Propagating Norfolk Pines: How To Propagate Norfolk Pine Trees

Propagating Norfolk Pines: How To Propagate Norfolk Pine Trees

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By: Teo Spengler

Norfolk Island pines (Araucaria heterophylla) are graceful, ferny, evergreen trees. Their beautiful symmetrical growth habit and tolerance of indoor environments make them popular indoor plants. In warm climates they also thrive outdoors. Propagating Norfolk pines from seeds is definitely the way to go. Read on for information on how to propagate Norfolk Pine trees.

Propagating Norfolk Pines

Norfolk Island pine plants look a bit like pine trees, hence the name, but they aren’t even in the same family. They do come from Norfolk Island, however, in the South Seas, where they mature into straight, stately trees up to 200 feet (60 m.) tall.

Norfolk Island pine trees are not very cold tolerant. They only thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. In the rest of the country, people bring them indoors as potted plants, often used as living non-traditional Christmas trees.

If you have one Norfolk pine, can you grow more? That’s what Norfolk pine propagation is all about.

Norfolk Pine Propagation

In the wild, Norfolk Island pine plants grow from seeds found in their cone-like seed pods. That is far and away the best way to undertake Norfolk pine propagation. Although it is possible to root cuttings, the resulting trees lack the branch symmetry that make Norfolk pines so attractive.

How to propagate Norfolk Island pines from seed? Propagating Norfolk pines at home starts with collecting the seeds when they mature in late summer or early autumn. You’ll need to break apart the tree’s spherical cone after they fall.

Harvest the small seeds and plant them quickly to maximize viability. If you live in USDA zones 10 or 11, plant the seeds outside in a shady area. Propagating Norfolk pines also works in a container. Use a pot at least 12 inches (31 cm.) deep, placed on a shaded windowsill.

Use an equal mix of loam, sand, and peat. Press the pointed end of a seed into the soil at a 45 degree angle. Its rounded end should be visible on top of the soil.

Keep the soil damp. Most of the seeds spout within 12 days after planting, although some can take up to six months, so patience is a virtue.

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Read more about Norfolk Pines

How to Propagate a Norfolk Pine Houseplant

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The symmetrical growth habit and ferny, evergreen foliage of Norfolk pines (Araucaria heterophylla) lend a lush, tropical appearance to home interiors and sheltered landscapes within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Another araucaria heterophylla common name is the house pine, as it thrives indoors, and Norfolk pine care indoor is also relatively easy.

They propagate well from both cuttings and seeds, although each method has benefits and drawbacks. Seed-grown Norfolk pines mature slowly but consistently produce an attractive specimen, whereas cuttings mature quickly but often produce an irregular or asymmetrical tree.

Plants→Araucaria→Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height : Commonly grown as potted plants, reaching 4 to 8 feet. In nature, trees can attain heights to 200 feet.
Plant Spread : 20 to 25 feet.
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: Male cones are cylindrical, to 2 inches in length female seed cones are almost round, scaly, 3 to 6 inches in diameter.
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Conservation status: Vulnerable (VU)

These trees, often sold at the holidays are really not a good thing to plant out in your yard in Florida. They get much too big and can be a danger to a structure even a long way away. I posted the picture of my neighbor's tree being removed to illustrate this. The tree was leaning towards his house, and luckily when Hurricane Irma came by, the winds were blowing the other way so it didn't fall. It was well over 100ft. tall and would have destroyed the house. It came out of the storm leaning more than it had been before so he took out a bank loan to cover the cost of removing this huge tree.

If you bought one in a pot that actually had three trees in the pot, you can plant all three together, and they will stunt each other so they don't get quite so tall and ungainly.

This plant was a gift about 4 years ago it was potted and maybe about 6 inches tall. Now it towers above 5' and lives in its pot outdoors in summer and inside in winter here in zone 6/7 in western Kentucky. It needs filtered light and likes humidity.

Araucaria heterophylla, Norfolk Island Pine is endemic to Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean. This tree can attain heights of 200' in its native habitat, but most of us are more familiar with the smaller versions sold as houseplants, especially around holiday time when they are often found for sale in local garden centers. The Norfolk Island Pine has an upright, pyramid growth habit with an occasional tilt or leaning appearance. This tree has a weak root system and may need staking as it grows taller.

Here in Florida in the southern part of the state, the Norfolk Island Pine is grown as a landscape tree, but it also does well in zone 9 central Florida, in warmer protected microclimates, especially near the water. Tall specimen trees are often damaged by the high winds of tropical storms and hurricanes, but they will recover if cut back to the ground, where new suckers will form.

I've had many of the small Norfolk Island Pine trees over the years. I would purchase a few during the holiday season and decorate them with miniature ornaments or tiny bows or small sea shells. My neighbor has a large Norfolk Island Pine Tree in her yard, one I gave her as a 4' tree years ago that is now taller than her house. The tree in my photo was one that was moved to a location behind the shed until I could find time to re-pot into a larger container. It was forgotten and eventually took root in the ground, and the plastic pot disintegrated.

My Dad is a woodturner and I can tell you they really prize the wood from this tree. He's always on the hunt for one being taken down and then cutting it up and distributing it to his woodturning club members.

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5 Norfolk Island Pine Facts

Norfolk Island pines are delightful living Christmas trees that are sure to add a big dose of holiday cheer to your home or office. They last longer than poinsettias, and in fact, can keep growing beautifully for years. They’re also a lot easier to deal with than traditional living Christmas trees (such as pines, firs, and spruces), especially if you live in a cold-winter climate. These cute holiday plants are pretty inexpensive, too, making them an excellent holiday or hostess gift.

We grow thousands of Norfolk Island pines each year here on our farm in Miami, Florida, and get a bunch of questions each holiday season. Here are answers to five of the most common questions we get during the holiday season.

1. Does Norfolk Island Pine Grow Outdoors?
A: A tropical tree, Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) doesn’t like frosty weather, and can’t be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zone 9 or colder. They’re best suited to subtropical areas, such as South Florida and Hawaii. If you live in an area that experiences frosts or freezing weather (below 32F/0C), it’s best to grow Norfolk Island pine as a houseplant. That said, they love spending the summer outdoors and will reward you with faster growth!
Fun fact: We harvest seeds (by hand!) from mature Norfolk Island Pine plantations in Hawaii.

2. How Tall Does a Norfolk Island Pine Get?
A: Outdoors in the tropics, Norfolk Island pines can grow more than 200 feet (61 meters) tall in time. Happily, if you grow one indoors as a houseplant, you don’t need to worry about it busting through the ceiling anytime soon. Inside, they’re not particularly fast growers. With good care, over the course of years, they can eventually reach 6 feet (1.2 meters) tall or more.

3. How Do I Care for a Norfolk Island Pine?
A: Indoors, give Norfolk Island pine a spot that has medium to bright light and water when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries out -- just like a traditional houseplant. They’re not particularly fussy or temperamental, but Norfolk Island pines will drop their lower branches if they get dried out too much or are grown in a spot that doesn’t have enough light to support them.

Some folks like to grow Norfolk Island pines outdoors in a shaded or partly shaded spot for the summer. They love this and usually reward you by putting on a big burst of lush, new growth. If you want to move your tree outdoors, wait until after all danger of frost has passed and avoid moving it directly from inside to afternoon sun. Like with people, the needles can suffer from sunburn when first put out.
Get tips for growing Norfolk Island pine indoors.

4. Does Norfolk Island Pine Purify the Air?
A: Yes! Scientific research by NASA showed that Norfolk Island pines can remove harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air, purifying it and making it safer for you and your family to breathe. VOCs are released by common household furnishings and compounds, including cleaning agents, beauty products, paints, clothes that have been dry-cleaned, and crafting products such as glue, adhesives, and permanent markers.

5. Where Can I Buy a Norfolk Island Pine?
A: During the holidays, Norfolk Island pines are commonly available from a wide range of retail stores, including garden centers, home improvement centers, mass merchandisers, grocery stores, and other places. See a list of some of our largest retail partners.

Planting Location

Norfolk Island pine trees grow best in a soil that possesses good drainage but will hold moisture. The tree prefers full sunlight as too much shade will cause the tree to droop. The Norfolk Island pine is hardy to plant outdoors in USDA growing zones 10 and 11 it will not tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees F. Norfolk Island pine trees grown in a container should be planted in a high quality potting soil and placed in an area with bright light.

The Norfolk Island pine tree should be watered when the soil is dry several inches down during periods of drought. Potted plants should be watered when the soil is dry to one inch below the surface. Outdoor growing trees do not require fertilizer applications or mulch. Indoor potted trees should be fertilized with a balanced indoor foliage fertilizer during the summer months. Indoor plants should be placed near a humidifier during the winter months since the Norfolk Island pine prefers to grow at a humidity of 50 percent. The container can also be set on a tray filled with water and stones without placing the container to be directly in the water.

  • Norfolk Island pine trees grow best in a soil that possesses good drainage but will hold moisture.
  • The Norfolk Island pine tree should be watered when the soil is dry several inches down during periods of drought.

Watch the video: Why leaves of araucaria turning brown, yellow अरकरय क पततय सख कय रह ह


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