Plant cordyline: Plant Care & Growing Guide

Plant Care & Growing Guide

Cordyline, or ti, is a common decorative plant that thrives indoors or outdoors depending on where it’s grown. Cordyline typically has leathery, spikey leaves in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, white, purple, and purplish-red.

Some species in this group have fragrant flowers followed by berries. The moderate-growing plant will produce white, pink, or pale lavender flowers that are cup-shaped and sweet-smelling. They bloom in early summer and then small berries will appear after the flowers. It’s more typical for flowering to occur in outdoor varieties, but flowers can appear on houseplants. If you plant cordyline outside, do so in the spring. Note that this plant is toxic to dogs and cats.

Common Name Cordyline, Hawaiian ti plant, good luck plant
Botanical Name Cordyline terminalis
Family Asparagaceae
Plant Type Evergreen shrub
Mature Size 3-6 ft. tall and wide
Sun Exposure Full-sun, partial sun
Soil Type Well-draining
Soil pH 6.0-6.5
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color White, pink, lavender
Hardiness Zones 9-11 (USDA)
Native Area Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia
Toxicity Highly toxic to dogs and cats

Cordyline Care

Tropical cordyline is a hardy outdoor perennial plant in warmer climates and an annual plant in cooler climates. Its many varieties are colorful and cheery, and it’s an attractive low-maintenance evergreen shrub. Ti will bring color to both your indoor and outdoor garden, and it’s very easy to maintain.

The name Cordyline originates from Greek; the word kordyle, meaning “club,” is a reference to the plant’s vigorous root system. If you’ve planted cordyline outdoors in a raised garden bed, the root system can sometimes grow so large it may disrupt surrounding plants.

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Arayabandit / Getty Images

Icy Macload / Getty Images


Cordyline prefers sun over shade, but you will need to be specific with the amount of light your plant receives. Ti needs bright light, but avoid direct sunlight in unhabituated plants. Also, green-leaved cordyline tends to do best with direct light, while those with other colored leaves may prefer bright indirect or filtered sunlight.


Cordyline needs a rich, well-drained high-quality potting mix with a pH of 6-6.5.


Ti plants prefer to be watered when the surface of the soil feels dry. Water until it starts to run out of the drainage holes. Do not put the drained water back into the plant.


These plants can be fed in the spring with slow-release pellets. You can feed the plant weekly during the growing season with a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer at half-strength. Do not fertilize during the winter.

Temperature and Humidity

Ti thrives in temperatures above 62 degrees Fahrenheit and prefers a high humidity environment. Avoid putting the plant near a cold draft like a window. These are tropical plants, so if you’re experiencing leaf drop, try raising both the temperature and humidity.

Types of Cordyline

  • ‘Calypso QueenCordyline fruticosa: Ruby-maroon leaves
  • ‘Oahu Rainbow’ Cordyline fruticosa: Dark-green leaves streaked with pink and white
  • ‘Firebrand’ Cordyline fruticosa: Pink leaves that darken to maroon
  • ‘Hilo Rainbow’ Cordyline fruticosa: Deep-green foliage with pops of burgundy
  • ‘Hawaiin Boy’ Cordyline fruticosa: Dark purple to red foliage
  • ‘Rubra’ Cordyline fruticosa: Leaves of bronze green centers and wine red edges
  • ‘Chocolate Queen’ Cordyline terminalis: Chocolate and yellow-green leaves
  • ‘Red Star’ Cordyline australis: Compact plant with bronze leaves
  • ‘Kiwi’ Cordyline fruticosa: Palm type of shrub with arching leaves
  • ‘Red Sensation’ Cordyline australis: Grass-like with bronze leaves


A mature, well-trimmed plant should have stems of various heights, up to 3 feet to 4 feet (some stems can go much higher), and be clothed in leaves to the soil level. Over time, cordylines tend to become leggy, so you may want to trim back individual stems in a staggered pattern to keep the plant full.

Propagating Cordyline

Propagating ti is typically done with stem cuttings. The easy process is as follows:

  1. Cut 3- to 5-inch pieces from mature stems and remove all of the leaves.
  2. Lay the pieces in a damp mixture of sand and perlite, and keep them in a room that’s at least 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Shoots will grow from the eyes of the stems and can be planted in potting soil when they have about four to six leaves each. You can repot in spring or every other spring, as needed.

How to Grow Cordyline From Seed

Ti can be grown with purchased seeds or harvested seeds from the ripened berries that you may occasionally find even on an indoor plant.

  1. Harvested seeds need to be squeezed out of the berry and cleaned. If you found indoor berries, just clean the seeds and let them air-dry for a few days before planting. If you found your berries outdoors, they’ll need to be stratified for several months before planting.
  2. When seeds are ready, sow them in well-draining, sandy compost. Germination should happen in four to six weeks, but possibly longer.

Potting and Repotting Cordyline

Cordyline grows well in pots, especially if you don’t live in a tropical climate: You can just bring cordyline indoors for care during the winter. When it’s time to move the plant outdoors during warmer months, make sure the outdoor soil drains well and any threat of frost has passed.

The plant doesn’t need to be repotted unless it’s growing too large for its pot, which might be every few years. When repotting, choose a tall pot of any material with adequate drainage holes for cordyline to accommodate two to three years of root growth.


If you’re at the cooler end of cordyline’s hardiness zones (9 through 11), you can tie up your plant’s leaves with natural twine to keep them safe in cooler months; just be sure they’re dry before you do so to avoid rot. Outdoor cordyline plants also need to be well secured in harsh, windy conditions; the long, thin leaves can thrash in the wind and cause the plant to topple over.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Cordyline is prone to common pests and problems, such as scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs. All of these can be fixed with either neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Ti also attracts bacterial leaf spot and root rot. You can try to beat both of these problems with fungicide and by making sure the plants aren’t sitting in soil that’s too wet.

Common Problems With Cordyline

This otherwise easy-going tropical plant will let you know if it’s in trouble by the condition of its leaves. Here’s how to fix a leaf issue.

Browning Tips

This is a common problem with many houseplants, including indoor-grown cordyline. The plant may be experiencing underwatering, overwatering, too much fertilizer, root rot, or even overly dry air.

However, another issue could be the salts and fluoride in the tap water used to moisten the plant. Cordyline is sensitive to fluoride, which is found in many residential water supplies. Flush the plant, or before watering, leave the water in an open container overnight to reduce chlorine and salts. You can also switch to distilled or bottled water or harvest rainwater for plants.

Leaves Turning Yellow

A second common problem with houseplants like cordyline is the yellowing of leaves. Most plants naturally shed older yellow leaves. But, if your cordyline’s leaves are turning yellow, it may also mean it has a watering issue or it’s getting too much sunlight. It needs indirect bright light rather than harsh rays directly on the leaves.

Yellow leaves could also mean your plant is in a spot where there are frequent temperature fluctuations. Check for drafts. Allow the leaves to drop and see how the plant fares in another spot.

If you see that the lower leaves are turning yellow, that usually means there’s root rot. Check for waterlogged or blackened roots. Unfortunately, you may not be able to save a cordyline plant with root rot.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Ti-plant. ASPCA.

  2. Ti-Plant. ASPCA.

  3. Cordyline – Ti Plant. University of Florida. 

  4. Cordyline terminalis. The University of Vermont.

  5. Are Cordylines and Dracaenas the Same? The International Cordyline Society.

Cordyline Plant Care & Growing Guide

Do you want to add a burst of color to your living space? Then add the Cordyline plants to your indoor collection. The Ti plant is a universal and impressive plant that grows outdoors and inside.

The plant Cordyline has colorful leaves with a palm-like growth and fits into any design.

More About Cordyline Plants

The Cordyline plants are made up of different tropical plant species. Many gardeners refer to it as the cabbage tree, native to New Zealand and Australia to the Oceania islands in Indochina.

You can find some varieties appearing in Southeast Asia and South America. When grown in the right conditions in a container, it can reach up to 4 feet tall, while a planted Cordyline outdoors reaches 49 feet.

These outdoor plants have leathery leaves in different colors, depending on the variety. It develops flower clusters in tropical climates and blooms with intense-smelling flowers. The pygmy cabbage tree can also produce berries after it blooms.

Another important note is that the Ti plants belong to the Asparagaceae family, the same group as the Agave and Dracaena.

Ti Plant Care Guide

The Cordyline plant varieties you can grow as indoor plants and outdoors. No matter where you decide to grow Cordyline, the care needs remain the same. The important thing is to provide it with a deep container in your indoor space.

Best Soil to Prevent Root Rot

For Cordyline, we will provide you with all the steps for growing them outside and indoors. The critical thing with Cordyline care is to provide them with well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging leading to root rot. Cordyline grows in the deep ground with a soil pH of 6 to 6.5.

Planting Cordyline Plants Outside

  1. Start by digging a hole two times deeper and wider than the rootball.

  2. Then place the tilled native soil removed from the hole around the perimeter or on a tarp.

  3. Depending on the soil pH, you may need to amend it as sandy or clay soil is not beneficial for this plant. You can add some organic matter like bagged topsoil, homemade compost, or a planting mix with clay soil. Then form a raised bed or a mound to provide soil drainage.

  4. If the soil is sandy, you can add topsoil, compost, or peat moss to help retain moisture. While fertile loamy soil that drains well may not need amendment, some organic matter added is always beneficial.

  5. Then loosen the rootball in the container by squeezing the sides gently. If the roots are stuck, we recommend cutting the container. Next, loosen some feeder roots and set your plant in the hole.

  6. Ensure that the top edge of the rootball is a bit above the ground level, but before you place it in, add some mixed soil at the bottom first and start backfilling around your plant. Tamps out the air pockets as you backfill the ground, and when at the halfway mark, soak it with water and continue to the top edge.

  7. Then end it with deep watering and leave it to work its way into the ground.

  8. Once watering, you can add a one-inch layer of mulch using pine straw or chipped wood. Still, do not use freshly chipped wood but use a cured one.

Container Planting Cordyline

Another fantastic thing is growing Cordyline in a deep tall pot to care for in the home. As with growing outdoors, it needs well-drained soil with ample drainage holes allowing excess water to run from the pot.

  1. Before you fill the container with the potting mix, we recommend placing some shade cloth at the bottom to prevent the drainage hole from getting clogged.

  2. As in the previous steps, remove your plant and loosen some feeder roots.

  3. Place a small potting mixture at the bottom and set the rootball in the container following the same steps as planting in a hole in the ground.

  4. Backfill the soil and tamp as you work until you reach the edge of the root ball.

  5. Water well, let the excess water drain from the pot, and add more mix as needed.

  6. You can place a layer of bark chips or sphagnum moss on the soil surface to conserve moisture, but optional.

Lighting Needs For Ti Plant

The dwarf cabbage tree prefers the sun compared to shade. Hence, your plant prefers full sun in the morning with partial shade in the afternoon, depending on where you live. In warmer climates, the Cordyline with green leaves does best in direct sunlight, while ones with colored leaves prefer bright indirect light or even filtered sunlight.

Watering Your Evergreen Shrub

The Cordyline plant thrives in moist soil and prefers watering when the soil surface is dry. You can water it well and allow the excess water to drain from the container. Then, remove the drained water from the catch sauces, and do not put it back into the plant.

As crucial as bright light is for your plant, a note of warning is that this plant is susceptible to fluoride in water. If you notice yellow leaf tips, it can be from too much fluoride, and best to use rainwater or distilled bottled water.

In cooler climates, you may find you do not need to water often, but it is best to keep checking the soil moisture with the finger test. Also, if you need to give tap water, we recommend leaving it standing overnight for the chemicals to evaporate.

Another important note is to water at the base of the plant and not over the leaves. These plants are not drought tolerant and prefer the soil to be moist.

Temperature & Humidity

Ti plants thrive in temperatures that are above 62°F with high humidity levels. In colder climates, we recommend bringing your plant inside and providing it with indoor space.

Also, prevent placing your plant close to a draft as they will experience leaf drop. These plants do well in the USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.

To help raise the humidity, you can use a humidifier, group humid-loving plants together, or place them on a pebble tray with water.

For overwintering protection outdoor Cordyline, you can tie the leaves up with natural twine but ensure the foliage is dry before doing this.

Fertilizing Your Ti Plant

When you receive your new plants, we do not recommend feeding them until they are established in their environment. You can fertilize your plant in the growing season in spring using slow-release pellets and in summer weekly with a liquid fertilizer like a 20-20-20 once at half strength.

Refrain from fertilizing in winter as your plant is dormant.

Pruning Your Cordyline Varieties

Your mature plant must have stems of various heights ranging up to four feet. When your plant becomes leggy, you can trim individual stems to provide a full look. If you notice the leaves turn brown, you can remove diseased or damaged foliage.

Propagating Cordyline Plants

To propagate Cordyline, it is best done with stem cuttings and an easy process. You can also grow them from seeds you harvest when berries ripen, but it does take longer.

Stem Cuttings

  1. Cut up to five-inch pieces of a mature plant and remove all the leaves, leaving you with a bare stem.

  2. Dampen some sand and perlite and lay the pieces on the soil’s surface. Keep them at a room temperature of 62°F.

  3. You will see shoots growing from the stem eyes, and you can plant them into pots when it grows four to six leaves. You can then repot them in early spring.

Growing From Seeds

  1. Harvest the seeds from ripened berries and squeeze them and clean them.

  2. Leave the seeds to air dry for a couple of days if found indoors.

  3. You will need to stratify outdoor seeds for a couple of months.

  4. Once the seeds are ready, you can sow them in well-drained soil; germination should take about six weeks.

Cordyline Varieties

Regarding Cordyline, care is similar for all varieties, and these cultivars add color to a home or garden. In the species, you can find some even growing white flowers followed by berries.

Cordyline fruticosa

The plant also goes by the name Cordyline terminal and ranges in different colors in the species available. It can have ruby-maroon, dark green with streaks of pink/white, pink leaves, to reddish purple.

Cordyline australis

The plant has a compact growth with bronze foliage compared to other plants. It also goes by the name Red Star or Red Ti. The other common name it is sold under is Cordyline Red Sensation.

Cordyline pumilio

When growth begins, it only reaches up to three feet tall with a trunk giving it the dwarf cabbage tree. It is the smallest of the varieties available and has narrow leaves. When looking at the leaves, it looks like grass but is grown as a food crop to sweeten foods.

While native to New Zealand, you can find it in other pacific islands to Eastern Australia.

Cordyline terminalis

The plant goes by different names from Ti, Hawaiian Ti plants, and the Good luck plant. It has erect growing foliage with lanceolate leaves in shades of red, bronze, cream, pink, yellow, and more. Some you find even have stripes.

Cordyline Common Diseases And Pests

As with other plants, this species is bothered by pests like scale, spider mites, and mealybugs and easily fixed with insecticidal soap; other concerns are bacterial leaf spots and root rot. You can treat both of the concerns with a fungicide. Nonetheless, you will also find some other common problems:

  • Browning tips result from the potting soil getting too dry from underwatering the plant. It can also result from overwatering or too much fertilizer and dry air. Another concern is it can result from salts and fluoride in the tap water.

  • Yellow leaves can result when a mature plant sheds older leaves, but it can also be a watering issue or too much full sun. Lastly, it can result from standing in drafts or overwatering.

home care, propagation and replanting, varieties with photo

Cordyline, according to information taken from various sources, is a representative of the Agave or Dracene family. This genus includes about 20 different species. Under natural conditions, this plant can be found in all regions with a tropical and subtropical climate. Cordilina is a tree or shrub. Thick and strong roots in the context have a white color. The shape of the leaf plates depends on the type of plant and can be lanceolate, xiphoid or linear. As a rule, the flowers are painted white or red, less often purple. When growing cordilina at home, the bush usually has a height of no more than 150 centimeters. Over time, the lower leaf plates of the bush begin to die off and fall off, as a result, it takes on the appearance of a false palm tree. Flower growers cultivate cordilina because it has spectacular foliage.


  • 1 Caring for cordilina at home
    • 1.1 Light exposure
    • 1.2 Temperature control
    • 1.3 How to water
    • 1.4 Spraying 90 010
    • 1.5 Fertilizer
    • 1.6 Transplantation
  • 2 Propagation of cordilina
    • 2. 1 How grow from seeds
    • 2.2 Propagation of cordilina by cuttings
    • 2.3 Propagation by division
  • 3 Diseases and pests
    • 3.1 Cordyline pests
  • 4 Cordyline species with photos and names
    • 4.1 Cordyline banksii (Cordyline banksii)
    • 4.2 Cordyline terminalis (Cordyline terminalis)
    • 4.3 Cordyline red (Cordyline rubra).
    • 4.4 Cordyline indivisa
    • 4.5 Cordyline stricta
    • 4.6 Cordyline australis

9005 6 Cordilina care at home


Cordilina, grown indoors, needs bright sunlight, but it must be diffused. In this regard, it is best to place it near a window located in the western or eastern part of the room. Remember that the plant should be protected from direct sunlight. If the bush belongs to the dark-leaved variety, then it does not need bright lighting.

Temperature regime

In the summer, in the room where the plant is located, the air temperature should be 20-25 degrees. When growing subtropical species, with the onset of the autumn period, the temperature should be gradually lowered, and in winter it needs a temperature of 5-10 degrees. If tropical species are grown, then in winter they need to be placed in a cooler place with a temperature of 18 to 20 degrees. Such plants need to be protected from drafts.

How to water

In spring and summer, this plant should be watered immediately after the top layer of the substrate has dried. In winter, you should choose such a watering regime so that the earthen ball in the pot never completely dries out, however, you do not need to re-moisten it either. Those species that are at low temperatures in winter should be watered very carefully. For watering it is necessary to use exclusively soft water, well settled for at least 24 hours.


This plant should not be placed near heating appliances in winter. If subtropical species are grown, then it is only necessary to moisten them from a sprayer from time to time. And tropical species in May-August are moistened from a spray bottle at least 1 time per day. Moisturize the cordilina with soft and settled water. When spraying the bush, you need to be careful, as this can cause growth points to rot.


In spring, summer and autumn, the bush should be fed once a week with complex fertilizer. In winter, the plant is fed 1 time in 4 weeks.


Young plants should be repotted once a year, and adults should be repotted once every 2 or 3 years. In the case when the roots no longer fit in the pot, cordilina needs to be transplanted into a new larger container, which is carried out with the onset of the spring period. Before planting a bush, a good drainage layer must be made at the bottom of the container, then it is filled with a slightly acidic soil mixture consisting of sand, garden soil and peat, which must be taken in a ratio of 1: 3: 1. This plant is suitable for growing hydroponically.

Cordyline home care / Cordyline

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Propagation of Cordyline

How to grow from seeds

Seed propagation is only suitable for species plants. The fact is that when grown from seeds of varietal cordilins, they lose the varietal characteristics of parent plants. Sowing of seeds is carried out in the first half of March, for this they use a soil mixture consisting of soddy soil and sand (1: 1). The appearance of seedlings occurs unevenly, the first of them are shown after 4 weeks, and the last after 3 months.

Propagation of cordilina by cuttings

When cutting a cutting, it should be noted that it must contain at least 1 knot. For rooting, you can use apical cuttings, as well as parts of a leafless shoot. However, it should be noted that the stalk must necessarily be semi-lignified. For rooting cuttings, you can use sand or a substrate consisting of peat soil, leafy or humus soil and sand (1: 1: 1). The cuttings must be regularly moistened with a spray bottle, and they must be placed in a warm place (25–30 degrees). If the cuttings are taken care of correctly, then after about 4 weeks they can be planted in separate pots filled with a soil mixture consisting of humus, peat and soddy soil, as well as sand (1: 1: 1: 1). For the subsequent transplantation, which is carried out by the transshipment method, an earth mixture is used, which includes compost or sod and humus soil, as well as sand (1: 1: 1).

Propagation by division

If cordilina is propagated by dividing the rhizome, then all the roots of the division should be cut off, and then it is planted in a substrate that is used to root the cuttings. After the rhizome reappears roots, it should be transplanted into the soil mixture used for planting adult specimens.

Cordilina. Reproduction of cordilina.

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Diseases and pests

  • Brown spots on foliage — If brown spots appear on cordilina leaf plates, this indicates that the plant lacks moisture.
  • Leaf drop — The death and fall of the lower leaf plates is a natural process for this plant, so you should not worry.
  • Bush rot – If there is stagnation of moisture in the substrate, this can cause rot on the lower part of the stem. In this case, it is recommended to cut off the top of the bush, which is used for further rooting.
  • Spots on leaf blades – If dry, light-colored spots appear on the foliage, this indicates that the plant has sunburned as a result of exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Foliage Curl — If the room is too cold, the cordilina foliage loses its turgor and curls up.
  • Blade tips turn brown – If the tips and edges of the blades turn brown, the humidity in the room is too low.

Cordilina pests

Spider mites, scale insects, whiteflies and mealybugs can harm such a flower.

Types of Cordyline with photos and names

Cordyline banksii

The height of the bush can vary from 150 to 300 cm. The straight trunk is quite thin. Leaf plates have long petioles, the length of which is from 15 to 30 centimeters. The elongated-lanceolate leaf plates directed upwards are pointed to the top, they are about 150 centimeters long and about 8 centimeters wide. The front surface of the leaves has a green color, and the wrong side is gray-green. A large paniculate inflorescence consists of white flowers. It is recommended to grow in a cool room.

Cordyline terminalis

Either Cordyline fruticosa or Dracaena terminalis. This shrub has a thin trunk. A bush may have several trunks. The length of the lanceolate leaf plates is about half a meter, and the width is about 10 centimeters, there are veins on the surface. They are colored green or have a variegated color (with a purple tint). The petiole is about 15 centimeters long.

Cordyline rubra.

Or red dracaena (Dracaena rubra). The height of such a shrub is about four meters, as a rule, it is unbranched. Green lanceolate leafy plates are leathery to the touch, they reach about half a meter in length, and about 5 centimeters in width, there are veins on the surface. The length of the grooved petioles is about 15 centimeters. The axillary paniculate inflorescence consists of pale purple flowers, located on short pedicels. It is recommended to grow in a cool room.

Cordyline indivisa

Or Dracaena indivisa. This plant is a tree, reaching a height of 12 meters. A thin trunk does not bend, because it is quite hard. The length of the belt-like sheet plates is about one and a half meters, and the width is about 15 centimeters. The central vein is red. The front surface of the foliage is a matte green color, and the wrong side is a pale bluish color. Branched drooping inflorescence consists of white flowers. It grows best in the cool.

Cordyline stricta

Either Dracaena congesta or Dracaena stricta. The height of a thin trunk is about 3 meters. Leathery to the touch leaf plates have a jagged edge and a green color, their shape is elongated-lanceolate, pointed at the top. In length, the leaves reach a little more than 50 centimeters, and their width is about 30 mm. Panicles consist of small lavender flowers. Inflorescences grow from the axils of the leaves, and are also located at the top of the plant.

Southern cordyline (Cordyline australis)

Or southern dracaena (Dracaena australis). This species is a tree whose height is about 12 meters. The trunk expanding to the base does not bend. Sessile xiphoid green leafy plates are leathery to the touch and have a wide central vein of a light color. White flowers have a pleasant aroma.

Cordilina shrub Care, cuttings

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home care, reproduction, transplantation, types, photo


Elena N.

Category: Houseplants Reissued: Last edited:


  • Botanical description
  • Cultivation in brief
  • Photo cordilina
  • home care cordilina
    • lighting
    • temperature
    • Cordilina watering
    • Spraying
    • Top dressing
    • Transplanting cordilina
    • Growing from seeds
    • Propagation by cuttings
    • Dividing the bush
  • Diseases and pests
  • Species
    • Cordyline banksii
    • Cordyline terminalis
    • Cordyline terminalis red / Cordyline rubra
    • Cordyline undivided / Cordyline indivisa
    • Cordyline straight / Cordyline stricta
    • Cordyline australis
  • Literature
  • Continuation of the topic
  • Comments

Botanical description

Cordi lina (lat. Cordyline) belongs to the Asparagus family and has approximately 20 plant species. In nature, they grow in subtropical and tropical zones around the world.

Cordilina are shrubs or trees. The roots of the plant are powerful, thick, in the context of white. The leaves of different species are xiphoid, lanceolate or linear. It usually blooms with red or white flowers, sometimes purple.

In indoor conditions, the plant rarely grows more than one and a half meters in height. Due to the fall of the lower leaves with age, the cordilina takes the form of a false palm tree. In culture, the plant is grown for the sake of beautiful leaves.

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Cultivation in brief

  • Flowering: the plant is grown as an ornamental leaf.
  • Lighting: bright ambient light. Dark-leaved forms develop well even in partial shade.
  • Temperature: in summer – 20 to 25 ºC. In autumn, the temperature for subtropical species is gradually lowered, and in winter they are kept at 5-10 ºC, and tropical cordilina species hibernate at 18-20 ºC.
  • Watering: in spring and summer moisten the substrate immediately after its top layer dries. In winter, watering should become scarce, if only the earthen ball does not dry out completely.
  • Air humidity: increased. Both tropical and subtropical species need regular spraying of leaves in hot weather with warm water.
  • Top dressing: from spring to autumn every week with a complex mineral fertilizer. In winter, top dressing is applied no more than once a month.
  • Dormant period: late autumn to spring.
  • Transplantation: in early spring: young plants – annually, adults – once every 2-3 years, when the roots fill the entire pot.
  • Substrate: three parts slightly acidic garden soil, and one part each of peat and sand.
  • Propagation: by seeds, cuttings and rhizome division.
  • Pests: whiteflies, scale insects, spider mites, mealybugs.
  • Diseases: rot due to waterlogging of the substrate and loss of decorative leaves due to improper maintenance and poor care.

Read more about cordilina growing below.

Photo of cordilina

See large photos of cordilina with the name of the genus and species. Will open in a new window!

Caring for cordilina at home


Best of all cordilina plant at home feels on the western and eastern windows, because it does not need direct sunlight – it needs bright but diffused lighting. Dark-leaved varieties can be grown in lower light.


In summer, indoor cordilina needs a temperature of 20 to 25 °C. For subtropical species, the temperature begins to gradually decrease in autumn, and in winter it is kept at a temperature of 5-10 ° C above zero. Tropical species should winter at a higher temperature – 18-20 ° C. Home cordilins should not be placed in a draft.

Watering cordilina

Watering in spring and summer Cordylina is watered immediately after the topsoil has dried. In winter, you need to water carefully, not allowing the soil to dry out, but not over-wetting it. Species wintering at low temperatures are watered very carefully. Water should be soft, it is better to defend it for a day before watering.


Cordilina flower at home should not be placed next to heating radiators in winter. Subtropical species are not very demanding on air humidity – they are sprayed from time to time. Tropical species should preferably be sprayed at least once a day from May to August. Water for spraying is used soft and settled. It is also necessary to ensure that the growth points of cordilina do not rot when spraying.

Top dressing

From spring to autumn, indoor cordilins are fed with complex fertilizers 4 times a month. In winter, feeding is carried out less often – once a month.

Cordilina transplant

Young specimens require annual transplantation, older specimens every two to three years. If the roots have filled the pot, then the plant should be transplanted into a larger pot next spring. Drainage is poured at the bottom of the pot, and the substrate is slightly acidic from garden soil, sand and peat (3: 1: 1). Cordylines can be grown hydroponically.

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Growing from seed

Seeds can only propagate the original forms of cordilin, since the bred varieties lose their varietal characteristics. Seeds are sown in early to mid-March in a substrate of equal parts of sand and soddy land. Seedlings appear unevenly – they start in a month and finish in 3.

Propagation by cuttings

For cuttings of cordilina, cuttings with at least one node are cut. Both cuttings from the top and parts of the leafless stem are rooted, but the cutting should in any case be semi-lignified. Root the cuttings in sand or a substrate of equal parts of sand, peat and leaf soil (instead of leaf, you can take humus). A container with cuttings is sprayed, and the temperature is maintained at a level of 25 to 30 ° C. With proper care, within a month, plants can be transplanted into individual pots in a mixture of equal parts of peat, humus, soddy soil and sand. The next time, the cordilina is transferred to a substrate of equal parts of sand, humus and compost soil (instead of compost, you can take turf).

Dividing a bush

When dividing the rhizome, the roots are removed from the planted part and planted in a mixture used for rooting cuttings. When the rhizome takes root, cordilina is planted in a substrate for adult plants.

Diseases and pests

Brown spots on cordilina leaves. Lack of moisture causes brown spots on the leaves.

Cordilina leaves are falling off. If the lower leaves of cordilina fall off, then there is nothing to worry about – this is a natural process.

Cordilina rots. Too much moisture causes the lower part of the stem to rot. The solution to the problem is to cut off the top and root it.

Spots on cordilina leaves. Dry light spots on the leaves indicate an excess of light – the plant does not like direct sunlight.

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Cordilina leaves curl. If the leaves lose their turgor and curl up, this indicates too low a temperature.

Cordilina leaf tips turn brown. If the edges and tips of the leaves take on a brown tint, this indicates low humidity.

Cordilina pests. Cordilina is quite susceptible to damage by pests – whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs and scale insects.


Cordyline banksii

It grows from 1.5 to 3 m in height. The trunk is straight and thin. The leaves are attached to petioles 15-30 cm long. The leaves are directed upwards, pointed to the top, elongated-lanceolate in shape, reach a length of up to 1.5 m, and a width of up to 8 cm; the upper side of the leaf plate is green, and the lower side is green-gray. The inflorescence is a very large panicle with white flowers. Grows best in cool rooms.

Cordyline terminalis

Also called Cordyline fruticosa or apical dracaena (Dracaena terminalis) . These are semi-shrubs with thin trunks. Sometimes there may be several trunks. Leaves lanceolate, up to 0.5 m long and up to 10 cm wide, with veins; green or variegated – with a purple tint. The petiole is 15 cm long. Tall (up to 4 m) shrubs, usually do not branch. Leaves up to 0.5 m long and up to 5 cm wide, lanceolate, leathery to the touch and green in color, with veins. Petioles up to 15 cm long, grooved. Inflorescence – axillary panicle with purple flowers on short pedicels. Feels best in cool rooms.

Cordyline indivisa

Another name is Dracaena indivisa . This species is tall trees (up to 12 m). The barrel is solid, does not bend, although thin. The leaves are belt-shaped, up to 15 cm wide, up to 1.5 m long. The middle vein is red, the upper side of the leaf plate is dull green, and the lower side is bluish. White flowers grow on a drooping branched inflorescence. Likes cool places.

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Cordyline stricta

Also found under the names congesta dracaena (Dracaena congesta) or straight dracaena (Dracaena stricta) . The trunk is thin, grows up to 3 m in height. The leaves are leathery to the touch and with notches along the edges; green, oblong-lanceolate, pointed at the top; grow a little over 0.5 m in length, and up to 3 cm in width. Small lilac-colored flowers grow in paniculate inflorescences. Inflorescences grow both at the top of the plant and from the leaf axils.

Southern Cordyline / Cordyline australis

Other name – Southern Dracaena (Dracaena australis) This species is trees growing to a height of 12 m.