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Norfolk Pine

Question:

I have a large pot with 3 Norfolk Pines in it.  It was too big to separate them when I got it.  It is very healthy and looks great…except, two of the trees have new tops and the third has a shoot but has not grown upward.  The shoot seems tight compared to the others.  It has been like this for a few months. The tree is quite lopsided now at the top.

Thank you for any advice you may have.

Answer:

I am having difficulty imagining just what you are trying to describe. What direction is the “shoot” growing, if not upward? What do you mean it is “tight?” In what way is it lopsided?

I think if you posted a good photo it would be very helpful.

Three NIP stems were grown together from the outset. Their roots are completely entwined. It is never a good idea to try to separate them.

I look forward to seeing a photo so I can help you properly.

Follow-up Question:

Sorry, I don’t know how to add a photo.  I am a bit of a Luddite.  It is the top shoot that causes the tree to go upward and make many more branches.  Two trees have shot up another round of branches and one has not.  The tree is 4 feet tall and very healthy but with two trees growing upward and one not it is now lop sided.  I don’t know the terminology of the parts of the plant but it is the little piece in the centre of the top of the tree that is stunted.  It seems crusty and hard.  Sorry I am such a dope about the explanation.

Answer:

You are not a dope, but please understand it is very hard for me to help you when I don’t have a clear picture of what is going on.

Each of the 3 stems has a growing tip or leader at the top. Normally they grow straight upward and produce a tier of horizontal fronds. However, sometimes the shorter stems don’t grow straight because the sunlight is blocked by the taller neighbors. That is why it important to rotate the pot regularly so that all sides get equal light.

It is also possible that your plant is leaning because it is growing toward the light. If so, then turn it 180 degrees so the weaker side faces the light. The entire rootball might need to be repositioned in the pot.

It is also possible that one of the growing tips was accidental damaged. That could cause its growth to be stunted.