Question: I have a Norfolk Island pine. It’s beautiful, but it has grown too tall for our living room. It also is dropping many of its lowest branches. What do we do now? Can we plant it outdoors?

Answer: In their native homes, Norfolk Island pines grow to be very large trees, often taller than 50 feet. Most living room ceilings are far lower than that, so our houseplant Norfolk Island pines are really living on borrowed time. Once they get too tall, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do. If you trim them back you’ll ruin their shape. The lower leaf drop is caused by lack of available light. It sounds like you need to find a greenhouse or bank lobby that needs a tall plant. The only place Norfolk Island pines grow outdoors in Texas is in the very tip of the Rio Grande Valley, and even there, occasional freezes will kill them.

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