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Norfolk Island Pine

Araucaria heterophylla

Norfolk Island Pine Plant Features

An easy-care houseplant, Norfolk Island pine is a festive holiday plant you can enjoy all year long! During the holidays, its needled branches look right at home decorated as a Christmas tree. After the holidays pass, remove the decorations and enjoy its classic look (and air-purifying powers) anywhere in your home.

Though it's called Norfolk Island pine, it's not a pine at all. Rather, this stately tree is a tropical plant native to the South Pacific. Indoors, it's relatively slow-growing, but over the course of several years, this adorable little plant can grow to 6 feet tall or more.

Small, young Norfolk Island pines are perfect for decorating mantles, tabletops, and desks. As this long-lived houseplant grows, it's becomes better situated as a floor plant and can be used to fill bright corners, flank furniture (such as entertainment centers), or stand alone as a stunning focal point.

If you want to encourage faster growth from your Norfolk Island pine, move it outdoors to a shaded or partly shaded spot during the summer. Because it's a tropical tree, wait until all danger of frost has passed before moving it out, and bring it back in before the first frost in fall.

Norfolk Island pine grows great with poinsettias and Christmas cactus.
Learn how to make your poinsettias last longer!
Discover the history of Norfolk Island pine!
Celebrate the seasons with Norfolk Island pine.

Norfolk Island Pine Questions?
Just drop us an email; our experts will get back to you! And get tips for growing plants in and out of our home by signing up for our monthly email newsletter. It's packed with gardening information to help you enjoy beautiful, healthy plants (and only comes once a month so we won't clutter your inbox).

Norfolk Island Pine Growing Instructions

Grow Norfolk Island pine in a medium to bright spot in your home. The less less light it gets, the slower it will grow. But avoid very low-light situations. If it doesn't get enough light (natural or artificial), your Norfolk Island pine will be weak, spindly, and unattractive.

Water it enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet. The roots will rot if they stand in water. If the plant stays too dry, the tips of its branches will turn brown and crispy. Fertilize Norfolk Island pine once or twice during spring and summer to keep it growing well. You can fertilize more often if you want your plant to grow faster! 

If you wish to prune your Norfolk Island pine, you can do so at any time of the year.

Like most houseplants, Norfolk Island pine benefits from being repotted every couple of years. Get tips for repotting it and other houseplants.

Note: Norfolk Island pine is not intended for human or animal consumption. 


  • Light

    Indoors: High light
    Indoors: Low light
    Indoors: Medium light

  • Colors

    Green

  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Special Features

    Purifies the air
    Super-easy to grow


Complement your Norfolk Island Pine with these varieties:
Fern, Houseplant
Grow ferns, such as Boston fern, with Norfolk Island pine to accent both plants' soft-textured foliage.

Red Aglaonema
Red Aglaonema is a bold, easy-care houseplant variegated with colors that look great during the holidays (and after the holiday season, too!).

ZZ Plant
ZZ plant is a cinch to grow; it's one of the easiest of all houseplants -- just like Norfolk Island pine. Put these two together for a no-fuss combo.


Question
Q: Can I grow my Norfolk Island pine outdoors?

Norfolk Island pine is a tropical plant that can't take freezing temperatures. If you live in Zone 10 or warmer, you can grow it as a stately 40-foot-tall tree (or more!) in your landscape. If you live in a colder Zone, it has to live as a houseplant. (But it does love spending the summers outside, after all danger of frost has passed!)

Q: There are several Norfolk Island pines growing in my pot. Can I separate them?

While it's possible to separate each Norfolk Island pine seedling and grow them as separate plants, we don't recommend it. The process can cause root damage to the plants -- and many folks find young Norfolk Island pines look spindly by themselves. It often takes a couple of years for individual plants to fill out and look lush on their own.