Cordyline – Growing and Caring for the Hawaiian Ti Plant

Cordyline - Growing and Caring for the Hawaiian Ti Plant

Home friendly cordylines are easy and fun to grow at indoors. But the problem arises when the plant growth diminishes. It can due to the several issues like overwatering, lack of nutrients, pests problem. To overcome these problems proper care must be taken for cordyline plants under right growing conditions.

In this article, you will be able to know about the growth factors and common problems in cordylines, its preventive methods and how it acts as an air purifier plant when planted indoors.

Cordyline is a woody flowering plant that is native to New Zealand, Australia, South America and the western Pacific Ocean regions. These plants are mostly used as houseplants in areas with bright light whereas in landscape method directly planted in the ground. It is a tropical perennial shrub used for ornamental purposes.

This plant is best known for bronze green and pink foliage.  Some other red varieties prefer warm temperatures and bright sunlight for better growth. There is a belief that one of the cordyline variety cordyline fruitcosa brings good luck to its owner. This could be one of the reasons to grow more in Australia and New Zealand countries and also has the capability to purify the air by suppressing harmful toxins in the atmosphere.

Cordyline - Growing and Caring for the Hawaiian Ti Plant

Cordyline Varieties:

Cordyline species are classified into 24 species out of which 15 species are woody flowering plants. Here is the list of some popular cordyline varieties to grow in your home or garden.

Variety Origin
Cordyline australis New Zealand
Cordyline cannifolia Australia
Cordyline fruiticosa Pacific Regions
Cordyline obtecta New Zealand
Cordyline minutiflora New Guinea
Cordyline rubra Australia
Cordyline stricta Australia
Cordyline pumilio New Zealand

How to Grow Cordyline from Seeds?

Cordyline plants like to grow with partial shade to full sun.  But when planted in full requires more water to thrive. Here are some important factors of cordylines when you start growing from seeds…

Other Names: Good luck plant, Cabbage tree, Hawaii Ti, Palm lily

USDA Zones: 9-12

Flowers:  Red, pink and yellow

Plant Height: 10 feet tall

Temperature:  65 – 70 F

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade

Fertilizers: N-P-K (10-10-10)

Cordyline seed variety: 

Before growing cordyline plant in your home, start purchasing cordyline seeds from a nursery or store. If your neighbors or friends grow them borrow few seeds to plant in your garden space.

Pot & Soil: 

Choose a pot of size 6-8 inches when you start growing from seeds. Pots can be made of clay, a ceramic that has more capability to allow drainage water from the hole at the bottom. Later you can shift the plant to bigger pots when matures.

Select a suitable soil to grow them in pots. These plants are susceptible to fluoride toxicity which causes mottling, tip burn, and leaf death. To maintain the soil pH between 6.0 -6.5 in pots that reduces the fluoride absorption.

Water & Sunlight: 

Water the plant sufficiently in required amounts. Cordyline plants grow best in the USDA region of 10-12. Do not overwater as the plant cannot survive and may die causing root rot.

The seeds may even germinate within 8-12 weeks when you maintain the temperature between 65-70 F. Also provides sunlight to a minimum of 6-8 hours a day that helps to absorb nutrients from the soil thereby promoting plant growth. Some plant varieties can even tolerate at low temperatures of 15 F. When the plant matures it grows to a height of 6-10 feet tall.


These plants require hard pruning method and mostly preferred during the mid-spring season. Simply remove the dead leaves, cut back to side shoots, basal shoots up to the ground level. After pruning encourages new growth by an application of balanced fertilizer in spring.


Repotting is done in case of cordyline plants when the roots emerge out from the pot.  When you transfer the plant to bigger pots use the sandy soil mixed with compost or manure and is important to maintain the drainage levels properly.

Nutrient Deficiency

S. No Element Deficiency Symptom
1 Nitrogen Slow growth, leaves become pale
2 Phosphorus Reduces leaf production, leaves turn blue color
3 Potassium Purplish brown patches at the base of petioles
4 Magnesium Reduces plant height, leaves turn yellowish brown color

Pests & Diseases

Pests Diseases
Aphids Bacterial leaf spot
Cabbage white butterfly Fusarium spot
Cordyline caterpillar Poor color
Thrips Damping off
Spider mites Root rot


Fertilize the plant every month using balanced granular fertilizer in the ratio of (10-10-10). Apply fertilizers only to the damp soil and then water immediately after fertilizing. Also use organic matter such as compost, manure, Neem oil, insecticidal soaps and baking soda to deter pest problem.

Cordyline - Growing and Caring for the Hawaiian Ti Plant

Can you propagate Cordyline from Cuttings?

These plants are palm-like evergreen shrubs that produce long leaves in different colors. You can easily grow cordylines from leafless stem cuttings at outdoors.

Fill a flower pot with 60% of peat moss in it. Now insert the shorter stem into the mix to produce a new hybrid variety plant. Water thoroughly to the stem cuttings and place the pot in bright indirect light.  If planted outdoors during starting stage then you can move it inside during winter season.

You can also propagate cordyline plant by simply taking a tip cutting from the plant and then root the cuttings in growing medium. Both of these propagation methods help the cordyline plants to grow quickly and make your garden look beautiful and also supplies fresh air by suppressing harmful toxins in the atmosphere.

Growing Tips

Here are some useful tips to grow cordyline plants in your home…

  • Fertilize the plants for every 4-6 weeks with organic content.
  • Wear gloves, goggles and face masks while pruning the cordyline plant.
  • Make sure the plant receives sunlight for a minimum of 6hrs a day when planted indoors.
  • Follow instructions & warning labels on seed covers, fertilizers before applying them.
  • The pot or container must have holes at the bottom for better air circulation and for maintaining proper drainage levels.
  • Keep children and pets like dogs and cats away from plants as they cannot tolerate bearing the harmful toxins releasing from the plants.
  • Add mulches such as dead leaves, ripe fruits, and vegetables at the base of the plant to retain soil moisture levels.

Cordyline - Growing and Caring for the Hawaiian Ti Plant

Is cordyline a perennial or annual?

A cordyline variety i.e. red star spike is a perennial flowering cold hardy plant in USDA regions of 9-11.  Move the plant to indoors before there is a threat of frost. Plants may even die when left outdoors during frost time.

Can Cordylines survive winter?

Not all cordyline varieties will not survive in winter but only a few mature species can survive in winter outdoors in urban areas. You can also establish the plant in spring outdoors before the onset of the winter season.

What are the good companions for cordyline plants?

Cordyline plants are compatible with true and regular varieties. These plants grow quickly when planted with coleus, dusty miller, plectranthus, patio lime, and geraniums.

How often do you water cordylines?

Water the plant in required amounts so as to maintain moisture levels evenly.  Do not allow the water to accumulate in its crown and leaves. You can also place planters near plants that allow evaporation process, air flow, and water drainage levels.

 Are cordyline plants poisonous?

These plants are non-toxic to humans but can dangerous to your pets.  When dogs and cats eat the leaves of cordylines, contains chemical compounds that are harmful and may result in vomiting, diarrhea and skin irritations to your pets.

What are the medicinal uses of cordylines? 

Cordylines are used to treat injuries and illness either by boiling into a drink or into a paste. The growing tip of the plant is eaten raw for treating blood tonic issues and as a cleanser. Juice from the leaves is obtained by rubbing and is used for cuts and cracks.

Cordyline - Growing and Caring for the Hawaiian Ti Plant

Start growing these wonderful cordyline plants in your home or garden that add beauty to your garden and monitors your health. If you have amazing ideas about growing cordyline plants please share your experience with us.

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