Return to the House Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

Posted by rosebuddy z4Ont (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 30, 06 at 17:56

I have been growing a Norfolk Island Pine in my terrarium where it has been very happy. Right now it's about an inch and a half away from the top of the terrarium. I know it is still a way from actually hitting the top, but I'd love to keep it where it's doing so well and am wondering if I will be able to prune off the tops when the time comes that it gets too tall. I've had these plants as just houseplants, and haven't had great luck with them in normal conditions. My guess is a big No, but am hoping my instinct is wrong.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

My guess is that your instinct is absolutely right. Top pruning would permanently deform this plant, wouldn't it? It just never occurred to me that any Araucaria might be a candidate for terrarium culture, so I'm fascinated by the concept. Is your container quite huge?


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

It's an old 29 gallon fish aquarium (which I turned into a terrarium to justify the cost of moving my fish to a 55 gallon tank). Probably 18 inches high by 2 1/2 feet long. I put the pine in as a fairly young plant, actually just more than a seedling. I keep it in a pot which I bury, just to try to keep it small, but as I say, it's so happy in there that I'll have to take it out unless I can prune it back.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

Rose, you really can't prune a Norfolk Pine..it'll get side branches instead of upright needles. Toni


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

It will form a new leader, which will take the place of the old growing point. It will never look quite right, and you'll not accomplish anything by cutting it back.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

Unfortunately, it will look deformed if you "top" it. Truly you are better off to take it out of the terrarium than to prune it.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

Thanks for the replies! I'm just worried that I'll end up killing it by moving it out of its home to a much drier location even if I put it on a pepple tray. So, not to gnaw an old bone too much, but would I actually do damage to its health by cutting off the tops? I understand now that it would be deformed, but could I shape it into a shrub? Just thinking ahead, it's still fine for awhile.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

No. This is one plant that will not respond well to the constant removal of the main growing point. Remove it from the terrarium and transplant it. It will do fine; they aren't that fragile.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

Agreed. A key feature of plants that do well when pruned into shrub form, is that they will produce multiple growing points when pruned. That is why they look bushy or shrub-like. An NIP will not do that, it will keep producing that single central leader. I'm inclined to think that constantly removing that will have a detrimental effect on the plants health in the long run.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

I have a 6 foot Norfolk pine with about three inch Trunk diameter, I have been top pruning for the past 3 years so I can still bring it in during the winter months, I will have to start to prune the branches because they are continuing to grow out and are as long as the tree is tall. They have sprouts coming out of the branches forming new branches, the thing looks like a natural umbrella, all the lower branches have fallen off. It is about 20 years old, I'm trying to see if I can get it to produces cones. it tries to produce bubs at the top cutting every few weeks, I just scrape them with my finger nail when I see them.


 o
RE: Can Norfolk Island Pines be pruned?

buds not bubs


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the House Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here