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ARAUCARIA (Norfolk Island Pine, Money Puzzle, Star Pine) Araucariaceae A. heterophylla A. excelsa & species

HABITAT: South Pacific, South America, Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia.

USES: House plants, tubs, Christmas tree, patio specimen.

HABIT: Generally fast growing evergreen trees with branches covered 1/2" needles dependent upon species. Branches are (A. heterophylla) born outward in tiers along the stems. Height and habit dependent upon species. Most are easily controlled in pots and other containers for the home or greenhouse.

SEED GERMINATION AND CULTURE: For best results, sow indoors in spring in sandy soil mix. Barely cover the seed and germinate at a soil temperature of 50-55 degrees, covering seed flat with a sheet of glass to hold in humidity. Keep seed moist during the germination period; remove glass when seed germinates, then transplant when large enough to handle to peat pots or pellets; shifting to larger pots when roots emerge from the pot walls.

Pot up in a commercially prepared soil mix or equal parts of peat moss, leaf mold, and perlite/vermiculite. To each gallon of homemade mix, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of 20% super-phosphate, 1 tablespoon ground limestone, and 2 teaspoons of 5-10-5 fertilizer. Keep the soil barely moist and feed established plants every 3-4 months with a house plant fertilizer. Do not feed newly purchased plants for 4-6 months to allow them to acclimate to new surroundings. Re-pot when overcrowded (about every 3-4 years). Grow in bright, indirect light or under fluorescent lights (14 hours per day) with night temperatures of 50-55 degrees and day temperatures of 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants will, however, tolerate 45-85 degrees easily.

SPECIES: A. araucana = A. imbricata (hardy monkey puzzle): 50-100 feet. Resinous bark with rope-like branchlets. Dark green, thick, leathery, sharp-pointed leaves. Slow growing. Zone 7. South America.
A. augustifolia: South America.
A. bidwillii (bunya bunya pine): Long dark green, sharp-pointed leaves and large cones. Slow growing to 160 feet. The glossy needles have parallel sunken veins. Queensland.
A. cunninghamii (hoop pine).
A. excelsa = a. heterophylla.
A. heterophylla = A. excelsa (Norfolk Island Pine, Star Pine, Christmas Tree Plant): Evergreen. Pyramidal to 200 feet. Tiers of 5-7 branches parallel to ground. Awl-shaped, overlapping, soft needles. Tolerant to sun or shade. Tolerant to heat or cold. Norfolk Island.
A. imbricata = a. araucana.

INSECTS: Aphids, Mealy Bug, Scale: Use an approved insecticidesuch as Malathion.

DISEASES: Crown Gall: Destroy infected plants. Control disease with Malathion.
Leaf Spot: Spray with Bordeaux Mixture, Captan, Fermate. Destroy infected leaves.
Blight: Collect and burn fallen needles. Prune out and burn dead twigs. Water during drought. Fertilize trees in fall or early spring. Spray new growth when the candles are 1/4" emerged. Repeat 2, 4, 6 weeks later with Zineb, Maneb, or Bordeaux Mixture.

PROPAGATION: Cuttings, air layering, seeds.