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My son has a Northfork pine tree and it was real pretty and green now the needles has turn hard like they are dying. what can he do for this plant They are a very light green now instead of dark green.


Hi Pat,

The symptoms you described are not specific enough to identify a particular cause. It is most likely a light or a watering problem.

Norfolk Island Pines should be in front of a moderately sunny window where they get a few hours of direct sunlight each day. A south-facing window may provide too much light and if it is more than a couple of feet from any other window then that will not be enough light.

Watering assumes that the tree is correctly potted so that it is moderately potbound. If so, then water thoroughly as soon as the top quarter of the soil feels dry.

If the tree was recently repotted, then that is probably the reason it is not doing well because extra soil tends to retain water for too long and cause root rot.

Finally, very warm, dry air can cause needles to turn dry and fall off. Temps below 70 degrees F. are important.

Fertilizer and changing the soil will only aggravate the problem.

I have written an article on Norfolk Island Pine care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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