Will An Italian Stone Pine Live Inside Home ?
just bought 3 Italian stone pines for display at Christmas time. Need to know how well they will do indoors. Live in upper state S.C. so it does get quite cool here, sometimes below freezing.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It will, definitely, need to be an indoor specimen in your area. They are not hardy near that cold of a region. This will come with its problems, but can be done if you know what to expect.
Keeping trees that can reach 80 feet tall in container is not an easy task after about 5 years or so, but you can make this much easier for yourself before then.
After the first year, pull it out of container, and trim off any thick roots (about a finger thickness or around that) Do this every year for the first 2 or 3 years. Make sure that your tools are sterile for this! Replant with fresh, slightly acidic soil.
Do not do any top pruning if you'd like to preserve its single trunk shape.
After a few years of this, it will become unnecessary for yearly pruning. Just let it grow until it outgrows your container. Then you can trim large roots again.
This is the loose basis of forming a Bonsai. It is the best way to keep large trees in container permanently.
Here are some articles that will help: