07:28 Discovered on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific by Sir Joseph Banks in 1793, this handsome conifer reaches a height of 200ft/60m in its natural habitat. As a houseplant, however, it will grow to a more suitable 3-6ft/90cm-1.8m.
Norfolk Island pine Plant image It is a slow grower and after reaching this height is past its best. The Norfolk Island pine is appealing because of its horizontally held branches covered with V2-in/13-mm-long needles, which are bright green in the spring, and turn dark green over time. The plant should last for many years and can be used as a Christmas tree. Araucaria requires a bright, well-lit location and enjoys a spell outdoors on mild days. Frequent misting is important; this plant likes freely circulating air, but not dry heat, and in summer it needs an even more-humid atmosphere. Dry, yellowing needles indicate that conditions are too hot and dry. Move the plant to a cool, well- ventilated location, and water and mist it more frequently.
Aphids and mealybugs can attack this plant. Watch for signs of infestation and spray with a suitable insecticide. FACT FILE
ORIGIN Norfolk Island.
HEIGHT To 6ft/1.8m or more.
POTTING MIX Soil-based. REPOTTING Move into a pot one size larger every 2-3 years, or when roots show on top of the soil. Top-dress plants more than 3ft/90cm tall in spring.
PROPAGATION By seed or stem cuttings by specialist growers.
KEEPING PLANTS Remove bare lower branches. General pruning is not advisable, but it will encourage bushier growth if the plant becomes straggly.
Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine) PLANT CARE
- A bright location with some direct sunlight.
- Winter temperature of 50°F/10°C; otherwise normal room temperature.
- Keep the soil moist except in winter, when less water is needed.
- Mist-spray every 3 days.
- Apply a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks in summer.
- Keep well away from radiators.