Q. How should I take care of it of a Wollemi pine?
You are the lucky owner of a rare evergreen conifer (Wollemia nobilis). It is, in fact, not a pine but a member of the Araucariaceae family (along with the Norfolk Island pine and the monkey puzzle tree). It was only discovered in 1994 in a rain forest west of Sydney, Australia. Only about 100 trees exist in the wild, but it has now been propagated and is available for gardeners to grow in their gardens, thus helping to preserve a rare species. W. nobilis (named after the discoverer, David Noble) is a very ancient species of tree that was known only from the fossil record before its recent discovery.
The Wollemi pine can be grown in a wide range of temperatures (23°F to 110°F) and soil types. It does not tolerate strong sun and so is best grown in a semi-shaded area. It can be grown either as an indoor/outdoor potted plant or outdoors in an area that does not get too cold.
A potted plant should be watered carefully. Water only when the top 2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. It should be fertilized with a granular slow-release (preferably low phosphorus) fertilizer. As an outdoor plant Wollemi pine can be grown as a specimen tree, in groves, or even as a hedge. The tree will eventually grow to a height of 60-70 feet, so small trees should be planted about 8-10 feet apart when grown in a grove. The tree requires well-drained soil and will not tolerate continuously moist or wet soils. More information can be obtained from Wollemi Australia Ltd.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service