These miniature trees are very popular around the holidays as they offer a permanent, less messy, and typically smaller alternative to traditional Christmas trees. Don’t let the name fool you, however, Norfolk Island pines are not actually pine trees at all and are tropical plants native to the South Pacific.
In the wild they can grow up to 200 feet tall! But in your home they usually max out around six feet. They are popular houseplants due to their easy maintenance and attractive, soft foliage.
Norfolk pines require medium light and prefer to dry out a bit between waterings. The top 1-2″ of soil should be dry before the plant is thoroughly watered again. If you receive a Norfolk pine during the holidays in a foil wrapper, be sure to discard the wrapper after the festivities subside and replace it with a plate or tray. Foil wrappers can retain excess moisture and cause long-term damage to roots if left on for extended periods of time.
If your Norfolk pine starts thinning our or losing lower branches, it might not be getting enough light. Alternatively if the tips of your pine becomes brown, it is not receiving enough water, or may be too close to a heating element. If you find you need to trim back your pine or prune less-than-desirable limbs, be careful not to trim more than 1/4 of the plant. Once you trim the terminal bud from a limb it will not grow back. leave the strongest buds to continue to grow and branch, otherwise you will end up with a shrubby, bush-like tree.
Norfolk pines are wonderful houseplants all-year round and make excellent, long-lasting gifts this holiday season! Chester’s carries a selection of 4″, 6″, 8″ and 10″ plants, as well as a very old, well established pine that takes center stage in our greenhouse. Come check them out today!