Norfolk Pine Holiday Plants – A Living Christmas Tree You’ll Love

By Amy Grant | December 9, 2020
Image by cheyennezj
by Amy Grant
December 9, 2020

I love to decorate the house for Christmas and adorning a tree with lights and ornaments is one of the highlights of the season. Many years ago, we would go and cut down our own tree, but our more enlightened selves wanted a more sustainable option. That’s when I discovered Norfolk pine holiday plants.

Norfolk Pine Holiday Plants

It turns out that my Mom didn’t want her artificial tree anymore, so we inherited a tall, slim, fake Christmas tree perfect in size for our less than lavish home. The thing is, we have to store the tree for the majority of the year in the basement and then haul it upstairs and back down again a month later, which is rather a pain.

So when one of our local stores advertised Norfolk pine holiday plants, I went to look. The shape of a Norfolk Island pine is perfect for hanging light ornaments and I loved the idea of having a living Christmas tree, especially one as unique as this.

Christmas Norfolk Island Pine

That was several years ago and since then the Norfolk has graduated to a larger container but is such a slow grower, I probably won’t have to repot it again for some time. Plus, it grows beautifully as a houseplant during the cooler months and then we wheel it out (the pot is quite large so we have it on a plant dolly with casters) onto the patio when temperatures have warmed.

Caring for our living Christmas tree is fairly simple. Be sure the tree is situated in an area of bright natural light.

Norfolk pines do not like to sit in water and should only be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch down about an inch (2.5 cm.). Be sure to use a well-draining soil medium as well. Fertilize with a complete, slow release food every six weeks during the growing season and scratch into the soil.

During the winter, the tree is in dormancy. While it does still need to be watered, quit fertilizing until the spring when the tips of the branches begin to show bright green new growth. In the wild, Norfolk pines can live up to 150 years. It is doubtful that a container grown Norfolk will get anywhere near that age, but with proper care, you can expect to have your living Christmas tree for years to come.

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  • Jeanne
    Comment added December 10, 2020Reply

    my n i pine lost several branches but has new growth in other areas; will new branches ever grow where the old ones died?

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