Saturday, November 5, 2011


It's natural for a gardener to care more for some plants than others. And we've all lost a plant that has caused us more agony than we'd like to admit. One such plant that I DIDN'T lose is our Norfolk Island Pine. I was mostly concerned about days where we reached 105 degrees plus. I know this plant is from a tropical island, but I would guess most islands would have those nice cool breezes coming off the ocean. Well, I have good news; Norfolk Island Pines can endure temperatures as high as 105 and humidities that bottom out at 25% and still look good. I was vigilant about keeping it well watered since this is our living Christmas tree. That's why I'd be very sad to lose it. It's one small victory over this drought.

It adds one or two layers of branches each year. The cooler weather has started a new layer of growth.

Here's my brother being silly in 2009. At first everyone laughed at my idea, but that's okay. I've grown a number of these up to 8 feet tall over my life time.

Here it is in 2010. They sell Norfolk Island Pines in groups so that the pot will look fuller. There are actually 5 trees in this one. I've repotted it 3 times in the past years.

Here it is in the backyard. Always protect from frost. It can take down to  28 F (-2.2C)  to 30 (-1.1C) degrees F, but I'd rather not test fate. Bring it in if there's frost danger.
It can grow in full sun, but I grow ours in dappled light under a pecan tree. It gets full sun in winter.
There are large, outdoor Norfolk Island Pines on Galveston Island, Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas, Fort Myers, Florida, and probably in the Rio Grande Valley. We had some 20 to 30 feet high here in Houston before the hard freezes two years ago.
Thanks for stopping by.
David/ :-)


  1. Yay! Good for you...a victory like this in your circumstances has got to be sweet!

  2. That is a beautiful pine tree. I did not know they are from a tropical island. Always thought of pine trees of any kind as strictly northern plants. I see a few very tall pine trees here on Grenada but, no Norfolk Island Pines. Glad you didn't lose yours.

  3. A lovely looking plant. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be happy in my garden - otherwise, I'd be inspired by your post to have one too.

    I decorated a scented geranium as a Christmas tree one year. Who says 'Christmas Trees' should be the only Christmas Trees?

  4. You have just cleared up a mystery for me. I saw these trees while vacationing in Galveston, but had no idea exactly what they were. Would have never guessed those big trees were the same as those tiny little plants they sell every Christmas around here. Love yours! How will you ever drag it in when it gets to be 25 ft tall?!

  5. We often see these beauties growing in our coastal towns here in Queensland, Australia. Of course it's endemic to Norfolk Island which is just off the coast of Australia and is well suited to coastal conditions.

    Congratulations on keeping this beauty going throughout the drought recently. It really does look happy and healthy.

  6. I love it. I did the same thing 3 years ago and today I have a beautiful Leyland Pine growing in a nice space with x-mas lights. :) I love Norfolk trees so much but it's too cold for these guys here....and the heat is a bit too much during our summer, but they do well in pots for us:)


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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