Add an extra level of cheer to your holidays with an attractive Norfolk Island pine. You can feel good about having this living Christmas tree: It looks beautiful and effectively filters harmful pollutants from the air – making your home safer for your family. Norfolk Island pine is a gift that keeps on giving, too: It’s a wonderful, easy-care houseplant after the holidays; use on tabletops or windowsills in your living room, family room or even your bedroom.
Just grow Norfolk Island pine in a medium to bright spot and water enough that just the top inch or so of the soil dries before you water it again. (If in doubt, keep it a little on the dry side; Norfolk Island pine would rather be thirsty than sitting in wet soil all the time.) In many homes this is about once a week, but because conditions vary, it’s best to check the moisture level with your finger before watering. Norfolk Island pines are not poisonous, so they’re safe to have around children and pets, though it’s always best to keep kids and critters from nibbling on plants.
Norfolk Island pine offers a fun history, too.
- The tree is native to an island (Norfolk Island, as you might guess!) off the coast of Australia and was discovered by famed sea Captain James Cook in the 1700s.
- Norfolk Island pine found its way to Hawaii — where it’s now grown in plantations.
- Costa Farms, the world’s largest grower of Norfolk Island pines, harvests seeds from the tops of these 200-foot-tall trees. The seed is sent to their farm in Miami, where it’s planted by hand; the seedlings grow for two or three years before the pines are big enough to send out to stores everywhere.