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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Should a Norfolk Pine be cut back losing a lot of needles?

Zone 5b | bgrant@mercysc.org added on May 28, 2012 | Answered

I put this potted plant outside in 60-80 degree weather. Within a week branches turned brown and needles fell off. If this tree is cut back, will it grow out again? If so, how should I do this?

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Answered on June 3, 2012

Hi. First of all, you should be real careful putting indoor potted plants outside - oddly enough, they can get terrible sunburns. Just like people who have never been out in the sun, their "skin" has no protection. If you put them out, they should be heavily shaded by trees, etc. That could be the cause of your NIP's leaf drop. Or, it could have severely dried out - it uses a lot more water outside. That being said, Norfolk Island Pines don't like to be cut back. You can try it of course - half the fun of plants is experimenting - but I would keep it well watered, shaded, and see if you get new growth at the top. If the branches are completely bare, you can break off the tips to see if they are dead or not - crispy and brown=dead, soft and green=live. If live, you might get new growth, if dead, those you can cut back.

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