Potted pine tree care

Potted pine tree care

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Many people dream of planting and growing coniferous plants at home, filling the room with useful phytoncides. But most conifers are inhabitants of temperate latitudes, and dry and rather hot living conditions are categorically unsuitable for them. Of course, a pine tree in a pot can look no less exotic than any palm tree. But when choosing a suitable plant, you need to understand that it must at least come from subtropical latitudes. In this case, there is some chance of success, provided a suitable wintering area is provided.

Which pines are suitable for growing in a pot

Pine is one of the most familiar coniferous trees for inhabitants of temperate latitudes, capable of raising spirits and giving strength by its appearance and aroma. Evergreens can help relieve depression during long, cold and dark winters. But, the main problem is that the main green inhabitants of the rooms come from tropical latitudes, where it is warm and the sun shines all year round. Pine, on the other hand, is a northern tree, and even its most southerly varieties are accustomed to significant seasonal temperature drops. Therefore, it is best to provide a balcony, terrace or veranda for growing pine in a pot.

In addition, Scots pine and many of its other species are large trees, reaching a height of many tens of meters. For keeping in pots, its dwarf varieties are best suited, which, even in adulthood, rarely exceed 1 m in height. Some bushy or creeping species are also suitable. In addition to their small size, they are also distinguished by their often slow growth rates, which is ideal for potting conditions. Because transplanting is a very traumatic procedure for any coniferous tree.

So, if the task is to grow a pine tree in a pot, then it is worth choosing from subtropical species of dwarf varieties.

In the modern assortment, the choice of such plants is quite wide. Below are the most popular varieties of pine that are more or less suitable for growing in pots:

  • Bosnian (Smidtii cultivar) is a dwarf globular cultivar.
  • Mountain (variety Pumilio) is an elongated shrub of low height.
  • Mountain (variety WinterGold) is a variety of miniature ephedra, the needles of which change their color depending on the season from light green to golden yellow.
  • Veimutova (Radiata cultivar) is a slow-growing dwarf cultivar that reaches 80 cm in height only after 10 years.
  • Spinous - a variety that grows in a bush, adds no more than 10 cm in height per year.

How to plant a pine tree at home in a pot

For planting and subsequent cultivation of pine in a pot at home, you can:

  • to grow a young tree from seeds yourself;
  • purchase a ready-made seedling in a store, nursery or private person.

The first option is suitable for those who are truly passionate about plants, since growing from seeds is a very painstaking process, requiring a lot of time and especially patience.

The second option is simpler, and will suit anyone, subject to some basic rules for choosing and planting trees.

Planting tank and soil preparation

When choosing a container designed for growing young pines, you need to focus on their age. Very young plants, aged 1 to 3 years, take root best. But such pines usually have not even formed side branches yet. It is at the age of three that the first whorl (branching) usually appears on the pine.

Such seedlings are rarely found in nurseries and even more so in stores. They are usually sold only by private individuals who grow pine trees from seeds.

Attention! For planting very young plants aged from one to three years, pots with a capacity of up to 500 ml are quite suitable.

In nurseries and shops, as a rule, you can find pine seedlings, starting from 5-7 years of age. They require larger pots, from 1 to 3 liters.

Regardless of the size of the planting pots, it is imperative to make drainage holes in them. Since pine seedlings do not tolerate stagnant moisture. At the bottom of any container, it is necessary to lay drainage from expanded clay or ceramic fragments. The drainage layer should be at least ¼-1/5 of the volume of the pot.

You should also take a very responsible approach to the choice of soil for growing pines in pots. Due to its small volume, it should be quite nutritious, but at the same time light, loose and water- and air-permeable. Under natural conditions, pines grow mainly on sandy soils, but in a pot, the sand will dry out too quickly and will not be able to retain a sufficient amount of nutrients. Therefore, it is best to use a mixture of 50% high moor peat, 25% sand and 25% humus (or humus earth).

Often in stores you can buy ready-made soil mixture for growing conifers. It is quite suitable, since it is initially characterized by a moderately acidic environment (pH 5.5-6.2), which is ideal for pine trees.

Since pines, especially young ones, are very sensitive to fungal diseases, it is recommended to shed the ground with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or water with phytosporin before planting.

Preparation of planting material

It is best to purchase pine seedlings in containers with an earthen ball. Since even exposure or drying of the roots within 5-10 minutes can lead to the fact that the young seedling will be sick for a long time or die. For this reason, when transplanting, they try to minimize the disturbance of the earthen lump surrounding the roots of the pine seedling. Another reason is that in the soil directly adjacent to the roots, there are many substances useful for them, such as mycorrhiza, without which the roots will hardly take root in a new place. And, of course, the earthen lump during transplantation should not be overdried or waterlogged. The moisture content of the soil should be optimal, in which water does not flow from the lump of earth, but it does not disintegrate when compressed.

Landing rules

Planting a purchased pine seedling is not particularly difficult, since it is rather a transshipment, while the root system is practically not affected.

A pine seedling, along with a lump of earth, is simply taken out of the container and placed in a hole prepared for it in a new pot. Planting depth level should be exactly the same as the previous one. If there is even the slightest doubt, then it is better to plant the pine a little higher, but in no case deepen it.

Then the soil around the seedling is compacted and, if necessary, a little earth is added.

Advice! The soil surface around the trunk is best covered with pine bark or coniferous litter from the nearest ephedra. Thus, the seedling will be provided with moisture preservation and additional feeding.

When caring for a pine tree in the house, it should be given the maximum sunlit place. But in the first two weeks after transplanting, it is better to lightly shade the young tree so that it takes root well.


Every 2-4 years, depending on the growth rate of the selected variety, pine trees need to be transplanted into a larger pot with a mandatory drainage layer.

How to grow a pine tree at home in a pot

Caring for a pine tree at home is not so difficult if you provide the tree with conditions suitable for life. But with this there can be certain problems. After all, conifers, including pines, do not tolerate the dry and warm air of ordinary living quarters. And in winter, they absolutely need relative cold, which is difficult to create in a living room.

How to water potted pines

The soil in which the pine is planted should be slightly damp all the time. Trees have an equally negative attitude to waterlogging and drying out of the substrate. The needles from them in these conditions begin to crumble, and it is not always possible to save them.

Therefore, watering is of decisive importance in caring for a pine tree at home. It should be measured regularly and carefully, depending on the weather conditions. If the sun is shining and the earth can dry out quickly, water it every day. In cloudy or cold weather, you can limit yourself to watering 1-2 times a week.

In this case, the composition of the water, the degree of its hardness and temperature are not of particular importance. It is best to water not with a strong stream, but gradually, using a spray bottle. Moreover, when caring for a pine tree in an apartment, it can only survive with daily spraying.

You can also use the bottom watering method, when a wick is pushed through the drainage holes and placed in a pan filled with water. In this case, the tree itself will use as much water as it needs for some time.

How to feed indoor pine

Fertilizers for pines growing in a pot are best used to a minimum. Pines should be watered twice a season with the addition of a root formation stimulant.

In the first year after planting, a young seedling practically does not need additional feeding. Especially if fairly nutritious soil was used.

Caring for a pine tree in a pot requires the use of a special complex fertilizer for conifers about 2 times a year. When used according to the instructions, it must be additionally diluted 2 times, since the concentration is designed for trees growing in open ground.

Protection against diseases and pests

In pot growing conditions, most often pine can be affected by various fungal diseases. For prophylaxis, once a month it is necessary to add phytosporin or foundationol to the water for irrigation.

Pests rarely attack a pine tree in a pot. But if this did happen, then it is better to use a biological insecticide - fitoverm - to protect the tree.

Wintering a live pine in a pot

Winter is perhaps the most difficult period for a pine tree growing at home. In a hot and dry room, she will definitely not survive. In order for the tree to overwinter normally, it needs to provide a lot of light and a temperature from 0 ° С to + 10 ° С. Usually, these conditions can be easily met on a glazed balcony or loggia, where an electric heater can be turned on in the most severe frosts.

If there is no heater, then it is necessary to protect the roots from frost. Since the layer of earth that is in the pots is not enough to keep the roots from freezing. To do this, they are usually lined with polystyrene or polystyrene, and all internal gaps are filled with leaves, sawdust or straw. The aerial part of the plants can be covered with transparent agrofibre on especially frosty days, which transmits light, but protects from low temperatures and from drying out.

If it is not possible to keep the pine cool in winter, then it is better to transplant the tree into the garden at the first opportunity. Since it will not survive for more than one year in such conditions.

Gardening tips

Pine has never been an indoor plant, so caring for a home tree will require maximum observation and walking a path full of possible trial, disappointment and error.

Perhaps the following recommendations of gardeners can help along this path:

  1. Mature pine trees require an abundance of sunlight, while young seedlings may be sensitive to it. During the hottest hours, they may need some shading.
  2. If it is impossible to provide the necessary temperature drop in the winter period, the pine must be provided with the maximum air humidity. However, it should be borne in mind that a humid and warm environment is an excellent breeding ground for fungal infections.
  3. If, after transplanting, the pine needles began to turn yellow, the roots may have been dried. In this case, the tree is very difficult to preserve. You can try to place it in as cool and light conditions as possible.
  4. The yellowing of the needles in the lower part of the trees can also be associated with a lack of light or too abundant feeding.
  5. Ordinary artificial light is by no means a substitute for sunlight. Since it lacks the ultraviolet rays necessary for normal photosynthesis. Because of this, pine growth can be severely slowed down.
  6. In the autumn, the loss of some of the needles is almost normal for a pine, you should not be afraid of this.


A pine tree in a pot is not a very familiar sight for Russian conditions. But if you have some reserve of enthusiasm, then everyone can cope with growing a tree at home. You just have to follow all the recommendations described in the article.

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