Araucaria is a coniferous evergreen plant that can be grown indoors in a pot.
In the natural environment, Araucaria grows to the size of large coniferous trees (60 m), it can be found in the forests of the South. America, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. In apartments, it can be found as a decorative Christmas tree, the height of which does not exceed 2 meters. Araucaria blooms, but in indoor growing conditions it is impossible to wait for inflorescences from the plant.
Useful properties of Araucaria
Araucaria, like other conifers, cleans the air. Araucaria improves the chemical composition of the air, so doctors advise people with asthma to grow this plant.
Types of Araucaria
There are more than 18 species of Araucaria.
The most popular type that we find in flower shops. A tree in a shape resembling a pyramid, with soft needles up to 2 cm long, which are densely located on hard twigs.
Araucaria angustifolia or Araucaria brasiliana
It does not grow more than 3 meters high indoors.
At first glance, it resembles a cypress. This species is common in countries with a tropical and subtropical climate.
It is a very big tree. It grows in humid forests with a tropical climate, so it is not found as an indoor plant.
How to care for Araucaria at home
Caring for araucaria is easy if you follow the requirements listed below:
Brightness of light for Araucaria
Lighting for araucaria needs bright enough, but not direct sunlight, it is better to shade the indoor plant in the summer. Indoor araucaria grows well in bright light, but it also feels great in partial shade. Turn the plant regularly to form an even crown. In the summer, it is useful to take araucaria outdoors in the light shade of trees. It is necessary to monitor the uniformity of lighting of the crown, with a lack of light, part of the branches may turn yellow and lose needles, this should be avoided, since the crown will not recover and the plant may lose its decorativeness.
Watering and air humidity
Use soft water for watering.
From spring to autumn, Araucaria needs abundant watering, the soil should always be lightly moistened. Autumn and winter in araucaria is a period of rest, so you need to water much less, watering as the upper layer of the earth dries.
It is desirable to maintain high air humidity. With insufficient humidity, the needles at the ends of the branches begin to dry out.
Do not place plants near heating devices. Spray the plant 2 times a day, provided the air temperature is above 18 degrees C. During the heat, very frequent spraying is required, they will help the plant cope with high temperatures. If the air temperature is 15 degrees and below, there is no need to spray the plant.
Air temperature for Araucaria
The comfortable temperature for Araucaria in summer is 15-22 degrees C, and in winter 10-16 degrees C. Araucaria does not tolerate high temperatures well, during the heat it is better to place the plant in an air-conditioned room or spray the crown often.
Soil for Araucaria
The soil for Araucaria should be slightly acidic. The substrate should include equal parts of coniferous, leafy, sod land, coarse-grained sand, peat and compost (humus).
Be sure to use special fertilizers for coniferous plants, according to the instructions, but you need to slightly reduce the dosage. Only watered plants can be fed. Indoor Christmas trees should be fed every 2 weeks in the spring-summer period, and once every 30 days in the winter.
How to transplant Araucaria
The plant tolerates transplanting extremely hard, so try to transplant araucaria as rarely as possible – once every 3-4 years. When transplanting, try not to damage the roots (transplantation with a complete replacement of the soil can lead to the death of the plant). Growing a plant in a small pot will inhibit the growth of araucaria.
Reproduction of auracaria
Araucaria is propagated by seeds and cuttings.
It is very difficult to propagate araucaria at home, we advise you to buy an already rooted plant.
Features of propagation by cuttings
For cuttings, we take apical or intermediate trunk cuttings. For some time, the cut cuttings are dried so that the resin hardens. Then you should carefully remove the resin from the lower part of the shoot, soak the bottom in a dry rooting agent and plant it up to the level of the branches in sterile soil (or a peat tablet).
Be sure to place the planted plant in a greenhouse with a temperature of about +25 degrees C. The roots will grow in about 3-4 months.
How to prune Araucaria
Araucaria does not need to be pruned. Cutting the top can lead to the loss of decorativeness of the plant. Cut off only dead branches.
Araucaria is quite resistant to pests, but can be affected by mealybug and specific pests of conifers. If you notice white clusters that look like pieces of cotton wool, take a brush (for glue), dip it in alcohol and carefully remove the pests between the needles, treat the plant with an insecticide solution.
Errors in the care of Araucaria
- Falling needles – dry air or insufficient watering. Increase humidity and watering.
- Shoots turn yellow and dry – very dry air. Increase the humidity.
- The lower branches of Araucaria dry up – possible damage by a root beetle. Treat the plant with an insecticide solution.
- The trunk is bent – uneven lighting. Turn the pot with Araucaria more often.
- New shoots of Araucaria grow thin – insufficient feeding.