Brown tips on Norfolk Island Pine

Asked March 19, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT

I have 2 large Norfolk Island Pine trees next to floor to ceiling windows facing west. They do not receive direct sunlight. They have been in this location for 3 years. I let them dry out somewhat between watering and mist once a week. I am starting to get brown tips on the lower branches. Any idea what the problem might be? Otherwise they are very healthy.

Thank You!

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Low humidity is a likely cause of branch tip browning. Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels. If the level is below 50%, try misting more frequently with cool water. Other measures to increase relative humidity might be more effective. You can learn about them here:

Humidity and Houseplants

Norfolk pines thrive in cool growing conditions. Be sure the potting soil drains well. Fertilize sparingly in summer, but not in winter. Keep the soil moist in summer but on the dry side in winter. When possible use rainwater or distilled water.

According to experts at Purdue University, the plants will benefit from a couple of hours of direct sun each day.

Illinois Extension educator Jennifer Schultz Nelson says Norfolk Island pines grown indoors may lose a few lower branches as they mature.

Learn more here:

Norfolk Island Pine