Be aware that the Wollemi pine (Wollemia noblilis, family Araucariaceae) is a rare, emergent rainforest tree and although it has survived in the while over many millennia, some growing situations are better than others.
In the wild, Wollemi pines begin growing in spring and can rise to about 40 metres. They are similar in nature to Norfolk Island, Cook or Hoop pines (Arauacaria species).
In general, Wollemi pines need some protection from full sunlight when young (less than 10 years old) and do best where the roots have a cool root run.
Young plants in cultivation can be protected from strong light by shade cloth or the shelter of other trees.
This species favours acid in soil. In their natural habitat, soil pH can be as low as 4.0. When in potted cultivation, they favour a pH of less than 6.0.
Wollemi pines are the least heat tolerant of the Australia Araucariaceae species. We recommend growing them in areas where with a temperature range between -10 anda 37 degrees celsius.
A cool area with filtered light, such as a gully, is ideal.
Wollemi pines can be successfully transplanted, especially when young, although we suggest avoiding this if possible.
Although their natural habitat is low in soil nutrients, the Wollemi pines respond well to fertiliser and are not known to be sensitive to phosphorus.
We suggest using a well-balanced fertiliser suited for general tree growth in the ground or pots.
Wollemi pines appreciate regular watering, especially when potted.
Over watering may lead to problems like fungal disease.
Our Tips for Growing Wollemi Pines
- We find Wollemi pines to be an excellent pot plant. Use the best quality potting mix suitable for pot plants.
- They do grow in the ground in many circumstances, but may be susceptible to common diseases if they are stressed.
- Give the plants a cool root run.
- Don't plant into hot, full sun conditions.
- Protect young plants from wind.
- Filtered or dappled light is good.
- Water the plants, especially when young. Over or under-watering will predispose the plants to disease.
- Keep competition from other plants to a minimum.
- Fertilise as for other trees. They are not phosphorus sensitive, but do not overdo it.
- Always follow the manufacturers' instructions for fertiliser or pest control.
- Don't buy wilted plants.
- Give your Wollemi pine a name!