How To Grow Norfolk Island Pine Plants In Containers

Norfolk Island Pines are often sold as mini-Christmas trees throughout the Christian world. These miniature Christmas trees are often decorated with ribbons or tiny ornaments and sold in the nursery trade. But, have you ever thought in growing your own pine tree instead of spending money on it? Planting a pine tree in containers is not a difficult task. Plus, you’ll proudly enjoy its beautiful growth after several years.

Why growing Norfolk Island Pine trees in pots?

Well, this specie adapts very well growing in a container and most climates. So, you don’t have to worry about plant’s death during the warm or hot season. This evergreen specie is well-suited for container growth because it requires less food and nutrients, and they are very tolerant with root restriction.

Growing Norfolk Pine Trees in containers:


Pine trees require a different growing medium in containers than they do in the wild. The key components of a good medium for pine trees are water holding capacity, porosity and weight. Pine trees in containers require a medium that is lightweight, allows adequate air flow and drainage and has the ability to retain water.

Potting Mix

A combination of compost and perlite or pumice is the best potting mix for Norfolk Pine Trees. One part perlite or pumice and two parts compost will ensure that the mixture drains well but also retains water long enough for the roots to absorb it.

Pot Selection

You need a pot that is twice the width and depth of the root ball in the nursery pot. The rule of thumb for potting trees is 1 foot of diameter for every 4 feet of tree height. Clay pots dry out faster than plastic ones, but clay pots are also much heavier, making them perfect for windy days – if you plan to keep it outdoors.


Remove the nursery plant from its pot and loosen the roots gently. Put it back in the nursery pot and add enough soil beneath the root ball to bring the root ball in line with the top of the pot. Tamp the soil gently, not firmly around the tree. Leave about an inch between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot for watering the tree.


Norfolk pine trees prefer several hours of direct, bright light, such as the type of light that can be found in a south-facing window, but they will also tolerate full indirect, bright light as well.


Water the tree when the top inch of soil is dry. Water it deeply, until water runs out the bottom of the pot and discard any water in the collection tray, if there is one.


Repot the pine in a larger container in springtime. Some gardening specialists recommends removing the tree from its pot and pruning back the roots by a third then putting it back in the pot. If you’re repotting it in a larger container, remember the rule of thumb: 1 foot of diameter for every 4 feet of tree height.

Important! Protect the potted tree from cold by moving it to a cold greenhouse or unheated porch, or wrapping the pot in blankets.

Encourage Potted Norfolk Pine Trees To Grow Faster


  • Collect a small amount of soil from where the tree is growing.
  • Examine the condition of the needles.
  • Test the pH level of the soil using your pH probe.
  • Examine the soil for signs of excessive dryness.
  • Inspect the area around the tree.
  • Wait a few weeks and observe any changes in the tree’s growth habits.


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