They are hardy in USDA Zones 10-11 in the United States and begin to
show signs of cold injury below 40 degrees.
perform best in bright light, with at least two or three hours of
direct sun daily. An east-facing window should be ideal. Turn the
plant a quarter of a turn weekly to keep it from getting lopsided as
it grows toward the sun. They should be fine in temperatures that we
find comfortable indoors, although they appreciate slightly cooler
temperatures at night. A range between 60 and 70 degrees is best.
Norfolk Island Pine decorated
with a red bow
challenge to successful indoor cultivation is dry indoor winter air.
Norfolk Island pines prefer humidity in the range of 50 percent,
while 15 percent is the norm in most houses during winter. Running a
humidifier can solve this problem.
If that is not
an option, place the pot on pebbles in a saucer with water in it. It
is important to keep the bottom of the pot above the water so that
the plant is not sitting in water constantly, or the roots will
Another way to
increase humidity is to group houseplants together. Because plants
lose moisture through their leaves constantly, the humidity is
higher in the microclimate created by grouping them.
pines prefer evenly moist but never saturated soil. Allow the top
inch of soil to dry out between waterings. The best way to water
this plant -- and most houseplants -- is to place the pot in a sink
or bathtub and water until it comes out of the drainage holes in the
bottom of the pot. Once the pot has finished draining, take it back
to its usual place. If that is not an option, be sure to empty the
saucer under the pot. If the pot is too heavy to lift, remove the
excess water with a siphon pump or a turkey baster.
usually respond to higher light levels that come with spring by
putting on new growth. Once your Norfolk Island pine is actively
growing, you can use a water-soluble fertilizer formulated for
foliage plants. Something such as fish emulsion or Peter's 20-20-20,
used according to label directions, is fine.
in September and do not start again until the plant starts putting
on new growth in spring.
on clay pots