The Araucaria is a superb plant for the enthusiast who likes a plant of regular geometrical shape. However, the radiating growth will only be achieved by providing the plant with even light and sufficient space to grow and develop. Failure to do so will result in growth that is somewhat lopsided, which almost ruins the effect ofthe plant. This species is closely related to the Monkey Puzzle Tree, which grows in gardens, but it is not hardy outside. However, it does share some similar characteristics in that the needles become sharp as they mature. As the plant becomes older the needles tend to drop off, as do the branches, creating a mess on the floor. The plant is best cleaned by using a pressure water mister to wash the dust off, thus allowing the natural sheen to show through.

Plant type : Foliage plant with radiating branches on evenly shaped erect habit
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 100-200cm (39—78in)
Flower : None
Leaf : Green needles, 0.5-1cm (1/4in-1/3in), which become harder and sharper as they mature, on branches 30-60cm (12—24in)
Temperature : 10-20°C (50 — 68°F)
Aspect/Light : Moderate to reasonably bright, but dislikes prolonged exposure to direct sunlight
Humidity : Moderate
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer; keep on the dry side in autumn and winter
Feeding : Once every three to four weeks with houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Sow seeds in pans at 18-20°C (65-68°F) from mid spring to early summer in seed and cutting compost
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Mealy bug, root mealy bug, premature loss of lower leaves
Availability : Occasionally available throughout year
Uses indoors : Good feature plant for lounge or dining room when placed at floor level; makes excellent indoor Christmas tree