Hi, a friend recently gave me a small bristlecone pine tree. I'm wondering
how it would do as a houseplant?
What soil should I plant it in? How often would it like to be watered? How
slowly will it grow?
"Max Jones" <no-email.please.com> wrote in message
I think it would probably do just fine indoors. As for the soil, I believe
a sandy/rocky soil is best, but I'd definitely get a second opinion there.
Only problem that I can see is that it would require a pretty damn big pot
to grow it in, but you might be able to curb that if you turned it into one
of those Bonzai thingies. If you do manage to get it to grow, it will
outlive you that's for damn sure.
Those ones in California grow very slowly and look gnarled and such - but
that may really only be a property of where they're growing. Take it out of
that harsh hostile environment and they may grow quite rapidly (for a tree).
Give it plenty of sunshine, a little water, and a little food and, it
will be a good companion for, perhaps, the next five thousand years. I
hope you have a long and meaningful relationship:>)
Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 21:35:39 -0500, Max Jones <no-email.please.com>
In my opinion, based on my knowledge of bonsai (not that yours is a
bonsai) any pine trees must live outdoors in order to get the chill
hours necessary. This tree is the oldest living tree that we know of
and it grows very slowly. There is no way to provide enough sun for
it through a window. You can try it, but I'm certain you will not
have a healthy plant.
How about ice cubes and a strong fan, in effort to reproduce
actual Bristlecone Pine conditions in the Sierra. <g>
I actually beheld that "oldest living tree" long ago on a
Sierra Club hike up Telescope Peak. AWESOME!
On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 10:53:49 -0700, Persephone wrote:
Huh? As I recall, the oldest B.C.Pine is in the White Mountains.
Telescope Peak is in the Panamint Range. Neither mountains are the
same as the Sierras. B.C.Pines grow slowly in the white Mountains due
to the very short growing season, about 6 weeks, and the lack of
water. They grow more rapidly in the Sierra Range, where conditions
are more to their liking.
On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 10:53:49 -0700, Persephone wrote:
One day I was at the local used book store and they were selling old
copies of Arizona magazine, which back then in the 60s a tabloid with
They showed some magnificant specimens and I do believe one of them
was the tree you had the great fortune to hold. I think that
particular tree is over four thousand years old, or older. It would
have to die to find out and even then since it grows so slowly the
rings would need to be studied under magnification to count.
On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 19:22:42 -0700, Persephone wrote:
It is pretty phenomenal how ignorant people can be and how they
develop very little character in life. It is an interesting
dichotomy. Look at that guy who tried to kill Treaty Oak downtown.
The tree managed to stay alive, but I'm not sure how well it is doing.
All I can say is, I do not relate.
When growing large pines in containers, it does help to use some
bonsai techniques- especially root pruning on soil change-outs. The
Bristlecone isn't going to demand enough from the container it's in to
wind up dwarfed in any significant way, however. It will put up with
indirect light- the Snake, White, and other ranges in The Great Basin
aren't sunny all year round, and most of the young trees are buried in
snow for a few months a year. The ones I've seen in the area usually
get started between a couple of boulders.
By the time mine needs a bigger home and better conditions, I'll be
back in the carbon cycle.
I gave two reasons why this plant would not thrive. In nature it has
both. Even in overcast skies the plant will get more UV rays than in
a southern window with full sun coming through glass. At best, a
conservatory would produce enough light. The other situation is the
chill hours. As you sited, many of these plants are under snow in
winter. It keeps the tree at 32 degrees over long periods. Temps
must be a minimum of 45 degrees for an extended period of hours for a
bristle cone to survive well.
These are representative conditions for both summer and winter.
You would return a tree back to the carbon cycle, I would choose not
to grow a plant I know will die eventually, but prematurely for it's
rather extensively long life cycle.
On Apr 29, 7:35 pm, Max Jones <no-email.please.com> wrote:
Wahoo! My favorite pine (And the White Mountains are my favorite
Hiking spot in the west).
It isn't too picky about what kind of soil it's in, aside from it must
be well drained. Whatever you do, don't overwater it or fertilize it.
If you use potting soil, add some washed sand to the bottom and the
soil mix. (1/3 sand, 2/3 potting soil)
One good soaking every month is better than a lot of small sips. It's
best to soak the pot in a tub of water if you can, but it does like
being watered through the needles as well.
If you can't get it Direct Light for at least six hours a day, then
try to get it indirect light as long as possible.
My experience with it in my (Pacific Northwest, Zone 8b) container
garden(s) has been that it's bulletproof- done well in an area with
direct light hideous reflected heat, as well as a fern garden with a
northern exposure. (Kept well drained in either case, and never
fertilized). In four years, it's maybe grown 6 inches, whereas my
container Sequoia has added 6-12 inches a year in height and three
inches in spread every year.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.