Growing Zones: 6-10 outdoors(hardy down to 0℉) 6-10 outdoors
- Mature Height:
- 60-70 ft.
- Mature Width:
- 20-30 ft.
- Full Sun
- Growth Rate:
- Botanical Name:
- Araucaria araucana
- Does Not Ship To:
A Timeless, Hardy Tree with Old-World Elegance
A Wonder of the Ancient World
Why the Monkey Puzzle, you ask? This coniferous tree rose to popularity in late 18th-century Europe for its strange prehistoric appearance, and is a great option for gardeners and property owners looking for something a bit outside the box. With heights of up to 90 feet and large, upward-arching branches, it offers a unique look for just about any landscape--its sure to be the talk of the neighborhood!
This evergreen lives up to the name, providing striking green foliage throughout the year. It is native to Chile and Argentina, but can thrive in a variety of cool, humid, and temperate climates, specifically zones 6-10.
Tough, Deer Resistant
This is not a tree you'd enjoy climbing! Its sweeping, spiny limbs were thought to confuse and repel monkeys (hence the name), and you shouldn't have any problems with your local deer and rabbit populations either.
The Monkey Puzzle is the definition of effortless beauty. Plant in the fall or spring, give them plenty of sunshine and space, and let these easy-to-grow trees do their thing. Pruning is rarely needed, but be sure to remove any dead branches you find.
What the Monkey Puzzle tree lacks in privacy and wind resistance it makes up in its peculiar, decorative style. Its long been prized as an ornamental piece and is ideal for adding contrasting texture and personality to your garden.
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Customer Reviews & Photos
Very easy to order very very nice people on the phones answered every question and it came well packaged and very quickly. Great communication all around. My only quibble is that the reviews I read before ordering made me think that the plant I would get would be larger. I got a plant that could easily have been shipped in a 3.5" pot. I basically got a seedling in a gallon pot. Sadly the product didn't live up to the customer service. At all. Now I'm reluctant to order anything else from them.
Arrived half dead.
While most of the trees I have bought from Fast Growing Trees arrived healthy this one was tiny and the edges were brown. Despite my care it died about a month later. I was surprised because the reviews at least the ones that show are excellent and it should have done well here in a sunny spot South Carolina.
Beautiful and prehistoric
Just Received my monkey puzzle tree and its in great condition and gorgeous. earliest fossils of Araucaria date back toto the late Permian/early Triassic (around)200. million years ago this tree fed the giant saurapods of south america 80-65 M.Y.A. i find my tree to be beautiful as well as humbling.
Doing well after one year of very slow growth.
Going in I knew this would be a very slow growth tree but it is so unique. I saw that they were grown in England in the 1800's so cold weather is not an issue. It is doing well in middle Florida as I water it three times a week in sandy soil. Growth is slow maybe 2" a year but expected. A very unique tree. More info is available by searching on Google.
The wife and I saw them in Seattle and wanted to have one in Massachusetts. It will indoor well during the winter until it gets too big! We don't anticipate that happening for a long time!
Planting & Care
The monkey puzzle tree became quite popular in the late 18th century due to its unique appearance. Its foliage is quite out of the ordinary and interesting to look at. Monkey puzzles are also known as “Monkey Tail” or “Chilean Pine” trees. They are evergreens that are native to Chile and Argentina and will thrive in zones 6-10.
The name is believed to have originated from the owner of a young puzzle tree at Pencarrow Garden in Cornwall. As he was showing off the strange looking tree, someone stated “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that tree.”
Choosing a location: Plant your monkey puzzle tree where it will receive full sun or partial shade. If you experience particularly hot summers, planting the tree somewhere that gets extra shade in the afternoon will help protect it from getting scorched. They grow in almost any kind of soil as long as it is well drained. If there is a high content of clay in your soil, amend it using sand and pebbles to increase the drainage capability.
*TIP* You can test your drainage by digging a 1 foot wide by 1 foot deep hole and filling it with water. Wait an hour, if the water has not fully drained, you will need to amend the soil to allow better drainage.
Coastal regions are good for this tree, as the monkey puzzle does well with salty air. It will not do well around a lot of pollution so big city locations may not be the best idea. Monkey puzzles can also be planted in a container for areas that have long periods of freezing winter temperatures.
Planting directions (in ground):
1) Dig your hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Loosen the soil around the hole and the root ball so that the roots can easily break through.
2) Position the roots downwards into the hole and be sure the tree is straight.
3) As you backfill the hole, make sure you remove all air pockets by tamping down the soil and applying water.
4) Water the tree planting area again after planting is complete to settle the soil.
Planting directions (potted): You can easily maintain a monkey puzzle in your home if the climate is too hot/cold for outdoor planting.
1) Choose a pot size that you can maintain. Monkey puzzles are like goldfish, their size will be determined by the container it’s in.
2) Plant the tree into the pot using a well draining houseplant potting soil. A basic Miracle Grow potting medium will work just fine.
3) They enjoy a full sun exposure so keeping the pot next to a South facing window should allow it to get the proper amount of sun.
Watering: Water the tree deeply every week or two during its first year. Remember, you want a moist soil, not saturated. Allow the soil to get dry before you water the tree again. Add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch at the base of the tree to retain soil moisture and keep the roots cool during hot summer temperatures. You can reduce the watering during the cooler seasons.
For a potted monkey puzzle, try to keep the soil slightly moistened. A good way to get an idea for how often to water is by using your index finger. Stick it into the soil down to a depth of a couple inches and feel around. If there is some moisture still there, leave it be. If the soil feels like it’s getting dry, give it just enough water to where you see water starting to escape through the drainage holes and stop.
Pruning: Early spring is the best time for pruning the monkey puzzle tree. This is the best time to remove any issues that may have occurred over the winter. Always be sure to sterilize your cutting tool with some rubbing alcohol and make your cut at a 45 degree angle above a lateral branch. Also remove any brown or yellowing leaves by making your cut as close to the trunk as possible.
Suckers may appear near the base of the tree. Be sure to remove these as soon as possible as they will steal nutrients away from the primary trunk. A monkey puzzle has a naturally round shape that is relatively easy to maintain with little effort but can be shaped into any desired form. Lower branches of a potted puzzle tree will die off later in the plant’s life and these will need to be removed.
Fertilization: Puzzles need a good fertile soil in order to grow. You can amend some compost into your soil at the planting site if it’s lacking in nutrients. A monthly feeding around early spring to summer with an all purpose, water soluble fertilizer formula is recommended. Potted puzzles need a monthly fertilizing with a balanced house plant food. If the tree’s new growth appears to be pale in color then this is an early warning that more fertilizer is needed. Apply a micro-nutrient spray yearly once or twice for the best results.
Most items ship the next business day unless otherwise noted
Estimated Shipping Time: Most orders ship immediately, however some orders may ship in 1-2 business days (we do not ship on the weekends) from date of purchase. As noted on the website, some items are seasonal, and may only ship in spring or fall. Once your order is shipped, you'll receive an email with a tracking number.
|Amount of Order||Shipping Charge|
|Less than $15||$11.95|
|$149 & above||Free Shipping!|
You can still order, but due to cold weather, we have delayed shipping to the areas shaded on the map below. We want your new plant to thrive right out of the box, so we will wait on shipping your order until the weather is ideal. This includes anyone in
Growing Zones 3, 4, 5 or 6. If you are unsure of your growing zone, visit our
Growing Zone Finder.
We will resume normal shipping in the Spring. Please see the table below for your approximate ship date.
|Growing Zone||Shipping Resumes|
|Zones 3 & 4||Week of April 29th|
|Zones 5||Week of April 14th|
|Zones 6||Week of April 7th|
|Zones 7-11||Ships Now!|