Look at the wonderful surprise I received late yesterday afternoon from the generous folks at Costa Farms! They are the number one grower and distributor of houseplants in North America and number two in the world, and the Norfolk Island Pine tree they sent is just one of many that they make available to gardeners and homeowners.
The tree resembles a traditional Christmas tree and came already decorated with red balls and a Santa hat! It was just the right size for the conservatory, so thanks to Costa Farms, it too is festive for the holidays.
Norfolk Island Pine trees (Araucaria heterophylla) aren't pine trees at all and are easy to care for, living comfortably in the same environment we do. They're inexpensive and readily available year round in garden centers and stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot, but especially now, since they can be used as a small Christmas tree substitute.
|Looking down on the Norfolk Island Pine tree, it's easy to see how it got another|
of its common names - The Star Tree.
I purchased a larger Norfolk Island Pine as part of a houseplant survey Costa Farms is doing (with funds they provided). Romie wanted to use it for our regular Christmas tree, but we ended up putting that one up, too.
Native to Norfolk Island, a small island in the south Pacific between Australia, New Zealand, and new Caledonia, the tree is hardy to zones 9 to 11 and likes a more humid environment with temperatures around 65 degrees. I keep our large one in the living room, where it gets bright indirect light and it's cooler than the family room, where we spend most of our time.
Thank you, Costa Farms! Happy Holidays to you, too!