Norfolk pines are a popular houseplant for their colorful foliage and attractive branch structure. But like many houseplants, they require special care to thrive indoors and be a healthy addition to your home.
The Norfolk Island pine is actually a tropical tree, not a traditional pine, but it does have the same needle-like foliage and characteristic pine cones that give it its name. Unlike standard pine trees, the Norfolk tree isn’t cold hardy, so it’s best to bring it inside in the winter to avoid extreme cold.
If you live in a warm area, you can bring your norfolk pine outside for summer months. But don’t forget to protect your plant from the sun, as it can suffer sunburn if exposed to too much UV rays.
These plants are also prone to pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, scale, and whitefly. Debug them as soon as you notice them. If they’re persistent, you might have to treat your Norfolk Island pine with insecticidal sprays.
A common problem with this type of plant is browning of the needles and branches. While some of this is normal and can be attributed to low humidity, if the entire tree is affected it is a sign that it needs more moisture.
Watering is one of the most important things you can do for your Norfolk Pine to keep it healthy and happy. It’s especially important to provide this tree with a good balance between keeping the top 2”-3” of soil moist and cool, but not soggy or over-watered.
It’s also a good idea to check the roots of your Norfolk Pine to make sure they’re not growing out of the drainage holes in the pot. This will help you know when it’s time to repot.
To repot, remove the old potting soil and replace it with sterilized potting soil. Then, place your Norfolk Pine into the new potting soil. Adding a bit of coffee grounds to the soil is a great way to increase acidity, which Norfolk pines need for growth.
During the growing season, fertilize your Norfolk Island pine every two to four weeks with water-soluble or liquid plant food. Mix this fertilizer at half the recommended rate to help keep your Norfolk Pine healthy and happy.
If you notice browning or dead spots on your Norfolk Pine, this could be due to overwatering or a fungal disease called anthracnose. This can lead to a lot of damage if you’re not careful.
These plants love the warmth of the sun, so they’re a good choice for an office or other room that receives a fair amount of sunlight. However, they can be sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so choose a spot where it’s far from heat vents and air intakes.
They don’t grow as tall as you might expect, but if it starts to overgrow your space, consider pruning it. This will cause it to grow more evenly, so you can fit it into the space better.