My New Norfolk Is. Pine

tammypie(9)December 23, 2011

I purchased a small Norfolk Is. Pine today and wanted to know if I can repot it into a larger pot in spring and give it full sun, seeing other much bigger NIP's are growing in full sun.

Thanks, TammyPie

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's not that the plant can't/won't tolerate the photo load associated with full sun; more accurately, it doesn't tolerate the high leaf temperatures associated with the heat build-up in full sun sites. W/o good air movement and cool ambient temperatures, the leaves are much more likely to overheat and die in full indoor sun.

You can repot any time with little in the way of ill effects, if you're careful about your watering habits - especially until the newly increased soil volume is colonized by roots. This plant likes humidity & doesn't do well in the warm, dry, indoor conditions associated with centrally heated homes that don't have humidifiers. Ideal conditions would be something like: humidity 40% or higher, day temps between 55-60* with night temps being about 10* cooler than day temps, very bright indirect light, and a fast draining and well aerated soil.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 1:19PM
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I live about 3 miles inland from the Pacific, so I do know these plants love the coastal climate. We do have ocean breezes most of the time.

I don't want to keep it as a houseplant. I want to grow it outside in a larger pot. Can I keep it under a tree for partial shade, near a water fountain, where it can get some humidity?

I would like to take good care of this tree, and hopefully plant it outdoors so it grows into a large tree. They're beautiful.

Thanks, TammyPie

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 11:14PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

To be a large tree -- how "large" is large by your definition? -- it needs to ultimately be in a humongous pot.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 1:30PM
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I don't plan to leave it in a pot - I want to plant it outdoors NOT IN A POT.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 2:18AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

I'm confused.

Dec 23, 11 at 23:14 you said "I want to grow it outside in a larger pot."

Then Dec 25, 11 at 2:18 you said "I want to plant it outdoors NOT IN A POT."

So is it that you want to transfer to a larger container now, then into the ground later? If so, that works.
Come spring, plant it in the garden where it has room to mature. If it was grown in a greenhouse, you would need to gradually accustom it to outdoor conditions.

If you purchased it from outdoor stock, then plant outdoors now.

The sooner the roots are in the ground, the better.

As for how much heat load it can tolerate or not, depends upon where you live. They do fine in coastal California.

who previously gardened for 30-some years in Long Beach, CA

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 2:06PM
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Tammy, I too am confused. Pot or ground? lol.

How tall is your NIP? Either, or, they're slow-growers. A young Norfolk Pine will eventually heighten, but it can take years.

If you wanted a large tree, perhaps you should have purchsed a 3-4 footer. They're available everywhere, including Walmart. Not expensive either.

Norfolks do well in full sun, as long as soil doesn't dry too much and there's moisture in the air. When needles brown and drop, they don't regrow.
I do not suggest pruning upright NIP's. The top will never be the same.

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 2:49PM
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OK Jean

Let me clarify. I want to someday plant it outdoors either in my front or back yard. Of a house I don't own yet. Today, my NIP is in a 4-inch pot, it's small maybe 1 foot high at the moment. I want to plant it in a larger size pot. Where I live I am renting but don't plan on staying here forever. The next home I buy, I will plant the NIP.

I want to know, if I repot into a larger pot, can I keep it in full sun? One day it will be planted in the ground, at a property I own. So, what are the lighting requirements of a small, 4 inch NIP that will soon be transplanted into a much larger pot?

Sorry for the confusion.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 12:56AM
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Not sure these are fully hardy in zone 9.

Also do note that these things can get incredibly tall and have relatively small root systems and are not really a good choice if you're in an area with lots of strong winds.

And that they get pinecones that are roughly the size of pineapples which can be /very/ dangerous when they drop.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 11:54AM
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This is going to go against the grain, but so beit. I have read the experts writing about Norfolk pines and their need for high humidity and not planting in climates over 95 degrees and this, that and the other thing.

Well, 4 years ago, after Christmas, I bought 4 of them at Home Depot, they had marked them down less than half off. At the time I knew nothing about them and so I planted 3 of them in direct sunlight and the 4th I planted in front of my house. I live in Phoenix, AZ btw.

The 3 in direct sunlight died, of course. But the 4th? It's been in the ground for 4 years now. It has endured temperatures as high as 117 degrees. It is VERY dry here most of the year. I water it every other day. It doesn't grow very fast, admittedly, maybe a few inches per year. But, I don't care about that aspect of it, it's an absolutely beautiful tree, growing outside, in the Sonoran desert. It has also withstood a moderate frost - though some of the tips of some of the branches died out during that episode, amazingly, it made a comeback on those branches as well and started growing again!

It is never in direct sunlight - well some portions of branches that grew out got into the direct sunlight and it didn't care for that at all. However, the way this thing is growing, it will just be a small, beautiful tree that does nothing but add to the look of my front yard.

It would be interesting, however, for all the experts (of which I am definitely not) to tell me how all of you say that these trees cannot possibly grow outside, especially in Arizona in the desert? My tree seems to be contradicting that logic.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:00AM
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I am currently keeping my Norfolk in a 6 inch pot and is in a west-facing garden window. I'm misting it daily with a little bit of plant food that I add to the spray bottle (5 drops).

I see there are several NFP's planted in this pot; some have browned up and died. The main plant - the tallest - is growing slowly, as someone said.

So that it is growing, and one day I plan on putting it in the ground to it becomes a full-fledged tree - in the meantime can I pot up?

Thanks for all your advice, TammyPie

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:52AM
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Well it's December 1, 2012 and I still have my small NIP. I did put it outdoors in full sun, now that it's Fall. I noticed that the upper branches faded a little but, so I brought it indoors and put it back where I usually keep it - west facing garden window.

Did I kill it? I mist it ever day and keep the soil semi-moist.

How come there are large NIL growing in my neighborhood in full sun, beautiful and large? If full sun if bad for them and they need partial-shade, you could have fooled me. Why do they grow so good?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:46PM
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My experience with NIP has been that when I buy them in the 4 in pot there are several plants in one pot and i need to prune back or separate the plants or they will surely die within the year.

They also seem to rebound for me when there is a cold or hot blast to them, so hopeully yours will as well. However, I can not stress enough that you will want to separate them if your pot is filled with several little trees. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Today I purchased another with several little trees in one pot. I planted it in a larger pot with new potting mix. Tomorrow I'll separate them out. I'm glad you mentioned this to me.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:14PM
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