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House Plants/north fork pine


I transplanted my indoor pine and split them the are now yellow with the two new limbs green .can i save my plant or did i kill him .l hope i didn't kill him because i have had him for almost three years.i hope you have an answer for me.

Hi Angela,

Norfolk Island Pines do not like to have their roots disturbed. Even repotting them, which they rarely need, can stress the plant unnecessarily. Dividing the plants and the roots is even more traumatic. It can be done if you know what you are doing, but even then it is not recommended.

You haven't provided any information on just how you did the division so I cannot predict its chances of survival. I can only tell you how you should have done it. You cut down through the rootball with a sharp knife, leaving as much of the original rootball (soil and roots) intact. You never wash away the original soil. Then, each division should be moved to the smallest pots that they will fit into. Any space around the sides should be filled with a potting mix that matches the original potting mix in consistency. Then, the divisions should be moved to a moderately bright location and watered very carefully so the potting mix remains barely damp, but not wet.

Unfortunately, NIP root division is very risky and there are no simple solutions for success. I wish you luck.

I have written articles on repotting and on Norfolk Island Pine care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

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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