When is a Christmas tree not a Christmas tree? When it’s a Norfolk pine. This cheery plant has all the characteristics of a traditional Christmas tree but it’s not actually a pine at all. It will look extremely festive draped in fairy lights in December, but it will make a very handsome houseplant all year round. It looks especially good in Scandinavian inspired interiors.
The Norfolk pine is part of an ancient group of plants called araucariaceceae, which predate even dinosaurs. Norfolk Island, a little territory off the coast of New Zealand, is home to many rare and unusual plants. In fact, of its 174 native plants there are 51 that are not found anywhere else. Native Norfolk pines can grow as tall as 65 metres.
As much as it looks like a Christmas tree, this is a plant used to tropical conditions, so it likes a warm, moist environment. Don’t be tempted to put it outside as it wouldn’t survive a British winter. Keep it inside where it’s cosy and give it lots of light and regular misting. This tree is for life, not just for Christmas.
Did you know?
The Norfolk pine is one of very few plants that can tolerate salt water, because it’s used to being sprayed with sea water. Tolerant doesn’t mean it actually likes it, so please do not give it salt water.