Growing a Norfolk Island pine as a houseplant starts with realizing a few important things about Norfolk pines. While they may share the name and even resemble a pine tree, they are not true pines at all, nor are they as hardy as the standard pine tree that people are accustomed to. In terms of proper Norfolk pine tree care, they are more like a gardenia or orchid than a pine tree. The first thing to keep in mind with the care of Norfolk pines is that they are not cold hardy. They are a tropical plant and cannot tolerate temperatures below 35 F. For many parts of the country, the Norfolk Island pine tree cannot be planted outside year round. It also needs to be kept away from cold drafts.