Paulgwog
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:38 am
Location: SE Michigan

Norfolk Island Pine questions

Hello everybody! This is my first post and after reading a bunch of threads, I know you can help me.
My family and I all got these NIP trees and decided to see who can get theirs to grow the fastest. No prizes, only bragging rights. Posts in the Bonzai section say they aren't good for Bonzai so maybe you tree gurus can give a little advice. I've read about the watering/light/soil conditions but I can't seem to find answers to these questions:
First, can I get it to grow quicker if I divide it up? Right now there are six trunks in in the small pot. I know it will still grow with the six, but will it grow faster if I divide it, or do they grow better in these groups?
Next, some say it prefers to be a bit root bound. Some say put it in a 3 gal pot. Any suggestions? Right now its in a 4" pot and about 11" tall.
Next, pruning. Can I prune off a few lower branches to let more energy go into growing it taller? Some say pruning not good, some say pruning OK.
I plan to use flo lights to give it more time to grow, does this plant need a dark period? I don't know too much about tropicals, but I know I will learn a lot from you guys and gals. I live in SE Michigan and will keep it indoors, in as much sun as possible then put it into flo light at night. My parents and sister have an annual tomato grow contest. My parents almost always win and I learned a lot from them, now please help me amaze everyone! Haha! Thanks for ALL of your posts, past, present and future. You will never know how many people you have taught, but I know its more than a bunch.
Not a green thumb yet, but it is a bit brown...*sigh*

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sean117Ply
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:36 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

They are definitly an odd tree, they are very popular here in Australia because they can tolerate are summer droughts. I think you should seperate them because they will grow to their proper shape because the are a very formal tree.

Any tree wil grow faster if it's in a bigger pot or ground, plants that have limited root space grow slower and smaller e.g. bonsai.

Pruning is a tough one they have a formal shape so you must be careful when pruning not to ruin it. You can cut the lower branches off so it sends more energy to the top.

They don't need a dark period, but they hate harsh winters (the cold frosty conditions make them grow retarded) They also love a sandy soil.

hope this helps
-Sean

Paulgwog
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:38 am
Location: SE Michigan

Yes, it helps a lot. I'm off to the garden center to buy pots and soil. Thank you for your ideas, have a g'day! :)
Not a green thumb yet, but it is a bit brown...*sigh*

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