How to Transplant Norfolk Pine Potted Trees

Overview

Norfolk pines, also known as Norfolk Island pines and Australian pines, are coniferous trees well suited for growth in warm climates. The deep green foliage and draping branches of the evergreen, which can reach heights of over 200 feet, make it a wonderful visual addition to outdoor areas that provide adequate room for growth. Norfolk pines make good container plants for adorning patios, screened porches or sun rooms. During the holidays, decorate it as an indoor Christmas tree.

Outdoor Transplanting

Step 1

Select an area where the Norfolk pine will receive sun or partial shade and soil that provides proper drainage. Outdoor Norfolk pines prefer temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees F and do best in planting zones 10 and 11. Prepare the area by digging a hole at least 2 to 3 inches wider than the width of the root ball. Dig the hole deep enough to accommodate the root ball while keeping the top of the ball at ground level.

Step 2

Remove the pine tree from its container and place into the prepared hole. Use the gardening spade and bucket to mix the soil from the hole with nutrient-enhanced potting soil. Scoop the mixture into the hole approximately half full. Use your hand to distribute the mixture around and under the root ball. Gently press the soil to remove air pockets. Continue adding soil to the top of the hole. Press the soil to remove air and compact the soil around the root ball. Add additional soil mixture until the hole is completely filled in.

Step 3

Apply enough water to the tree to moisten the soil without oversaturation. If necessary, add another layer of potting soil once the water has absorbed into the ground.

Step 4

Place a stake equivalent to the tree's height next to the tree base and secure with twine or twist ties in several areas from base to near the tip. The stake acts as a support to prevent the tree from leaning. Add a layer of mulch around the circumference of the tree, allowing at least 2 inches between the base of the tree and the mulch to prevent moisture buildup, which can result in root and stem rot.

Container Transplanting

Step 1

Transplanting Norfolk pines to larger containers prompts the pine to grow. Keeping the tree in the same-sized container suppresses growth, allowing the tree to be maintained as an indoor tree.

Step 2

Prepare the new container, which should have adequate drainage holes, with a layer of small stones or pebbles to encourage drainage. Fill the container half full with a quality, nutrient-rich potting soil. Remove tree from its old container and place into the new container, filling in and around the root ball with potting soil.

Step 3

Fill the remaining area around the tree with potting soil until the root ball is covered. Press soil into place and water liberally. If the container sits in a container dish, once the water has filtered and drained into the dish, remove and empty it to prevent oversaturation.

Step 4

Place pine in a sunny location. Keep the soil moist, add fertilizer every two to three months and periodically mist the tree branches, especially during winter when indoor heating is in use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Norfolk pines are shallow-rooted trees that may topple over if exposed to sustained high winds. Do not transplant Norfolk pines under electric or phone wires.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Garden shovel
  • Gardening spade
  • Potting soil
  • Bucket
  • Stake
  • Twine
  • Mulch
  • Container
  • Stones or pebbles

References

  • University of Florida: Norfolk Island Pine Production Guide
  • University of Arkansas: Plant of the Week: Norfolk Island Pine
  • Floridata: Araucaria heterophylla

Who Can Help

  • United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: Norfolk Island pine, Norfolk pine, transplanting Norfolk pine

About this Author

Vickie Ferguson began freelancing in1998 and hasn't put the pen down since. Her editorial stints have included working as a reviewer, managing editor and senior managing editor. She writes for several websites and covers a range of topics, including travel guides, gardening, home d├ęcor, crafts, pets and wildlife. Ferguson specializes in flower craft articles and has worked in the flower craft business for some time.