Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! This little tree is often decorated as an indoor Christmas tree at office parties or in lonesome home-alone dorm rooms. Remember to be gentle with its fragile little branches, and pass on the heavy ornaments.
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The Norfolk Island Pine is an soft-needled evergreen conifer able to live indoors, as long as the temperature is not too warm and the soil is not overwatered. If the air is too dry, adding a humidifer won’t hurt. This little tree likes temperatures between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Outdoors in its natural landscape, the Norfolk Island Pine can approach 200 feet in height. Indoors, however, the pine normally reaches a maximum of 10 feet. This slow-growing plant usually adds just one new tier of branches per growing season.
Full sun to semi-shade.
During the growing season in spring to summer, keep the soil moist with soft water (rain water). Feed with a weak concentration of fertilizer throughout the growing season. Water sparingly in the winter. Mist often.
Common pests: aphids and mealybugs.
Will grow in standard potting containers with peat and soil mixture, hydroculture or sub-irrigation.
If the branches sag or needles drop, ensure that the plant is not in a room that is too warm. If this happens in the winter, try cutting back on the watering habit. Remove the dead branches and place the tree near a window (as long as the temperature is not less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit).