How to grow araucaria in pots or in the garden.Practical advice for the cultivation of the araucaria and the care for the dinosaur tree.
Due to its size and the discovery of particular fossils, thearaucariais known as thedinosaur tree.
This plant, in its natural habitat, is able to reach and exceed 50 meters in height. We are talking about a very old plant native to South America. Don't be fooled by its size, thearaucariacould be"Tamed" and also grown in pots. Therecultivation of araucaria in potsit limits their growth and the subjects reach a maximum height of 2 meters.
There are about twenty species of Araucaria. It is aboutevergreen plantswith a very characteristic appearance and originating from America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil) and Australia. It is a very ancient plant: fossil records have shown that the genusAraucariait also existed in the northern hemisphere until the end of the Cretaceous period.
During the Jurassic, Araucaria grew everywhere, in the south and north of the globe. For this reason it is assumed that this plant was the main food source for dinosaurs.
In some species, edible seeds are extracted from the fruits that vaguely resemble our pine nuts.
Araucaria in pot
As stated, thecultivation of araucaria in potsit's possible. The species that are suitable for growing in pots are A. araucana and A. heterophylla.
L'araucanapresent very shiny, triangular, hard and sharp faults at the edges. When the plant is a few years old, the branches tend to develop horizontally. The Heterophylla species, commonly known asNorfolk pine, has needle-like lanceolate leaves of an intense green color. The foliage retains its conical shape even when ripe.
L'araucana and theNorfolk pine, in vase, have a very slow growth. Therepottingin fact, it must be performed every two or three years. These plants, grown in pots, do not grow more than 10-15 cm per year and completely stop growth at around 200 cm.
If you have bought aaraucariapotted (Norfolk pine or of the species araucana) and you are in late spring or summer, do not take it indoors.
The araucana should be kept outdoors in the summer and brought back indoors when the temperatures begin to drop.
Irrigation must be performed regularly, waiting for the soil to be completely dry between one wetting and the next. Starting from spring, the plant grown in pots should be fertilized with a fertilizer for acidophilic plants to be administered at intervals of fifteen days. Be careful to give the right amount of fertilizer! These plants are not very demanding, maintenance fertilization is required when grown in pots: halve the recommended dose on the fertilizer package!
The right home environment sees temperatures between 12 and 18 ° C, so it cannot be kept in air-conditioned rooms.
Grow the araucaria in the garden
Those who live in the south of Italy can cultivatearaucana in pots outdoors or in the ground without too many climatic problems. Those who live in the north will do well to choose more resistant to cold species.
Plants of the genusaraucariathey tend to dry out the lower branches ... Don't worry, it's not about diseases or water shortages, it's part of the natural vegetative course.
It will be enough to remove the basal branches only when they are completely dry. For the rest, no pruning is required.
Avoid pruning or even topping the plant which could suffer a lot or even completely deteriorate.
When grown in pots, it is advisable to shorten and prune, with extreme caution, the root system of the plant in order to stop and limit its development ... a bit like it is used with bonsai!
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