Stone pine needle tips look droopy

Asked January 16, 2020, 9:52 AM EST

Hello Master Gardener, i got myself Pinus pinea (Italian stone pine) for Christmas. It gets watered when the soil is dry. It was ignored during our vacation, ever since i see their tips droopy. I moved the plant to a sunny location after thorough watering and letting ot drain through. The needles haven't changed colors, but i don't want to kill this Mediterranean specimen. What can I do to help this pretty pine?

Scott County Minnesota

1 Response

Twisted needles are a normal characteristic of some stone pine specimens.

Although it can be grown as a houseplant, Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea) is not winter hardy in Minnesota.

Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra), a similar species, can be grown outdoors here.

It's best to treat some potted conifers sold as Christmas trees as disposable decorative houseplants. In Minnesota, Italian stone pine is one of those.