Also known as ti tree or plant and red dracaena, Cordyline terminalis is sometimes incorrectly sold as Dracaena terminalis. It has more or less lance-shaped leaves up to 2ft/60cm long and 4in/10cm or so wide. Young foliage is pinkish red, gradually becoming deep coppery green.
Several attractively colored varieties are available, including ‘Rededge,’ probably the most popular, with leaves streaked and outlined in red and a relatively compact habit. ‘Baptistii’ is flushed with red and yellow, and ‘Kiwi’ has leaves of mid green, light green, and cream, edged and flushed with pink. As the plant grows, the lower leaves fall to produce a plant with a rosette of foliage at the top of a long stem. It will last for several years. The broad leaves have long leaf stalks and spread out like a fan from the central stem.
Dry air causes brown edges on the foliage. Regular frequent misting is required. Bright, filtered light is needed for the most intense leaf color. Watch out for aphids on the young leaves, particularly on the undersides. Treat with a contact insecticide.
Cordyline Fruticosa FACT FILE
HEIGHT 3-5ft/90cm-1.5m in a container indoors.
POTTING MIX Soil- or peat-moss-based.
REPOTTING In spring move into a pot one size larger until the maximum required pot size is reached; thereafter top-dress annually.
PROPAGATION In spring separate suckers from the base of the plant and keep them in warm, humid conditions until established. In early summer, cut the stems from old plants into 2-in/5-cm sections, each with a bud, and insert into seed mix with added sharp sand.
KEEPING PLANTS This is a long-lived plant under favorable conditions.
Cordyline Fruticosa PLANT CARE
- Bright conditions with filtered sun.
- Minimum winter temperature of 60°F/16°C.
- Keep the soil evenly moist during the growing season. Allow the surface to dry out between waterings in winter.
- Mist the foliage regularly.
- Feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks in spring and summer.
- Protect from drafts.