The Norfolk Island Pine, otherwise known as your favorite miniature Christmas tree, is a great and often popular option during the holiday season. I saw my first Norfolk Island Pine while browsing my local gardening store, this cute little miniature Christmas pine was displayed conveniently after Halloween igniting all our Christmas excitement.
Surprisingly, these aren’t pine trees at all, but you don’t have to get wrapped up in all the details. All you have to know is these delicate trees are wonderful to have in your home during the holiday season, or the rest of the year.
Light: Norfolk pines will prefer full sun, so give your palm the best amount of light possible. I made the mistake once of buying one with only North facing windows, needless to say it didn’t appreciate the lack of bright light. However, don’t suffocate the plant with direct light. Bright indirect light is best and make sure to turn the plant regularly.
Water: These trees need moisture and constant watering. Water them thoroughly each week during the growing season and try and keep the soil consistently moist. In the summer, don’t let the soil dry out, during winter let the soil dry out completely between waterings.
Soil: Norfolk Island Pines love acid, with a preferred pH of about 5.5 or 4.5. You can get them a peat based soil mixture. They prefer fast-draining potting mix, so don’t let this little tree sit in old water.
Fertilizer: Apply a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer to the tree about every 2 weeks during the growing period.
Humidity: These pines greatly appreciate humidity, mist daily with cool water. It can be difficult to maintain proper humidity levels, especially in the winter and in cold climates. So if your winter heating is drying out your Norfolk pine, place pebbles in the base of the tray to add in humidity. This usually does the trick.
Norfolk Island Pines are known for their fragile root system, they have one main tap root and don’t have a hearty base. Becuase of this lackluster root system, it has earned the nickname ‘suicide tree’ as it has been known to fall over onto houses and cars in areas where the Norfolk Palm resides. They don’t respond well to repotting, but every 3 to 4 years is a decent amount to repot and restore the plants.
When decorating your pine, use small and lightweight ornaments and only keep them on the tree for a few days. This is a fragile plant and lights and ornaments may damage the tree. With the added heat from the lights, make sure to add more moisture and use LED lights to prevent damage to the branches.
Don’t fret about the upcoming holiday season and get a Norfolk Island Pine for your home or office today! The cleanup is guaranteed an easy one compared to the usual Christmas decorations.