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Caring for a Six Trunk Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island PineAsk The Plant Expert:Just bought a Norfolk Island Pine…actually six trunks…three feet high for Christmas. Read your YouTube article and wish to thank you. Would you mind telling me if I can or should separate the clump of six, or will they need to remain together? Can the plant(s) be safely re-potted as you usually re-pot plants, or is there something special I need to know? I live in Austin, Texas in an apartment with a nice patio where it should do well until summer, at which time it will need to come inside.

Thank you, Georgia Willis

Plant Expert Reply:


How very unusual. I haven’t seen one with six trunks. Whether you have three or six trunks, the recommendation would be the same, do not try to separate the trunks. If the plant seems happy in the current container leave it alone. However, you will need to make sure that the container allows for proper drainage. If you need to re-pot the plant, choose a container with a good drain hole that is 1 1/2 times larger than the current pot. Fill the pot with a general purpose houseplant potting soil so that the top of the current rootball is about 1/2″ to 3/4″ from the top of the new container. Do not add soil to the top of the rootball; simply fill in around the sides, then water thoroughly. For more care instruction, you can check out our Northfolk Island Pine page.

Hope this information was helpful.

Jamie Jamison Adams


  1. Denise Munguia says:

    I have a lucky bamboo and its doing good! However my cat broke part of it and I’m getting it to re grow part of it and its actually growing roots! My question is, can I use small sea shells instead of rocks or marbles? Thank you !

  2. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Denise,
    The seashells should be fine, just make sure to wash them really well with hot soapy water, and rinse thoroughly.

  3. I have a Norfolk island pine with one larger trunk, one medium sized trunk and one small trunk growing from the same root ball. The tree has seen better days but not for a long time. was kept in a drafty room without much direct sunlight for many years and now I’ve moved it to my place in a west window. not sure if it’s going to get much better! I’m wondering if the smaller trees will kill the larger one? Are they “suckers” since they’re growing from the same root ball? Should I cut off the smaller trees? Not sure what to do with this….wish I could post a photo!

  4. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Nic, I would definitely not suggest removing the smaller trunks. Norfolk Island Pines require very bright light, so I would suggest rotating it regularly (maybe once a week or so) so all parts of the plant get good light.