In past weeks we’ve told you how to care for two more-or-less traditional holiday plants, the Christmas tree and Christmas cactus. But how do you celebrate if you’re starting from scratch, tradition-wise, in a small space? Or maybe your flight was canceled at the last minute, and you now find yourself faced with the prospect of celebrating in a mostly undecorated home?
The answer may be a Norfolk Island pine. Hailing from the windswept island of Norfolk in the South Pacific, the tree has been embraced by many as a small-space alternative to towering firs and prickly cacti. Like the one you see here, you’ll find Norfolk Island pines already decorated for Christmas in Home Depot stores.Which by no means should discourage you from adding decorations that give it your own personal flair.
As an outdoor plant, the Norfolk Island pine needs sunnier climes, so don’t plan on replanting it unless you live in USDA Zone 9 or above. Fortunately, the pine is a slow-grower, and serves well as a potted shrub. Just make sure to water it several times a week and put it where it will receive plenty of sun. If you have a patio or porch, you might move the tree’s container outdoors once the nighttime temperature climbs into the 60s or higher.
Does your Christmas tradition involve plants beyond the classic trees and garlands? Leave us a comment and tell us all about it.
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