The Complete Guide for Austrian Pine (Pinus Nigra) Care


The Austrian Pine, otherwise known as the Pinus Nigra, Black Pine, Calabrian Pine, Corsican Pine, Larch Pine or European Black Pine, is a popular tree plant loved by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this tree will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its dark green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Austrian Pine is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Austrian Pine Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Austrian Pine are the following:

  • Water: The Austrian Pine wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Pinus Nigra in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Austrian Pine in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Austrian Pine is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Austrian Pine belongs to the Pinaceae family, the genus Pinus and the species Nigra, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Pinus Nigra (PY-nus Ny-gruh).

As with other Pinus’s, the Austrian Pine is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Austrian Pine is a plant native to the Mediterranean and Eastern Austria to Northern Caucasus.

You might be wondering why your Austrian Pine’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Pinus Nigra will be most used to the heat zones in the 4 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, A3.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Austrian Pine is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, what size of Austrian Pine are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Pinus Nigra can grow up to 40′ – 60′ (12m – 18m) in 40′ – 60′ (12m – 18m) and 20′ – 40′ (6m – 12m) in 20′ – 40′ (6m – 12m). 

Watering

In terms of watering, the Austrian Pine is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mainly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Pinus Nigra wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Austrian Pine in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Austrian Pine then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Austrian Pine needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Austrian Pine prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Austrian Pine requires soil with clay, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Placement

In terms of light & exposure, the Austrian Pine requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Pinus Nigra in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Austrian Pine will be present year-round in your garden. Moreover, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.

Flowers

You can expect your Austrian Pine to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

The Austrian Pine produces some small flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Austrian Pine have a beautiful dark green color during most of the year.

You can expect the leaves from your Pinus Nigra to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Austrian Pine is well known for its tolerance to salt, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Pinus Nigra will be fine.

Garden

How should you then organize your garden to include your new Austrian Pine? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Pinus Nigra owners agree that this tree will look great in most asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they compliment well most gardens of informal and cottage, coastal garden, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Austrian Pine’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a privacy screen, topiary, coastal exposure, specimen, or a windbreak.

Companion Plants

Austrian Pine’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Acer, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Ilex will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Austrian Pine in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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