The Q&A Archives: Proper Care Of Norfolk Pine Tree

Question: I have a Norfolk Pine tree and they say that it's supposed to be an inside plant, but I'd like to have it outdoors. Is it possible to plant it outside and not destroy it? It had to have been originally from outside, so when did it go inside? Right now, I have it in a 10" pot, but the weather is getting cold and I was wondering if I could leave it in the pot, take it in the garage or plant it in the garden. It's such a beautiful specimen. I live in Michigan, which is a zone 5 area, I think that's where I'm at, so what are my choices?

Answer: Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterphylla) is originally from Norfolk Island, which is off the coast of Australia, so it is not adapted to survive Michigan's cold winters. It will survive for years in containers though, so you could bring it indoors in winter and have it outdoors when there is no danger of frost. They prefer bright light and moderate water. Keep away from drafts, heat vents, and dry air. Increase humidity around the plant (you could set it up on a saucer with pebbles and water, for example). They are lovely trees, but they can be somewhat demanding in a home environment. Good luck!

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