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How To Look After Your Pot-Grown Norfolk Pine Christmas Tree

Written by James, Plant Lover

Fresh cut Christmas trees and artificial trees are so last year. Get with the times and switch up to something far more eco-friendly and versatile. A pot-grown Christmas tree, like the majestic Norfolk Island pine, will flourish in your home, last for many Christmases to come and make the festive season that little bit greener.

Norfolk pine

Norfolk pine mini Christmas plant care guide

One of our favourite things about the Norfolk Island pine is that it’s technically a tropical plant, so you can treat it like a houseplant all year round if you wish (we talk about this in detail later on). Because who actually likes having to put away the Christmas tree in January when you have mince pie fatigue?

Need another reason to ditch the unsustainable trees? We’ve got you. Pot-grown trees do something that artificial and cut trees do not–they grow! How wonderful would it be to watch your tree transform with every passing Christmas? In our humble opinion, it adds that special spark of festive magic to the holidays.

Once the festivities are over, cut trees are thrown out and sent to landfill. It’s estimated that the UK alone dumps 160,000 tonnes of trees each January. You may think artificial trees are a better option, but think again. A two-metre tree made from plastic has a carbon footprint measuring around 40 kg of CO2, more than ten times greater than a properly disposed of cut tree.

There’s truly nothing better than bringing nature into your home at Christmas, and what better way to do that than with a tree like the Norfolk Island pine? It gives off a fresh, piney aroma that will catapult you into the holiday spirit. Also, as potted trees are much heavier than cut trees, buying a mini version means you can still transport it from indoors to outdoors with ease.

So, all in all, mini Christmas trees are a simple and cute option for festive-ifying your home, especially if you have limited space. All you need to do is add some warm fairy lights, light baubles and voilà–you have the perfect tree that even Santa himself would approve of.

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How to care for your Norfolk Island pine

The Norfolk Island pine is quite a forgiving plant, so with just a little TLC, you can keep it thriving for many Christmases to come. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your unique, beautiful, pot-grown Norfolk Island pine.

1. Find the perfect spot

The Norfolk Island pine thrives in bright indirect light (occasional direct sunlight can be good, too) and high humidity, just like many tropical plants. If you have a humidifier, place the tree nearby. If you don’t, try placing the plant on a pebble tray of water or regularly misting it. Your Norfolk Island pine will not fare well if placed near a radiator, fireplace, or an intense draught (they don’t particularly like the cold). A south-facing window would be ideal.

2. Water correctly

Overwatering is a prevalent problem in the plant world as it’s such an easy mistake to make. The Norfolk Island pine prefers the soil to remain semi-moist between watering; however, if you think you’re at risk of overwatering, you can let the soil dry out slightly before you give your tree a good drink. To check if your plant is thirsty, stick your finger in the soil, and if the top layers are dry, it’s time to water. Signs of overwatering include yellowing/browning, softening stem and dropping needles. Signs of underwatering include browning and crisping or curling needles.

3. Know when to repot

The Norfolk Island pine is a slow grower, so you should only need to repot it every two-four years. When that time comes, you should wait until the growing season to do so (spring and summer) and transplant your tree into a pot that’s only a couple of inches bigger. According to Hunker, signs that it’s time to repot include: becoming top-heavy, if water instantly runs out of the drain holes when watering, and roots growing out of the drain holes. Follow our guide on repotting for more info.

4. Fertilise during the growing season

Regular fertilising during the growing season will ensure your mini tree is strong and resilient for the rest of the year. Fertilising strengthens roots, corrects deficiencies and provides the tree with the necessary nutrients to keep it thriving.

Christmas trees tribeandus

What to do with your pot-grown Norfolk Pine after Christmas

One of the greatest things about your Norfolk Island pine is that you needn’t throw it away once Christmas is done. Instead, it can remain in its pot, inside or outside, to be reused next year.

Keeping your tree inside

As the Norfolk Island pine is a tropical plant, you can keep it as a houseplant all year round. However, as with any houseplant, you must try to replicate the plant’s natural habitat to ensure it stays healthy and happy.

Planting your tree outside

If you’d like to keep your tree outside during the warmer months, we’d advise keeping it in the container instead of planting directly in the soil, as digging it up again at Christmas may put too much stress on the roots. Before placing it outside, ensure there’s no risk of any frost. Also, the Norfolk Island pine shouldn’t sit in the sun for too long, so a partially shaded spot will be perfect during the warmer months.

Looking for a pot-grown mini tree for Christmas this year?

A pot-grown mini Christmas tree is a lovely way to bring festive cheer into your home without making room for a full-grown one. However, if you’re looking for another tree to spruce up your home at Christmas, our blue spruce makes a great alternative to the Norfolk Island pine, and you can also use it year after year.

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