Andean fir - plants, care and overwinter

The Content Of The Article:

monkey-puzzle tree

The Andean fir, known in technical terms as Araucaria araucana, is also known as Chilean fir, chile fir or snake tree. In addition, the fir is also known by the following names:

  • Chilean Araucaria
  • shed fir
  • Monkey tail tree
  • Monkey Puzzle Tree
  • monkey fir
Andean fir or Chilean fir (Araucaria araucana)
Growth rate:5 - 30 cm a year
Height:1000 - 1800 cm
Spread:200 - 400 cm
Root system:Deep-rooting
Location:Sun to partial shade
Ground:nutrient-rich, avoiding limescale
"Show more pictures


The Andean fir belongs to the genus of Araucaria and is therefore considered a particularly old plant. Finally, fossil finds prove that today's araucaria are related to plants that existed on Earth 90 million years ago. According to this, the Schuppenentanne belongs to one of the oldest tree families around the globe.

In Europe, the Andentanne has been known since 1795, which has the plants thanks to a physician and biologist named Archibald Menzies. Only a few years later, 1800, the name "Monkey Puzzle Tree" came to England. An Englishman thought the climb of the Andean fir for a problem even for monkeys hardly to be solved and called the Andentanne accordingly from then on Monkey puzzle tree.

The fact that the tree is so difficult to climb is mainly due to the dagger-like leaves. That there are no monkeys in the wild, where the Andean fir in the wild, there are no monkeys who could try this feat, is rather secondary. If you would like to know more about the Andean fir threatened in your home country as well as the possibilities of breeding in this country, you should definitely read on here.

plant Description

This species of fir is an evergreen that can reach heights of growth of 30 to 50 meters in its native South America, while the trunk then has a diameter of one to two meters. It should also be noted that the Chilean Araucaria grow quite slowly. Each year, they gain no more than a maximum of 30 centimeters in height, so that it takes extremely long, until such a fir has reached its maximum height. In Germany, the annual growth sometimes even only five to 15 centimeters.

However, these trees are also very old. Specimens of Andean fir, which were between 1,300 and 2,000 years old, have already been documented. However, if the Andean fir is to be used as timber, it is usually felled after a good 500 years. It takes a good 100 years for the andes to drop off their lower branches so that the stem of the plant becomes visible there. In addition to the nature of the tree, the following can be stated:

  • very flexible
  • a straight, cylindrical trunk
  • dense needlework on the branches
  • fresh green branches
  • Branches consisting of whorls of 3 to around 7 branches each
  • umbrella or egg-shaped crown
  • deep fir roots

The leaves of the Andean fir shine not only beautifully dark green, but they are also very hard and leathery, and characterized by a scale-like appearance. They have a triangular shape and have a length of 2.5 to about 3 centimeters. In their width they measure between one and two centimeters. The bark of Andean fir has a thickness of ten to 14 centimeters. The bark of the Chilean Araucaria is dark gray and protects the fir not only from heat, but also from possible fires.

This is especially important in the Andean fir-house, where volcanic eruptions can occur. Up to a quarter of the trunk consists of the bark of the plant. The Andean fir is also a single-sex plant that has ocher-yellow heartwood, whose annual rings are extremely hard to spot. The Andean firewood is easy to process and process, which has ensured that the fir is now threatened, as it is often cut down in their home as timber.

Habitat of Andean fir

As the name of the Andean fir already says, this fir comes from Chile, more precisely from the Andes. Also in Patagonia, as well as in Argentina, the fir is native. The evergreen fir can even be found at a height of 600 to 1,700 meters above sea level. Even temperature extremes from minus 20 degrees Celsius to plus 30 degrees Celsius do not bother the plant.In addition, rainfall of 1,000 to 4,500 millimeters per year is expected in their homeland.

In the northwest of Europe, the Andean fir is absolutely hardy and can reach in this country a stature height of up to 50 meters, provided the optimal planting and environmental conditions prevail. Especially the warmer parts of Germany are preferred by the plant, which can be found, for example, in the botanical garden at the castle of Karlsruhe. In many parts of Germany hobby gardeners therefore have a good chance that their Andean fir will thrive magnificently. However, this sometimes requires the Kübelhaltung.

How is the Andean fir used?

Andentanne is not only used in the hobby garden. Rather, the wood of the Chilean jewelry fir is also used in the following areas:

  • house building
  • bridge building
  • boat building
  • veneer

In Chile and Argentina, the pine cones of Andean are even eaten by some indigenous peoples as food. The kernels are cooked for this purpose so that you can then peel off the peel. They are similar in flavor to a mixture of the following foods:

  • potatoes
  • almonds
  • peanuts

How versatile Andentanne can be used is also shown by the fact that it is equally popular as a decorative tree. The park and ornamental tree is very much appreciated for its exotic look and therefore deliberately planted. In the home of the plant, however, it is now even so that this is considered threatened. This has to do with the many uses. In the meantime, trading in the Andean fir is no longer permitted, as it is a highly endangered species, even listed on the Red List. In Chile, therefore, there is even a ban on use, while special protection zones for this species of fir in Argentina were specially set up.

So plant the Andean fir

Location and ground:

As one of the oldest trees in the world, the Andean fir prefers a location that should not only be as warm and sunny as possible, but also best protected from the wind. Regarding the soil conditions, the fir sets the following demands on its environment:

  • lean
  • a high sand content
  • slightly acidic (preferably a pH of 5.5 to 6.8)
  • damp
  • moderate nutritional content

A location with the highest possible humidity is the Affentanne as well. An orientation of the fir to the south or west is considered ideal. Because it can be ensured that the Andean fir barely comes into contact with morning / morning / winter sun. Especially with regard to the overwintering of the monkey bucket outdoors, the siting is crucial.

If the soil in which the Andean fir is to be planted, does not already bring the appropriate nutrient mixture, the hobby gardeners can help if necessary. A mixture of humus, sand and soil is recommended. If it is a particularly heavy soil, so should not be dispensed with a drainage layer. It should be at least 20 centimeters thick to adequately protect the Andean firewood.

Planting instructions:

The Andes fir should not be transplanted in any case, because this tree does not get well. Therefore, it is important to find the right location from the beginning, where the Andean fir can thrive permanently. The cultivation in a bucket is quite conceivable. However, the bucket should be large enough, as a repotting of the plant, as already mentioned, is to be avoided in any case.

»Note the height of growth

When planting the Andes fir, it is important to remember that the tree in this country usually reaches stature heights of ten to a maximum of 15 meters. The monkey pan should therefore only be planted in places where this does not become a problem. In addition, the Andean fir must also have enough space in width, so that their horizontal growth of about four meters can not be a problem. The distance to other plants, walls and roofs should therefore be sufficiently large, since the Andean fir can not later be transplanted and also the pruning of the monkey-tub is problematic.

"Time and planting hole

In this country, the Andean fir is best planted in the spring. This makes sense, because the fir then get used to their new location until autumn and can form enough new roots there. The planting hole, which is excavated for the Andean fir, should be about twice the width and depth of the root ball of the fir. While the Andean fir is threatened in their homeland, young plants in Germany are easily available in specialist shops.

It is best to add garden compost or peat to the planting hole next to soil. Because this contributes to the Andean fir can grow significantly better. The upper limit of the root ball should be completely covered with soil. In the end, lightly soil the soil and in no case forget to water the jewelry fir sufficiently. Because if the conditions are too dry, the Andean fir will not thrive.

»Plant Andean fir in the tub

If the Andean fir is planted in a tub, this is generally possible throughout the year. However, all hobby gardeners should definitely put on a frost-free substrate.In addition, the appropriate drainage must not be missed, since it has an essential effect on the well-being of this plant. The following materials are available in this context:

  • sand
  • gravel

The drainage layer is best covered with a fleece before the planter is filled with the actual substrate. When planting the tub, it is also important to water the Andean fir sufficiently again and to protect the young plants from rain, at least at the beginning.

This is how to properly care for the Andean fir

Andentanne branches and needles

Pouring and fertilizing:

In general, the Andean fir is a rather easy-care plant. However, the fir must be constantly kept moist, so they feel good all around. Soft water is ideal for pouring the monkey-fir. Waterlogging, however, is poison for the fir and should therefore be avoided, so that the monkey pan does not enter.

As a rule, a fertilization of the plant is not required. Only one Andean fir, which is kept as a container plant, should use an organic whole fertilizer in liquid form. It is best to fertilize the plant regularly at intervals of two to three weeks. This does not apply in winter.

Rear section:

A pruning of Andean fir is definitely to be avoided. This is due to the fact that the Andean fir at the pruned areas will not be driven out again in the future. However, if a pruning can not be avoided due to lack of space, it should be well considered. It's best that all hobby gardeners cut off the monkey fir directly in the area of ​​the tree trunk and make sure that no unpleasant stubs remain.

If pruning can not be avoided, it should preferably be done in dry, warm weather. The ideal choice of location, however, contributes to the fact that the Andean fir need never or only minimally trimmed. Each pruning has a negative effect on the appearance of the fir.


The propagation of Andean fir by means of seeds is relatively easy. However, it is important to remember that these are cold germs. These can either be grown in the refrigerator or sown in the garden under the appropriate weather conditions. Finally, the term "cold germ," means that the seeds germinate only in very cold temperatures.

The easiest way for laymen and beginners is to grow cold germs in the refrigerator. For this special breeding shells are needed, in which the seeds of Andean fir can then be given. Together with a moist mixture of sand and earth, the seeds are placed in the bowls, which are then covered with a plastic bag. While the seed germinates, it should not be fertilized under any circumstances, as this could even mean the death of the delicate plantlets.

It takes about three to four weeks for the seeds of Andean fir to germinate in the fridge. In order for this project to succeed, all hobby gardeners should ensure that temperatures of around five degrees Celsius prevail in the refrigerator. After the seeds have germinated, they can be transplanted into a suitable substrate. It is important that the seed is covered with substrate to a maximum of two thirds and still protrudes to one third. The substrate for the Andean fir seeds can be mixed as follows:

  • conventional potting soil from the specialist trade
  • Sand or perlite or kokohum potting soil (about one third)

It is important that the substrate is constantly slightly moist. It can take up to three months to complete germination. The seedlings thrive only at temperatures of five to a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius. While ambient temperatures can vary, they should always be in this tolerance range.


Andean fir is only partially hardy in this country. For this reason, it is advisable to plant the monkey tub in pots right from the start. This step allows easy hibernation of the tree. Whether the fir can also be planted out in your own hobby garden depends above all on what low temperatures are reached in winter.

In addition, the right location can help prevent damage to the Andean fir even during periods of extreme frost. Therefore, it makes sense, for example, if the Andean fir gets allocated a location immediately in the vicinity of a building wall. Although this location should be bright, the monkey fir at the same time also protect against the harmful effects of the winter sun.

A thick layer of mulch to protect the roots of Andean fir can also help with successful wintering outdoors. A shading net, on the other hand, can be used to protect the branches from the effects of the winter sun. To protect the trunk from frost, it can easily be wrapped with one of the following materials:

  • fleece
  • fir branches
  • reed mats

It should also be remembered that the Andean fir must be moderately watered even in winter, so that the root ball does not dry out completely, which would otherwise lead to the "brown" death of the jewelry fir.However, outdoor casting of Andean fir is only recommended if it is currently a frost-free period or a dry frosty period of a longer duration.

Detect and combat diseases and pests

Even if the monkey pan is basically considered to be a very robust plant, its waterlogging can cause considerable damage. Not only the wetness itself damages the plant, but fungal infections are also favored at the same time. As a rule, these are fatal for the fir.

If there is too much frost and too much sun in the winter, it often becomes a serious problem for the tree as well. The Andean fir can then take up no or not enough water and thus easily dried up. That the andes pine dried up, can be seen also by the brown coloring of the tree.

Video Board: How to grow araucaria अरोकेरिया कैसे बढ़ें Christmas tree || simple Care and tips.

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