Norfolk Pines: Houseplant & Christmas Tree Alternative

With Christmas right around the corner, you might be already planning when to get your family's Christmas tree. Many people debate if they should get a live cut tree or opt for a faux tree. But what if there was a third option? Consider the Norfolk Pine! These gorgeous tropical trees double as a wonderful houseplant as well as a unique Christmas tree. Their soft needles and beautiful arching boughs make them wonderful for hanging decorations. In this blog, we will discuss caring for these beautiful trees as well as some fun decorating ideas.


'Norfolk Pine' Araucaria heterophylla are upright growing conifers (but not actually related to pines pinus) that are endemic to the south Pacific closest to Australia, New Zealand and of course Norfolk Island for which the plant is named for. As a tropical conifer, they are only hardy to zone 9 making them ideal as a houseplant here on the Coast.

When well taken care of a Norfolk Pine can grow indoors to about 6ft in height, making them beautiful traditional Christmas trees. Here at Amsterdam, we carry a wide range of sizes from 4" pot size, to 10" pots with plants almost 4ft in height. This means that you can have them in your office or living room!


Water - As these conifers are endemic to tropical locales, they require similar conditions inside your home or office to thrive. When watering your Norfolk Pine be sure to check that the first inch of potting soil is dry before watering. Do not let your plant sit in a tray of water as it can lead to root rot.

Humidity - In addition to regular watering, you will want to mist your Norfolk Pine thoroughly once or twice a week to help with humidity. Without humidity, they are likely to dry out. Do not keep them near a forced-air vent as this will be sure to dry out the needles. It is common for the bottom branches to show some browning; however, if you see browning on the top branches, then you might be under watering or have a lack of humidity.

Light - As a tropical plant, Norfolk Pines enjoy and thrive in bright light and if possible several hours of direct light. You can supplement this by using a full-spectrum grow lamp during the gloomy winter months.

Fertilizer - Like other houseplants, you will want to use an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer in the Spring and Summer months. We recommend Schultz All-Purpose houseplant fertilizer. There is no need to feed these plants in the winter and fall since they aren't growing.

From Houseplant to Christmas Tree

Decorating your Norfolk Pine as a Christmas tree can be fun and easy. Their boughs are more flexible than traditional Christmas trees, so you will need to consider using lighter decorations. Popcorn garlands, wooden ornaments, little birds, and small bobbles are great options for creating a natural Scandinavian design. Our helpful staff will be happy to help you pick out the perfect tree and ornaments from our collection.


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