How to Care for a Norfolk Pine Tree


The Norfolk pine tree is an evergreen that is often grown as a houseplant. It is tropical, so requires high humidity---at least 50 percent. As an inside tree, the Norfolk pine's branches are uniform and grow parallel to the ground. When grown outside in tropical climates, it can grow up to 220 feet in height with a 10-foot-wide trunk. The Norfolk pine grows up to 6 inches per year.

Step 1

Place the Norfolk pine tree in a spot that gets indirect sunlight. If you live in a Southern climate where the temperatures do not drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, it makes a perfect enclosed patio plant. The tree's needles turn brown if it gets direct sunlight. Once a branch browns, it does not grow back.

Step 2

Water the pine when the top inch of the soil dries out. The soil must be well-draining, as the Norfolk pine does not tolerate saturated soil. Water thoroughly until the water seeps from the drain holes in the bottom of the container. Remove the water in the drip pan after 15 minutes.

Step 3

Fertilize the Norfolk pine every three to four months with general water-soluble fertilizer, unless the pine is newly purchased or has just been repotted, in which case, fertilize every four to six months for the first year.

Step 4

Repot the Norfolk pine every three to four years. Use any commercially available potting soil. Water the tree at the beginning of the procedure. Add 3 to 4 inches of soil to the bottom of the new pot. Remove the tree from the old pot, then center it in the new pot. If the tree is root bound, cut 4- to 5-inch-deep slits in the root ball, using a sharp knife. Gently tamp soil around the root ball. Water as directed in Step 2.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Sharp knife


  • Purdue: Norfolk Island Pine Needs TLC
  • Colorado State University: Norfolk Island Pine
Keywords: norfolk pine, indoor christmas tree, norfolk pine care

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.