Norfolk Island Pine at Local Stores

jamiedolan(4/5)October 21, 2010

Hello;

I decided I would really like to get a Norfolk Island Pine. I checked and no one locally has them now, but say they will get them in for the holidays. I remember HomeDepot having small ones last year. I'd prefer to get a larger one if I can.

I am wondering if anyone has bought one from the bigbox stores and what the size / cost was. Also wondering what the quality was like.

I found about a 2' tree I can order online, but would only be able to order and have it shipped in the very near future as we are getting very close to freezing temps here.

If I can likely get a decent one locally, I will just wait until the stores have them. If the quality is very poor in the stores, I will order one now from a quality nursery.

Thanks very much

Jamie

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If you wait just a few weeks, you'll see NIPs in three gallon containers in all of the stores....from the big box places to grocery stores. I guarantee it. Many of them will be decorated with red bows, candy canes, etc. Another source of NIPs is your local florist, a locally owned garden center, etc.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:54PM
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jamiedolan(4/5)

Thanks. I was hoping that I would be able to find one locally. I'll just look for them again in a few weeks. Wow; it is already just over a week till November and just over a month to the black Friday thing. Yikes.

Seems crazy, our weather has been so nice here, that many days I have still been able to have house plants outside. Tonight may be our first hard frost... Houseplants are all currently inside except for some coleus I am going to bring in for the winter.

Thanks
Jamie

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:06PM
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birdsnblooms

Jamie, do you have Jewel's 'grocers' near your place? If so, they start getting NIP's in, usually, a wk or two before Christmas. Home Depot usually gets the larger trees in. Perhaps you'll need to visit others. Other stores are KMart, Walmart, and Lowes. Ace sells them every so often.

You asked about quality and cost. Taller NIP's start at 19.99. They charge more if you buy one that's decorated. 10.00+ more. Instead, look for mini ornaments at $1 stores, Walgreen's and again Jewel's. If you really want to deck it up, buy light-weight, metal garland, and small Christmas lights...'types that don't emit heat.'

When choosing a NIP, check the needles..they should feel soft, not like a tired, old Christmas Tree, ready to be dumped.
Once NIP needles die, they don't grow back, so pick one that feels fresh. Make sure it's symetrical, too. And in case there's foil on the pot, remove it ASAP. That foil is a plant killer. Merry Christmas, Toni :)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:26PM
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amccour

Also make sure they don't have cold damage, which manifests as sort of dark reddish-brown patches of needles. That's a fairly frequent occurrence this time of year.

I'd try to go for a local greenhouse instead of a big box store, and definitely get an undecorated tree. Try to find one that's not covered in glitter either although that could be hard. Also if you do get stuck with a glittered one, the glitter never actually comes off so don't even bother trying. It's generally not that bad for the plant I guess but it just looks sort of stupid. Even smaller greenhouses sometimes get stuck with the glittered ones.

Also it's probably a bad idea to decorate them in general. They have pretty flimsy branches when they're young.

Also A. Columnaris doesn't seem as finicky as I've heard. Like, water it as you would a normal houseplant. They do NOT immediately fall apart if you let the soil dry out for any length of time, which some places seem to imply. And the humidity requirements seem pretty overstated too. 30 to 40% RH should be fine.

They also seem to tolerate top pruning fine. Side pruning, not so much, but the idea that they don't put out new leaders, which I've seen mentioned in a few places, is totally wrong.

(I still want an A. Bidwilli).

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:24PM
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jamiedolan(4/5)

Thank You for all the tips. I will look for a undecorated one. We don't have much in the way of greenhouses that are open this time of year. Due to our climate, the majority of the green houses are closed after they are done selling plants in early summer. Though there might be one florist I can think of that is large enough that they might be able to get in things like the Norfolk pines.

I'll start looking around at the stores in the next couple weeks.

Thanks again for all the tips and suggestions.

Jamie

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 12:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Right after halloween, I would begin checking with your local grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Lowes, and HomeDepot...just to name a few locations. If you have any locally owned garden centers that remain open during the winter, don't forget to check with them. NIPs would be something green and growing to offer at that time of year.

Be sure to check for spider mites before buying. They are the primary pest of indoor NIPs.

Good luck and let us know when you find one!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 12:29PM
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