Araucaria heterophylla – Norfolk Island Pine

Araucaria heterophylla – Norfolk Island Pine

Araucaria heterophylla (syn. A excelsia) Norfolk Island Pine 7°C (45°F). Norfolk Island.

Typical needle pine leaves are shaded dark and light green and develop on horizontal branches that radiate from the main stem. The spaced tiers of leaves are the principal attraction of this plant which is one of the true aristocrats among the foliage plants that are suited to cooler room conditions. Set in a well-lit airy position, watering freely in spring and summer, less in winter.


When potting, clay pots will help to balance plants better than plastic ones as plants are inclined to be top heavy. Although plant growth will be slower in loam-based mixture, a better plant will result than if the plant is grown in a peat medium. Clay pots must have a good layer of araucaria broken pots placed in the bottom before soil is introduced, as good drainage is most important.

New Norfolk Island Pine plants may be raised from cuttings of stem tips, or from seed the latter method produces plants with more attractive symmetrical growth. However, seed is very difficult to obtain, so it is often better to seek out young plants that may be grown on.

The ‘Norfolk Island Pine’ is really popular indoors. The soft rather fern like foliage and shape reminiscent of a Christmas tree are attractive in the shady corner of a garden-room, or entrance hall. Grown in company with Fuchsia which like similar cool airy conditions the ‘Norfolk Island Pine’ contributes to a harmonious design.

Keep well watered in summer but apply only enough to keep the soil moist in winter. Liquid feed once a month and re-pot in a proprietory compost every other spring during February. Though ‘Norfolk Island Pine’ can be pruned hard back it never makes a good shape afterwards. The young shoots can be rooted by using a heated propagating frame, grown on and the old plant discarded.

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