This year I came in contact with a beautiful evergreen needled plant growing in my friend Marti’s home. Having no previous experience with this stunning tree, I asked Marti about it. She explained she received it several years ago as a tabletop tree and now over the years it has flourished into a 6 foot plus gorgeous specimen in her home. She keeps it indoors throughout the winter and positions it nearby her patio door during our frost free spring and summer months.
Now of course my household plant care skills need working on but irregardless of that, away I went to do some research on this lovely tree. Learned it is a Norfolk Pine. Despite its name, Norfolk Pines are an indoor plant, although it can grow to 100 ft outdoors in a frost free climate. Indoors, the plants are limited by the container size, generally growing anywhere from 5-6 feet high. The graceful pitch of the limbs and shape make it a fantastic contrast to common household plants.
This year I decided to start a 12 inch one, watch it grow and enjoy as my “sustainable” Chirstmas tree, year after year! Okay so this year…it looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree…but with with some love and care…I am hoping to make the indoor 5-6 ft mark and enjoy a unique shaped Christmas Tree tradition for years to come!
Think you might like to do this? We can learn side by side this year. First off, make sure the plant is potted correctly. Garden soil is not the medium of choice for growth. A good household potting medium is recommended. And if you wish your pine to grow…re-pot to a larger vessel every Spring. Make sure your Norfolk Pine gets the right amount of light. They need @ least 2 hours of direct light /day, but will adapt to bright indirect light. It is recommended the plant be placed nearby a south window in the winter. When moved outside for the summer it prefers light shade.
Water the Norfolk correctly. Always use room temperature water Stay away from chlorinated water and go for rain or distilled. Water whenever the soil is not moist…but never let it get soggy or sit in trays of drained water. Fertilize regularly in spring and summer. To keep growth natural, turn the pot every few weeks so it does not lean to the light. Remove any dead branches, but never prune the top. As mentioned, growth is limited by fertilizing and pot size.
So my garden supervisor Jake and I will enjoy our new Charlie Brown style Christmas tree at our house this year as well as add some new learning to our indoor plant care repertoire. What will be your new holiday indoor plant this year?