Happy 2.5, Araucaria h.

Normally I don't count plant birthdays. It's creepy. Tonight, however, I thought it would be fun to compare my earliest photo of my oldest plant with my most recent photo of said plant. Although I have many plants that are older than my Norfolk Island Pine, the pine is now the plant to have survived the longest in my care. I bought this baby tree in December of 2007 and it looked like this (on your right):

Now, Norfolk Island Pines grow extremely slowly, and this was in a 4-inch pot, so it was probably already months or years old. They are VERY finicky, and mine drops entire branches of needles at small changes in light and humidity. Once lost, the needles of a Norfolk do not grow back. Needless to say it is a plant that requires care and patience. Two and a half years later, it looks like this:

Bigger, though not dramatically so. The two main trunks of the plant (there are three plants in one pot) have grown more distinct, and there are many more terminal branches. It's soft and touchable, and I hope to have it for many years. My grandmother had one for several decades in her estimation, and it was a fantastic plant, full and likely five feet tall. Still, that isn't terrifically impressive when compared to a Norfolk Island Pine in its natural habitat. On Norfolk Island, these incredible tropical conifers get damn huge. Witness!

*image courtesy of Wikipedia

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