How To Take Care Of A Norfolk Pine Correctly?

How To Take Care Of A Norfolk Pine Correctly?

As the winter holidays get closer, the Norfolk pines start showing up in all kinds of stores, from grocery stores to flower shops. In this article, we will discuss in detail how to take care of a Norfolk pine tree.
Even though the stress of the holidays can be hard on potted Norfolks; if they are
cared for properly, they can remain strong and robust houseplants for many years.


With proper care, Norfolk Island pines can be a source of beauty throughout the year and festive addition to Christmas décor for many years to come.


Jump To


Norfolk Pine Snapshot


Scientific name Araucaria heterophylla
Common name Norfolk pine, Norfolk Island pine, Australian pine
Native land Norfolk Island in the Pacific
Lifespan 150+ years
Plant type Evergreen conifer
Size 60 meters in height, 3 meters in diameter
Fertilizer Water soluble liquid fertilizer (Pendelton turf triple)
Growing conditions: Water: Drought tolerant

Sunlight: Full sun

Soil type: Sandy, peaty soil

Soil PH: Acidic (4.5-5.5)

Temperature: Warm temperatures (60-75 degrees Fahrenheit)

Uses Construction, furniture, building materials, ornamentals
Hardiness zone 10-11, USDA
Growth rate Slow-growing ( 2 feet per year)


Are Norfolk Pines Easy To Care For?

Taking care of your Norfolk pine is quite easy. As long as they are kept at an appropriate humidity level, Norfolk pine trees require low maintenance, regardless of whether they are grown indoors or outdoors.


Use a permeable, sandy, and somewhat acidic potting mix while growing this plant indoors. The acidity and porosity of a normal potting mix can be improved by including additional peat moss and sand in the mixture.


Maintain moist soil without allowing it to become soaked, and expose the plant to an abundance of sunshine.
Related: Types of Pine Trees

How Do You Care For A Potted Norfolk Pine?

Here’s how do you take care of a Norfolk pine easily at home all by yourself:


1. Location of the plant

In spite of the fact that they thrive best when exposed to direct sunlight for as much of the day as feasible, Norfolk Island pines can survive in partially shaded environments for extended periods as well.


As a result, you may put your plant in its pot indoors throughout the winter in a partly shaded spot, and then in the spring and summer, you can transfer it to a position outside where it will receive plenty of sunlight.


2. What kind of soil does Norfolk pine like?

When planting a Norfolk pine, one should know that these plants thrive in acidic conditions. A potting combination that is based on peat is ideal for use with indoor plants since the peat will progressively cause the mixture to become more acidic as it decomposes.


When grown in an outdoor setting such as a garden, this tree does best in sandy but fertile soil that has been peat-amended wherever possible.


3. Norfolk pine temperature range

As a result of their origin in Norfolk Island, these pines thrive best in more humid and warm environments, with temperatures ranging from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


If you’re wondering how to take care of a Norfolk pine indoors, you should know that they have a short window of tolerance for temperatures ranging from chilly to warmer, but if they are exposed to temperatures lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit, they are likely to expire.


4. Norfolk pine fertilizer

Bright green growth at the tips of the branches indicates that dormancy has ended as spring draws near. It is time to start applying fertilizer and to increase the amount of water.


To ensure that replanted trees have a strong nutritional base, amend the potting soil with fish-based nutrients.


Home gardeners looking to learn about taking care of a Norfolk pine tree at home should always follow the recommendations on the product’s label.


The instructional tag contains the information regarding the amount to add, taking into account the dimensions of both the pot and the plant.


5. Humidity levels

Before you water your plant, you should always examine the soil with your hands. After allowing the soil to become slightly dry about an inch thick, proceed to water it well until water begins to run out of the drainage holes in the container.


If the relative humidity in your house falls below 50 %, your plant will be delighted.


6. Norfolk Islandpine watering

Whenever the soil appears dry to the feel, water the plant. But you cannot finish learning how to take care of indoor pine trees, without considering the importance of removing the excess water from the saucer after watering.


If after watering, the soil begins to peel away from the edge of the container, you can gently rub it back into place using your thumb.


This prevents water from trickling down the sides of the container and instead directs it toward the roots. Knowing when to water them is an essential step in Norfolk pine care.


7. Norfolk Islandpine light requirements: Do they like the sun?

Yes, Norfolk pine trees like the sun as well as indirect light. Every time you add water, give the tree a quarter turn in the opposite direction. This stimulates even development and symmetry by ensuring that the light from the window only comes from a single direction.



8. How often should you mist a Norfolk pine?

You must know that you need to keep your Norfolk pines always moist. Use a spray bottle to give it a light misting on a regular basis or set a saucer that is filled with pebbles underneath it.


Put some water in the saucer, but make sure that the level of the water remains below the stones. This will ensure that the soil at the base of the container does not get wet. It’s also possible to use a humidifier at home.


9. Pruning

The last step to learning about how to take care of a Norfolk pine is frequent trimming. Take care to prune away any dead or dying small leaves, as this is a frequent problem with interior specimens.


It is generally not suggested to prune the top of the plant; however, if a planted tree becomes too large for the area it occupies, the core star should be pruned.


This will result in the tree branching out from that spot, and while the tree will no longer have the characteristic perennial appearance, such pruning often does not impair the tree’s vitality in any significant way.


It is only essential to prune plants that are planted outside of the house to eliminate branches that are unhealthy or dead; normal pruning is not required.


Pine Types: White Pine | Long Leaf Pine | Japanese Pine | Blue Pine | Mugo Pine


Norfolk Pine Problems

How do you take care of a Norfolk pine and what problems you should deal with:

Plant Diseases:

This kind of pine is susceptible to a wide range of insects and mites that include mealybugs and whiteflies. Determine the extent of the infestation as soon as it becomes apparent, and then treat it using store-bought insecticides or seek professional help.



Overwatering a Norfolk pine can also lead to the development of a fungal infection, like anthracnose, which causes large parts of the plants to turn yellow and then brown, and ultimately leads to the tree’s demise.


Needles Falling:

There are two potential causes for the loss of needles on your tree: either it is not receiving sufficient light or getting too much water.


Brown Leaves:

The tree is unable to survive in extremely cold temperatures, and it also cannot survive in extremely hot temperatures. The browning of the needles may be caused by significant temperature shifts.


The presence of brown needles on a plant may potentially be an indication that it is receiving an excessive amount of water or an insufficient amount of water.


Yellow Leaves:

If the tree’s leaves start to turn yellow, it’s possible that it isn’t getting enough sunshine. It’s also possible that the area is receiving too much sunlight.

Alterations in temperature to an extreme degree are another potential cause of the yellowing of the needle ends.


The right way how to take care of a Norfolk pine is to stay vigilant and look out for these signs.


More On Pine Trees: Pine Wood Types | Pine Tree Growth Rate | Indoor Pine Types | Pine Cone Varieties | Types of Pine Bushes



Q. How long can a Norfolk Island pine live?

A. Norfolk pines are inherently long-lived, despite having an unjustified reputation for being disposable as a form of décor. Despite the fact that they are not true pines, these plants are related to pines and have been there since ancient times.


Norfolks tend to live for 100 years or over in modern residential landscaping, provided that the climate is frost-free and the place is shielded from things that can harm the tree.


Related: Pine Tree Lifespan |Norfolk Pine Winter Care


Q. Can I put my norfolk island pine both indoors &outdoors?

A. Both an indoor and outdoor environment are suitable for the growth of Norfolk Island pines. Even though they have specific requirements for optimal growth, they are extremely adaptable and may survive in a wide variety of environments.


However, if you are still wondering how to take care of indoor pine tree, ensure to choose a spot that gets full sun and has soil that is sandy, porous, moderately moist, and aerated while planting this tree outside.


After it has become established, it can withstand rather dry conditions.


Q. Are Norfolk island pines pet safe?

A. Cats & dogs should be kept away from Norfolk pine as it can be poisonous to them.

Chewing on the leaf could potentially bring on an adverse response in animals & humans both.


Q. How tall do they grow?

A. There are areas along the coast of California where Norfolk Island pines can reach heights of 100 feet or more, spread out to widths of up to 60 feet, and add up to two feet of height annually.


On their home island of Norfolk, which is located east of Australia, it is said that they can grow to be twice as tall. Despite their diminutive size, they’ve made quite a splash in the aesthetic stakes.


A Norfolk potted plant could reach a height of 20 feet indoors if you give it enough time, water, and sunlight, in addition to providing it with high ceilings.