norfolk pine

bradleymon at bradleymon at
Mon Jan 24 18:10:37 EST 2000

i, as it appears have many, got my norfolk island pine in a supermarket
before Xmas.  it struck me as being so healthy and full in the store.
it has one very big stalk (4 and a half feet), three fairly thick
secondary stalks (4 feet) and a two cute smaller stalks (2 feet and 1
and a half feet).

we repotted it into only a little larger pot(1 foot in diameter by 1
foot high).

PROBLEM: went away for three weeks and the house sitter didn't water it
at all.  came back and it was dry, drooping and brittle instead of
firm, expansive and rubbery.

SOLUTION: gave it extra water.  bought a humidifier.  realized it
needed to be trimmed.  all dry brown growth is dead! got rid of it. now
the needles and branches are regaining their flexibility and moisture.

QUESTION: should i be trimming this guy more?  there is so much growth
that all the new branches on the sprouting shorter stalks are getting
smushed against the main branches of the plant.

since it's still recovering from underwatering, I'm thinking that all
the foliage is also competing for water and i don't want to overwater
it and risk rotting the roots in the soil.

is it possible to separate the stalks into different pots?  it seems a
shame to sacrifice any of the recovered or the newly emerging growth.
my boyfriend doesn't want to risk traumatizing the plant more by
separating stalks that are probably on the same root ball... but i feel
bad cutting all the growth away or letting it get so tangled on itself.

i've seen discussion about bonzai use and in the movie Being John
Malcovich there was a very trimmed back and beautiful norfolk in his
apartment.  am I supposed to be cutting it all back?

any input much appreciated.  and i definitely recommend a humidifier
for plant problems.  ours are very very happy with it.

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