actually aren't pines at all! The Norfolk Island Pine trees (or Araucaria heterophylla) stem from an ancient lineage of cone-bearing trees, and behave like tropical houseplants. They're also long-living and can grow taller than 100 feet along the California Coast, given that they receive lots of light and humidity!

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  • Regular
  • Once every two to four years
  • Bright light
  • Toxic
  • Once a month during spring and summer

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  • Norfolk Island Pines are a part of the family Araucariaceae (think cone-bearing trees), and originated on Norfolk Island between New Zealand and New Caledonia. This lineage of trees has survived the Cretaceous Extinction event, and have proven their resilience over time!
  • Norfolk Island Pines are not very strong air purifiers.
  • These plants are toxic to pets when consumed.
  • Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Norfolk Island Pines also benefit from high humidity, so try using a pebble tray with water or a humidifier (especially in winter).
  • Norfolk Island Pines do best in bright indirect or direct light. They can tolerate medium to low light, but will grow leggy in these conditions!
  • Norfolk Island Pines can be fertilized once a month during spring and summer with a water soluble houseplant fertilizer.
  • Norfolk Island Pines grow slowly in their pots, so they only need to be repotted once every two to four years, and only in the spring or summer! Repot it into a container that is 2 inches larger than the previous one, and be sure to wear gloves to save your hands from pesky needles!
  • Pruning is not necessary, but you may prune off brown tips and dead branches when you encounter them.
  • Your Norfolk Island Pine may experience crisping or curling needles in its lifespan. He's indicating that he's thirsty! Try giving him a drink, and upping the humidity levels around him. If he starts dropping needles, try moving him to a brighter location and holding back on watering.

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