How do I care for a Norfolk Island Pine?

Question: 

How do I care for a Norfolk Island Pine?

Answer: 

The Norfolk Island pine is a popular houseplant.  During the holiday season, many individuals turn their plants into living Christmas trees by decorating them with miniature lights, ribbons, and ornaments.  The Norfolk Island pine thrives indoors when given good, consistent care.

Place the Norfolk Island pine in a brightly lit location near an east, west, or south window.  Rotate the plant weekly to prevent the plant from growing toward the light and becoming lopsided.

Thoroughly water the Norfolk Island pine when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch.  Discard the excess water which drains out the bottom of the pot.  From spring to early fall, fertilize the plant with a dilute fertilizer solution every 2 to 4 weeks.

A temperature of 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable for the Norfolk Island pine.  Winter is often a difficult time because of low relative humidity levels in most homes.  Raise the humidity level around the Norfolk Island pine with a humidifier or place the plant on a pebble tray.  Low relative humidity levels, insufficient light, or excessively dry soil conditions may induce browning of branch tips and lead to the loss of the lower branches.  

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