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Norfolk Island Pine

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Question: 48-5201
My Norfolk Island Pine is all bare at the bottom. It is in a 12 inch pot and does not show any sign of insects. It has been in the same pot since I purchased it 5 years ago. It is now 5 feet tall. What can I do to make it fill out. Marge, Westerly, RI

Mort's Answer:
You first priority would be to put it in a 14 inch pot. Mix potting soil with a third sand for the additional soil. If there is any black or brown root, cut it off. Scarify the old soil to prevent a barrier between the old and new. You can cut some of the lower branches at the tips. Eventually, the new shoots will begin to come back on the lower branches. Add a tablespoon of fertilizer to the top of the soil in three months. This will allow the roots to acclimate to the new pot and soil. When the new shoots appear, you can cut the rest of the lower branches at the tips. Araucaria excelsa requires cool temps and partial shade to do its best.

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