I acquired a plant that needs identifying. I would like to know how to care for it. Care instructions would be nice too, but I can find those if I knew the plant name.

It is:
10 in (25 cm) tall
Soft needles/leaves
Single stem from soil branching to many
No discernable smell (i.e. doesn't smell like a pine tree)

Pic1 Pic2

2 Answers 2


I heard from the person who ordered the plants.

It is a Petite Lemon Cypress, cupressus macrocarpa goldcrest

It definitely resembles the plants shown here and here.

Care should include 6-8 hours of sunlight and keep the soil moist. Do not let the water pool around the roots.


Possibly this is an Araucaria or Norfolk Island Pine. Some species adapt easily to containers and have been sold as live alternatives to Christmas trees, which are traditionally cut and discarded after the holiday. We see the araucaria most often as a taller single stem plant, but it looks as if this one was pinched out early and forced to branch into multiple shoots, making it bushy.

From its size we might imagine that it was purchased a few years ago and has been successfully maintained in a moderately warm and humid environment. Avoid cold draughts and hot, dry conditions, otherwise not a difficult plant to maintain. Check out the species Araucaria heterophylla in a Christmas tree context.

I used to grow them many years ago but cannot quite remember the smell of the cut foliage but do seem to remember being surprised that there was no resin like odor.

  • Also , Norfolk Island Pines that I have had in the US are started with several seeds/seedlings and so have several individual plants; The picture looks like that. Dec 16, 2018 at 22:21
  • I thought this at first as well but I am wondering if this is even a tree?
    – Rob
    Dec 17, 2018 at 19:41

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