The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Arauceriaceae.

Araucaria heterophylla (Araucaria excelsa) Common name(s): Norfolk island palm
Araucaria Genus of 18 species of evergreen, coniferous trees from tropical rainforest with a pronounced dry season in New Guinea, Australia, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, and Brazil. Araucaria heterophylla is the only species sold as s house plant. It is a slow-growing tree. The leaves are spirally arranged and are usually broadly triangular to needle-like. Male and female cones are green, maturing to brown, and are normally produced on separate trees. The female cones are spherical, ovoid or ellipsoid. The male cone are conical or cylindrical. Araucaria will grow to about 5 ft. Keep it pot-bound to restrict growth. Araucaria
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer.Keep cool in winter.Semi-shade or bright light - avoid summer sun. Grow in soil-based potting mix. Water regularly from spring to autumn. Water sparingly in winter. Mist leaves occasionally, especially if room is heated in winter. Ventilate in summer. Difficult - best to buy plants. Sow seed as soon as ripe. Take cuttings, 3-4 in (7-10 cm) long, of vertical shoot tips at midsummer and root in a cold frame. Cuttings of the horizontal side branches will never form an erect tree.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

27th Dec 2006
I just got one from a friend and we didnt know the name and how to take care of it. Thank you for the pictures, this way i found it and can care for it as needed. it is a lovely little tree and smells good. Thank you:)
23rd Jan 2008
My Araucaria is becoming very dry and brittle. I replanted it in a pot over the X-mas holidays, and I water it about every other week. Am I over watering it? What am I doing wrong?
13th May 2008
I have owned this plant for years. I trim the branches back, once a year, otherwise they will droop. I thought I needed a bigger pot, thankfully, I can keep it from getting any bigger, ours is about 5 ft, if I don't move it into a larger pot. I water it every other week in the winter, and every 3-4 days (1/2 the water I use in winter) in the summer because it is in a hot room. It makes a great Christmas tree! I used few, lightweight ornaments. You can tell if you are underwatering by the feel of the lower (older) branches. They will start to dry out and brown.
14th May 2008
I need help, I made the mistake of putting mine outside and forgot it, kinda cold. Now the plant is primarily brown and leaves falling. How can I save it.
It is very precious to me, one of the last thing received by my deceased mom.
Thanks for any help you can give me
15th Aug 2009
i have one of aracaria since three month i did not water it, now became dry or semi dead if there a chance to live again ? please
10th Jun 2010
I grew this plant from a seed in my college plant bio class. It was a lucky (and beautiful) germination for sure! It's now happily growing near a window in my dining room. I give this plant lots of attention, and I would advise others to do so as well. Misting and rotating is necessary to keep everything happy and growing into good shape. My plant seems to prefer if things are kept rather moist. Also, feed very very minimally! Good luck and happy growing.
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