Plant Care 101: Monkey Puzzle Tree
Trust us: You've never seen a tree like this before. The Monkey Puzzle Tree is like the ninth wonder of the ancient world. From its textural foliage to its large, commanding presence, this one-of-a-kind arbor takes any yard to the next level...literally.
And what’s really great about these powerful trees is that they’re fairly hassle-free and low-maintenance.Seriously - despite its complicated (in a good way!) appearance, care couldn't be simpler. Especially when you follow our quick tips.
Araucaria araucana: The Monkey Puzzle Tree
Aswe said, the Monkey Puzzle, also known as the Chile Pine, is awonder of the ancient world. Initially, this coniferous tree rose to popularity in late 18th-century Europe for its pretty, prehistoric look.Of course, it was also popular for anyone gardener looking for something a bitoutside the box. Heights of up to90 feet and large, upward-arching branches truly set the Monkey Puzzle apart.
Monkey Puzzle Tree Care
First, the Monkey Puzzle prefersfull sun or partial shade (generally, 3 to 6 hours of sunlight daily). If youlive in an area with particularly hot summers, planting the tree somewhere that gets extra shade in the afternoon is ideal.
Once you've got your ideal location in terms of sunlight, you're good to go. The Monkey Puzzle isn't finicky when it comes to soil type.Just select an area with well-drained soil.
When you're ready to grow, diga hole that's twice as wide and just as deep as your tree's root ball. Loosen the soil around the hole, and gently loosen the roots of your Monkey Puzzle Tree. Position your Monkey Puzzle (like a puzzle piece, right?), backfill the surrounding soil, andremove all air pockets that may have formed by tamping down the soil. Finally, water the surrounding soil.
Caring for a Monkey Puzzle Tree After Planting
Watering Your Monkey Puzzle Tree
Wateryour Monkey Puzzle Treedeeply every week or two during its first year. If you're not sure when to water your tree, just keep this in mind: The soil should be dry about 2 or 3 inches down before you water. Keeping the soil moist to the dripline (or the edges of the tree's canopy) is all you really need to keep your Puzzle looking great.
FGT Tip: Adding a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch at the base of the treehelps retain soil moisture and keeps the roots cool during hot summerweather.