Costa Farms Shares Expert Tips for Decorating With the Norfolk Island Pine This Holiday Season

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Decorate these miniature trees for the holidays and throughout the seasons.

The NIP is a perfect holiday decoration, especially for those who don't have room for a large Christmas tree

Treasured for its dark green needles and well-spaced branches, Norfolk Island pine is a dream to decorate. The plant’s foliage is soft to the touch, and there’s plenty of room for twinkling lights and lightweight ornaments.

The holidays are here, which means tinsel, twinkle lights and holiday ornaments are being dusted off and readied for display. While most holiday décor has a short life span, one item can be enjoyed year-round: the Norfolk Island pine.

“Unlike traditional Christmas trees such as balsam fir or Scots pine, Norfolk Island pine doesn't tolerate cold weather, so it’s grown as an indoor plant that can be enjoyed in the home long after the holidays have ended,” says Doug Jimerson, garden expert from Costa Farms.

Treasured for its dark green needles and well-spaced branches, Norfolk Island pine is a dream to decorate. The plant’s foliage is soft to the touch, and there’s plenty of room for twinkling lights and lightweight ornaments.

Christmas isn’t the only time of year to decorate with Norfolk Island pines. Jimerson shares his ideas for four seasons of decorating.

WINTER
This Christmas, instead of putting the gifts under the tree, why not decorate with them? Hang colorful, dangly earrings as ornaments and let guests choose their own gifts. Lightweight costume jewelry makes excellent ornaments. Use a strand of glittery eyelash yarn as a garland.

SPRING
To celebrate spring, attach lightweight bird ornaments to the branches of a Norfolk pine. Wrap the pot with a vintage linen tablecloth, and scatter colorful plastic eggs, bird’s nests, bunnies, and lambs around the base. Insert a “welcome” card to make visitors feel right at home when they come through the front door. Use a strand of Bunny Tail yarn as a garland.

SUMMER
Make a Fourth of July party extra special with a Norfolk Island pine dressed up in America’s finest. Put a pine in a red metal bucket and use it as a bold centerpiece on the drink or dessert table. Attach flag pins and starry decals to capture the holiday spirit.

FALL
In fall, create a warm, woodsy look with Norfolk Island pine. In this large red pot, two Norfolk Pines are showcased on a fieldstone hearth. (NOTE: Always keep plants away from the heat of the fire.) The soil beneath the pines is camouflaged with a mulch of pinecones harvested from the nearby forest. Brightly colored gourds finish off the scene.

Pine Pointers
Norfolk Island pine is easy to care for. All it requires is thorough watering whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Although it’ll survive almost anywhere, it prefers a moist atmosphere, so mist it often or place it on a pebble-filled tray with water.

Although Norfolk Island pine can tolerate partial sunlight, it does best where it gets a few hours of direct sun a day. Lower branches are also less likely to die back if the sun shines on the entire tree. Turn your plant weekly to prevent it from leaning towards the light.

During the summer, Norfolk Island pine can enjoy a vacation outdoors. Place it in a protected spot where it isn’t cooked by the direct sun and water at least once a week. If your plant gets too big for its container, summer is also a great time to transplant to a larger pot. Use a quality commercial potting soil and be sure the new pot has adequate drainage holes in the bottom.

To learn more about the Norfolk Island pine, visit http://www.costafarms.com.

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Stacey Pierson
Garden Media Group

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