Cordylines are diverse when it comes to appearance and size. The majority are the ideal choice for accents or borders.
You can add it in your yard to set off vibrant flowers or work as an artistic element in a rock garden.
Cordylines also work best in the corners of your patio or indoors in your living room.
Cordyline is a bold and striking shrub that steadily develops a tree-like structure.
It imparts a dramatic and exotic element with its attractive shape, either forming a single trunk or multiple stems with dense clusters of narrow, elongated leathery leaves.
Aside from its striking leaves, the mature plants can also generate large clusters of miniature creamy-white flowers during summer.
The Growth Rate of Cordylines
Depending on the variety of cordyline that you have and the growing conditions, it can grow to its full potential over time.
The trunk can take on a palm-like form without branching and can reach up to ten feet or more in some types.
Cordylines that reach 20 years of age are not uncommon in established nurseries.
Remember that it can take around four years for a stem cutting to achieve an acceptable size and 15 to 20 years for a cordyline to form a trunk and grow into a tree.
Although cordylines have an exotic appearance, they are hardy plants and can endure the winter outside in temperate areas or sheltered spaces outdoors with winter temperatures to around –5 degrees Celsius.
Cordylines thrive best in well-draining soil.
If you reside in a cold area, it’s best to grow cordylines in pots and move them indoors or undercover during the winter or wrap them to protect against the frost.
Cordylines are ideal as a specimen plant in your lawn or the border as a striking contrast to other plants.
The varieties with green leaves thrive best under the full sun, while those with colored leaves do best in minimally shaded areas. .
Ensure that you protect them from cold winds, except in mild seaside areas where cordyline thrives best and is tolerant of the salty winds.
You can also grow cordylines in pots or containers, especially the huge ones. The plant can stay in the same container for several years.
.It’s important to note that cordylines are likely to outgrow smaller containers in just a year or two.
You need to move up to a larger pot or transfer it to the ground in such cases.
If you are going to place the plant inside your home or in an office environment, make sure it receives sunlight, preferably close to the windows.
Proper Care for Cordylines
Cordylines typically develop their distinctive trunk as they mature.
In most cases, the lower leaves turn yellow and die off to reveal the growing trunk and must be pulled out gently or trimmed off.
When you have one in the ground, it’s usually tolerant of drought once it establishes itself, but you should water new plants during dry spells on their first growing season. Once spring arrives, apply a general slow-release fertilizer.
When growing in containers or pots, provide regular watering so that the compost is evenly moist but take care not to overwater.
It would be best if you avoid the accumulation of water in the pot.
The best way to prevent this is to position pots on gravel or elevate them off the ground so that any leftover water will freely drain away.
Provide a single dose of controlled-release fertilizer in potted plants during early spring or add monthly liquid fertilizer applications during the spring and summer seasons.
Winter Care for Cordylines
For those who live in cold regions, cordylines can endure temperatures of around –5 degrees Celsius, but the foliage might end up getting disfigured by the cold winds and frosts.
It’s best to wrap the plant during wintertime to protect the leaves from damage and ensure protection to the plant’s growing point.
Wrap the plant during harsh and humid weather to avoid holding moisture under the covering, leading to rot.
It would be best to use a smooth tie such as raffia, soft string, or old nylon tights.
Begin at the uppermost level of the trunk and move upwards around the leaves to pull upwards into a point.
Cover the plant in horticultural fleece with the thickest grade. During late winter, when the weather is starting to warm up, remove the wrapping.
When you have plants in containers or pots, you can wrap them up to include the container if it’s impossible to transfer them under cover.
The ideal location for pots is under the cover of a building, preferably on a south-facing wall and right close to the house for extra protection against frost.
You can grow cordyline from seeds, but it will take a long time to develop sizeable plants.
The large, well-established plants might produce suckers, which are shoots that form from the plant’s base, which you can propagate to make new plants.
With a sharp knife, use it to detach the sucker from the parent plant and pot in small containers that contain cutting compost with perlite, grit, or vermiculite.
You must position it on a well-lit window or in a greenhouse and transplant it the following year.
Another propagation method is to use cuttings from the plant to see growth within one to two weeks, especially if you’re using the water rooting method.
With the right growing conditions, cordylines are generally free of diseases and pests.
In case the soil is too wet, the plant is prone to rot at the stem’s base, where it comes in contact with the ground.
In cold regions, frost damage is an issue of concern since it can disfigure the foliage, often killing the plant’s growing part.
The damage might only cover the leaves or some or all of the stem during severe cold spells.
During mild spring, remove any dead leaves or stem by sawing away the trunk or cutting off the dead foliage.
Take note that cordylines often regrow and produce new buds from the remaining trunk or the ground.
Slime flux is an issue brought about by frost damage. You can detect it by the unpleasant ooze forming on the affected area.
Get rid of the affected area by cutting it below the healthy growth.
Where to Buy Cordyline
You can buy cordyline from nurseries and garden centers. Remember that you can find more choices if you buy one from a specialist nursery.
It might be best to research the height and spread of the cordyline, which will provide you with an idea of how it will develop.
Check the space you are planning to grow the plant. The area must be sheltered and has enough light to support your cordyline.
It’s vital for those who live in cold regions to protect the plant from the winter elements.
With proper care for your cordylines, they will grow optimally in your garden or indoors.
Caring for this plant is simple as long as you provide the essentials. If you don’t have one yet in your garden, it might be time to consider getting one.
The vibrant color of the leaves and their striking appearance is a lovely element in your home or office.