The Norfolk Island Pine is the common name for Araucaria heterophylla and is surprisingly not a true pine at all but actually an evergreen conifer. This triangular tree with its sparsely spaced branches and tall straight trunk originated on Norfolk Island, as its name implies. Norfolk Island is located in the South Pacific Ocean near New Zealand. This stoic and steadfast tree was first discovered by Captain James Cook during an expedition in the 1700s.
The Norfolk Pine was soon cultivated and grown outdoors as an ornamental in subtropical climates such as Hawaii and South Florida. Its saplings have now become very popular and are known as the other living Christmas tree. These hearty trees bring a convenient touch of cheer to holiday decor around the world. They can be decorated with lightweight ornaments for the Christmas season, but the best part is that the joy has just begun. That being said, you probably won’t find a Norfolk Island Pine for sale at a Christmas tree lot.
These trees are relatively adaptable to a variety of climates and will grow for years to come if given just a little tender loving care. This plant grows best with medium-light exposure and it prefers bright indirect light. It can also tolerate a couple of hours of direct sunlight per day. If you’d like to give your plant a little extra boost during the summer months, some people move their Norfolk Pines outdoors to a shaded or partially spot. This can result in a luscious burst of new growth. If this lovely plant does not receive enough sunlight it may lose fullness and become weak or frail. In addition, if this plant is lacking light (artificial or natural) it may start to thin out and lean towards the sun, straying from its characteristically straight truck feature.