help with norfolk island pine!!

ripley22July 14, 2011

So basically this is what happened... I was looking for plants and I found this little tree about 6 inches tall, I was very curious to see what kind of tree it was and it turned out it was norfolk island pine. All the websites said it would never survive indoors but I was determined to keep it living.

Then winter came and my house became very dry. The whole tree turned brown and looked dead, but knowing me I wouldn't let this little plant go into the garbage can just yet. But what i was confused about was nothing was falling off the tree, no needles, nothing. Then spring came, (yes I kept it all winter long) The needles started turning green and all the branches started turning green as well. Today the tree is starting to grow and has flourished, bright rich green needles and becoming stronger.

I was wondering if Norfolks do this? It kind of confused me. So if you know the answer to this question that would be great!

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I've never heard of a Norfolk Island pine going dormant and brown and then reviving, nor of brown needles turning green.

Are you sure something else didn't sprout from the base?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:34AM
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yea im sure. it just "magically" turned green from being brown, nothing fell off, it just turned brown and then in the spring time, green! it was so weird when it happened its like it died and then suddenly the whole plant turned green, so basically i started seeing the brown disappear at the tips of the branches which were turning green. and then suddenly it turned green.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:26PM
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Are you sure its a Norfolk Island Pine? I have one that has grown 5 feet in 3 years and it never does what you describe.

But, lots of Japanese cedars (Yoshinos, Black Dragons) do a variation of what you describe. They turn a sort of light copper hue during the Winter and then green up again come Spring.

Anyway, NFPs like cool rooms during the Winter. I keep mine on the sunporch and then the patio when it warms up.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 4:44PM
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yep i'm sure its a NFP, I can post of picture of it turning green, but I'm 100% positive its a NFP.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 7:41PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

Why are people so crazy? Do you know where Norfolk Island is? It's in the middle of the`Pacific. Why the hell should it want to grow in your flat? Stick to ferns.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 10:12PM
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... i just decided to buy it, gosh.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 7:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

NIP is an extremely popular houseplant and will typically do quite well inside the average home. II find it very difficult to believe that you found a lot of websites claiming it to be difficult to grow inside...because it isn't!

If your home became exceedingly dry over the winter, that would pose a problem for your plants as well as you. Humidifiers can make life a bit better for all. Also be sure that the plant is situated away from drafts and heat vents.

However, if lack of humidity was the real problem, I think that the needles would drop fairly quickly. I'll suggest that your little plant might be infested with the primary pest of NIPs, spider mites. They are probably the number one reason for the browning of the needles. So, have you seen any signs of spider mites?

Another possibility is that it wasn't watered properly (too much, too little), or over fertilized. As with all containerized plants, we have to find the right balance of light, water, and other factors.

If I were you, I'd do all that I could to raise the humidity in the room where the NIP is. Misting does nothing to help with this problem, other than keeping the dust off (a good thing) and perhaps helping control mites, if they are present.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 3:02PM
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"... i just decided to buy it, gosh."

Well, that'll teach you!

I'm half a planet away from Norfolk Island and mine is over 15 feet tall now. It's hauled outside (from a loft garage) from March to early December (just took it inside last night). No real magic is required to grow them off Norfolk Island. Just remember to keep them someplace sheltered from extreme temperatures and excessive sun/heat if your summers are brutal. Still, mine endured a couple of days near 110 F. and did fine. Oh, yea, some of us can actually grow ferns yet have enough imagination, horticultural experience and sense of youthful play to venture into more exotic/unexpected botanical realms.--Some people, seriously, best be limited to growing bananas or whatever else happens to grow in the corner lot.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Well said NJ! I love my NIP.

Right now is the time to grab one at any supermarket or big box store. 20 bucks will get you a 2 footer that will be 6 feet in a few years.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 5:11PM
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You gotta love a plant that hasn't changed much since dinosaurs roamed. And although their range is currently very restricted, their ancient range was MUCH more expansive. Never intended to have one over 15 feet tall, but it keeps on thriving! Currently, the winter has been so mild that I could still have it out but it is in the garage. I also have the hardy Araucana araucaria--currently in a container. I think the Norfolk does as well as it does because of LOCATION. It get a lot of sun but in under the canopy of a Oak and has wind protection from a garage. Yes, now is the time to get those NIPs AND Italian stone pines (Pinus pinea). Happy holidays!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 5:54PM
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