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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens


Plant Profile Series

 
 

 

MONKEY PUZZLE - Bunya-Bunya Tree

There are two kinds of plants. There are those that require pampering and then there are the durable, can't kill-it-no-matter-what-you-do kind. For those interested in the no problem plant, this weird but lovable one is for you.

The Monkey Puzzle is a slow-growing coniferous tree, becoming 150 feet high with age in its natural setting. It has wide-spreading branches, long glossy sharp pointed needles with parallel veining up to 2 inches long. A vicious-looking, fearsome tree supposed to keep the monkeys puzzled because they can't manage to climb over the spiked leaves.

WATER: They are not particular about soil, but require good drainage. Allow the soil to reach the dry-to-touch stage between waterings. This allows the roots to get good doses of air in the intervals between each thorough dousing.

LIGHT: They are also not fussy about light. An hour or so of sunlight a day usually suffices as long as the room is fairly bright.

You can't prune a Monkey Puzzle, or at least you shouldn't. It also seems to be pest-free. The only thing you should do with it is to give it a nice shower in the bathtub occasionally for dust removal. This is about all you can do for the plant, other than fulfill its not-so-demanding watering and feeding demands.

When you think about what you don't have to do to keep a Monkey Puzzle beautiful, you can't help appreciating it.

These plants are occasionally available in 7" or 12" pots.