Many people who often walk through the forest can be seen the wonderful “Norfolk Island pine” - Araucaria.
This is one of the representatives of coniferous trees, which are grown in the home.
We will tell you in detail - Araucaria care at home, Norfolk Island pine species and propagation methods.
Motherland of the tree is New Zealand, but the plant can be seen in Chile, South America, the Andes, Australia, and Argentina.
The family is several species and cultivated only Araucaria heterophylla.
In the wild, Araucaria reaches 15-16 meters in height, but in home conditions grows up to 1.5 m.
Araucarias look very similar to the spruce, where the branches with small needles are light green bright color.
The flower is very beautiful and always looks wonderful in the home or apartment.
Araucaria (Norfolk Island Pine) - home Care
Care Araucaria indoors is not difficult. You must hold a moderate temperature and provide fresh air. Let’s consider in detail the care of Norfolk Pine Island.
You need provide bright room lighting for Araucaria, but direct sunlight can burn the leaves.
A place for the plant, is selected on the window sill, where there is no strong sun or artificially is provide shade. Also, it is put in a shady corner of the apartment.
The branches of pine trees are constantly growing towards the light. For symmetrical crown, sometimes you need to rotate the pot, each time shifting a few degrees in the direction of the light source.
Araucaria prefers moderate or cool temperatures. In summer, the optimum temperature inside should be 15-20 ° C and in winter from 10 to 12 ° C. But the tree feels well at 5 ° C. You can occasionally put out a flower, if you have a winter garden or a glazed loggia with a temperature of 5-7 degrees.
The apartments where there is central heating, it is necessary to constantly monitor the temperature and humidity, especially if the heat source is near the tree. The heat from heating radiators and dry air adversely affects the growth of the tree.
The plants during the winter period need to spray several times per day. Norfolk Island pine in the summer also is sprayed with soft water, especially on hot days. With the lack of humidity, flower turns yellow and falls off the needles.
Soil consists of components for indoor plants. It is advisable to add a bit of peat with acid reaction. You can independently prepare the ground for araucaria. Take equal proportions of turf and ground sheet, peat and sand.
Another option: Take in equal proportions of leaf earth, coarse sand and peat land. Do not forget to make a good drainage of pebbles, stones or expanded clay. On the soil is placed sphagnum moss which long will keeping it moisture. This will prevent a fast drying of the soil.
The plant is watered frequently, but the water must not stagnate in the pot. From spring to autumn watering is increased. Land must be maintained in a wet state. Norfolk Island Pine during the winter period is watered less often, but watches out for soil moisture. The water is used soft at room temperature.
Repotting is necessary to spend when an ornamental conifer has grown a bit of - on the third or fourth year of life. Tree is transplanted in acidic soil with drainage at the bottom. Pot is selected slightly larger than the previous. Better to use purchased soil for conifers.
Norfolk Pine is propagated in two ways - by seeds and cuttings.
Reproduction by seeds: If you choose reproduce using seeds you need to immediately after of their maturation is planted in pots with soil (composition above).
The pots are covered with sphagnum moss and are sprayed with water after seeding. The soil constantly is kept wet.
The temperature should be 18 - 20 degrees. Seedlings are ventilated once a day. First sprouts should appear after 14 days. But it is not excluded that this may happen after 2 months. When the seedlings will become stronger and roots completely fill out the earth they are transplanted into a large pot.
Reproduction by cuttings: Cuttings are on top of araucaria. The stalks are cut off by 3 - 4 cm below the whorl in a place where it is a little woody.
Cut stalks are dried for a day and then it is cleaned from resin.
Further cutting is processed with special stimulator for a better rooting and is placed in a pot with moist substrate. Seedling should be covered with a glass flask. Temperature conditions 24 - 26 degrees.
Cuttings as well as seedlings regularly are sprayed and aired.
Usually the rooting takes place from 2 to 5 months. Araucaria can be transplanted to a permanent pot when the roots are entrenched.
Fertilizer for Araucaria must contain calcium. Norfolk Island pine are fertilized every two weeks from spring to autumn.
Pests and diseases
Ornamental coniferous tree rarely is attacked pests. Often, is attacking root beetle (lower branches are beginning fade) or mealybug. For the destruction of insects is treated with surface by special means.
Difficulties at cultivation of Araucaria
You must constantly monitor the temperature and humidity of the air. Otherwise, the plant will die.
Yellowing needles and dry branches - these are the first signs of a lack of moisture or temperature is too high.
Dropping of needles indicates the soil dries.
The deformation of the trunk - it is improper lighting. You need to rotate the pot more often.
New branches grow are too thin if the insufficient fertilizer.
Excess calcium contributes to slowing growth.
Araucaria (Norfolk Island pine) – types
Columnar tree: Habitats tree New Hebrides and New Caledonia. A tree is covered foliage from top to bottom, and it looks like the narrow column. There are short whorled branches which grow from the trunk at a right angle. Fruits like bumps with an oblong shape and a length of 10 cm. The soft needles have a length of up to 2 cm and densely are growing on the tree. This species prefers to grow in greenhouses with tropical climate.
Angustifolia or Brazilian. Homeland is southern part of Brazil. The height of the tree in nature reaches incredible heights of over 50 m. Thin branches which hanging down. There are leaves bright green color up to 5 cm in length. It is grown in high greenhouses. But the height of the tree in greenhouses does not exceed 2-3 m. The plant is often used in various industries: manufacturing of furniture is, as a building material, decoration.
Heterophylla. Homeland plant is Norfolk Island. Height spruce reaches 60-65 m. Its krone resembles a pyramid. The branches are growing from the trunk at a right angle. Needles up to 2 cm, by feel they are soft and silky, tightly are growing, light green color.
Chilean Araucaria (araucana). It lives in Chile and Argentina. Its height in the natural environment may be greater than 60 m and a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 m. There is a pyramidal crown that starts from the base of the tree. The branches are arranged horizontally to the ground and at the end they are slightly hanging down. There's part of the lower branches over time dry out and krone remains only in the upper part of the tree. The needles are a green-yellow color, prickly and densely grow in a spiral. The form of needles is whorled. Araucaria dwells in subtropical regions with moderate or high humidity. It is resistant to temperature changes.
The fruit is edible and have their used as food. They are nutritious and beneficial, contain a lot of vitamins and taste good. The seeds can be used as raw or lightly browned.
Norfolk Pine because of its peculiar white color is widely used as a building material, facing furniture, manufacturing scenery. In cool latitudes, it can be found only in greenhouses and botanical parks.