Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Norfolk Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) Care

I was at my favorite garden center and they had all of there Christmas plants and arrangements on sale and I saw a beautiful Norfolk Pine arrangement. It also has two other plants with it (that I am yet to figure out what they are!) and it's just so pretty! It also came in this fabric sort of pot that's made from recycled plastic bottles! It was $60 but I got it for $14 which I am very excited about.

I read up a little about this plant and so far so good, but here's some info, for you and for me, on this wonderful plant.

It makes me feel like I'm in the forest having this plant. I love it!

Known botanically as Araucaria heterophylla, the plant is native to Norfolk Island in the South Pacific between Australia and New Zealand.

Water then the first inch of the soil is dry. Water enough to get run off through the drainage holes and discard of that water.

Although the Norfolk Island pine will adapt to bright indirect light, the plant will look its best with a couple of hours of direct sunlight daily. Five feet from a window is as far as you should try if you wan the plant to get larger. If the light source is coming from just one direction, you'll want to rotate the plant a quarter turn weekly to keep it from tilting toward one side.

What is most challenging for the typical home gardener is giving this plant the high relative humidity it needs. Norfolk Island pine thrives at 50 percent relative humidity, yet it is not unusual for the average house to drop to 15 percent during the winter heating season, unless steps are taken to increase moisture in the air. Running a humidifier will increase the comfort of people and plant and is the most effective way to adequately raise the humidity.

It's suggested to mist the plant every day to really help the plant thrift (I've been doing that and so far so good! It's looking great and lush.)

When the plant is growing, feed with a fertilizer formulated for indoor foliage plants. It is not unusual for the plant to be in a period of rest during the winter months, at which time there is no need to fertilize.

When given proper care, the Norfolk Island pine will outgrow most indoor spaces, not surprising when you consider that it can reach up to 200 feet tall in its native habitat!

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