Monkey tree care

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by ruminman, May 9, 2004.

  1. ruminman

    ruminman Member

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    Hello UBC

    My son just purchased a Monkey Tree from the grocery store where he's employed. Everyone is thrilled with this new aquisition for our living room forest. However, we have no experience with this plant. We have a few questions on how to care for this plant but first I'll describe our plant.
    It's planted in a round 6"x6" pot.
    There are 2 plants approximately 8" & 10" tall.
    The soil is a basic mix of peat, topsoil, and drainage pebbles.
    The soil is quite wet to the touch.
    The room is facing west with both direct and diffused sunlight.
    The house is climatically controlled by forced air gas & central A/C.
    We live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    Questions
    1) What is the moisture requirement and how often?
    2) What type of light is best for growth?
    3) How often does it need to be replanted?
    4) How often does it need fertilizer?
    5) What tempurature range is best?
    6) What soil mixture is typical for development?
    7) Are there any dangers for people/animals living the the same enviroment?
    8) What would be considered normal development?
    9) Besides obvious poor health, how do we identify problems specific to a Monkey Tree.

    This will be tremendous help to start and we wait your response.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Just to confirm:

    Does the plant look like this one:

    Crassula argentea (via the University of Oklahoma's Plant of the Week site)
     
  3. ruminman

    ruminman Member

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    Picture from University of Oklahoma

    Hello Daniel

    The picture we see doesn't seem to be our plant. There aren't any flowers, possibly our plant isn't mature, and the leaves are much "fatter or thicker" than ours.
    The leaves on our plant are very thin. Almost thumb shaped but longer proportionally. There are some similarities to a herb called Basil in the way the leaves start from the top and in the way the branches grow from the main stem.

    I hope this helps. Thank you for the quick response.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Could you post a photograph of it? I think we'll have to puzzle out what it is first (unless there was another name on the label?).
     
  5. Scientific name for above

    If it is as in the picture linked to above, the scientific name is <i>Araucaria araucana</i>
     
  6. Hi,
    I also have a Monkey puzzle tree, which we purchased to celebrate the birth of our second daughter. We have planted it in our garden & would like to know the best care instructions for it.
     
  7. This is over a year late, but I believe you may need information on Pachira aquatica, or "money tree." A tropical plant that grows quite large in frost free climates, indoor varieties often have braided stems and grow according to the container in which they are planted -- the larger the container, the larger the plant will grow. This URL may prove useful for more information on the care of these plants:
    http://www.valentine.gr/pachira_en.htm

    Better late than never,
    Valerie
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    If that's what the plant actually is, then your post may put a stop to all this monkey business.

    Ynuk ynuk ynuk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  9. glen3a

    glen3a Member

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    Hi there, I am new to this forum so go easy on me :)

    I definitely have a monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). The reason I know is that I purchased seeds off ebay and they have just sprouted. They are currently growing under plant lights.

    I am curious as to how this plant will grow indoors. Would you think it's culture would be similar to the norfolk island pine? I suppose all I can do is provide the best light that I can and reasonable conditions and perhaps put the little guys on the back deck for the summer (mostly shade). I know normally they can take sun, but I'd be worried about burning the leaves just like when you put annuals outside first thing in spring. I read that an ideal climate for them would be the UK, where they like cool summers and mild winters. Of course I realize that in no way would they survive outdoors here, but I thought I would grow them as an interesting experiment.

    I know Monkey puzzle tree is hardy to zone 7 and grows on volcanic slopes. Does this imply they like rich soil or stoney and gravelly? I am a bit confused about their growth rate. They are slow growing, correct? Do they reach an age where they suddenly speed up growth?

    This is exciting yet foreign to me. The seeds I bought stood in the pots for two months and I had just about given up on them. They got their root first and stayed like that for a while, now their leaves are starting to show.

    Best regards and thank you,
    Glen
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Glen,

    In future winters, you'll need to give it some winter cold spell with 2-3 months between 0 to 10°C, it won't do well indoors if kept permanently at normal indoor room temperature.

    Soil: volcanic soil is generally rich in mineral nutrients, but poor in nitrogen, and VERY free draining.

    Yes, they're slow-growing, particularly for the first 5-10 years or so, then speed up a bit (but not a lot!)

    When you put it outdoors in the spring, start it off in shade and then gradually move it to full sun over a week or two, that way it can build up a good healthy sun tan rather than burn (yep, just like people!).
     

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