Cordyline 'Red Star'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast
- Flowering period: July to August
- Hardiness: half hardy (will need winter protection in colder areas)
This popular, palm-like tree has arching, sword-like, deep red leaves, retained throughout the year. Mature trees produce dramatic white flower spikes that smell exquisite. It's an ideal focal point for a sunny, protected border, patio or for the exotic garden. In frost-prone areas it's best grown inside a warm greenhouse or conservatory. In time, container-grown specimens will need to be replanted in the garden.
- Garden care: In spring when new growth appears and all danger of hard frosts has passed, cut back frost-damaged branches to just above the newly formed shoots.
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Q:I have a red Cordyline that doesn't look very healthy, the leaves are splitting and are turning a dry parched colour. It's in a large pot on my patio, which I have kept moist. What am I doing wrong.Asked on 13/7/2014 by Pelly from Northampton.
Usually it is the wind that shreds and splits cordyline leaves. If it is in a windy position I would try and move it to a more sheltered place.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 16/7/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Cordyline australis drooping and dropping leaves?
Sirs, I have many forms of what I call "spiky" plants including Cordyline australis that have not faired well this winter and seem to be dead. The leaves are dropping off or drooping. Are these dead or should I wait to see if they pick up ? I see many gardens with similar plants in the same condition. Kindest regards TerryAsked on 13/3/2010 by terry marsh
A:Hello Terry, Cordylines are not fully hardy I'm afraid so you may have lost them in the unusually cold winter. I would hold tight and keep your fingers crossed though as the plants may rally in summer this year. I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 15/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Cordyline Australis shooting from bottom
Hello Crocus, We are in South West Wales and have several Cordyline australis plants in the garden which we think are about fifteen years old and fifteen feet tall or thereabout. They all look healthy except this year several of them have started to sprout leaves from different parts of the trunk and in two cases low down near ground level. Other gardeners in the area are experiencing the same thing and have put it down to the unusually cold winter last year. Should we leave the new growth or should we remove them? Are they indicative of stress due to unusual weather? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. With kindest regards, RichardAsked on 24/9/2009 by Richard Leveton
A:Hello Richard, It sounds as if your Cordylines are putting on lateral growth, which is quite normal as they mature. This can be prompted if the main stem has suffered some form of damage, but it can just happen spontaneously. These will eventually develop into branching stems, so if you want to keep yours as single stemmed specimens, you should remove them while they are still very small. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 25/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Cordyline advise please
My Cordylines have produced a flowering centre this year. Should this be pruned out or left now the flowering has finished? AlanAsked on 21/7/2009 by Alan Higgs
A:Hello Alan, Once the flower spike has died right back and no longer looks attractive you can either leave it to produce seeds which can be used to create more plants, or you can cut it off at the base. I hope this helps. HelenAnswered on 22/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Can I grow more Cordylines
We have a dark-leaved Cordyline, bought about 3 years ago and which is now around 1.3m tall. During the last 4 weeks it has grown around a dozen basal shoots. Should these be removed and can they be used to grow new Cordyline plants??? Your help would be very much appreciated. regards - CharlesAsked on 5/7/2009 by Anonymous
A:Hello Charles, These plants can be propagated by stem cuttings, but these side shoots will not grow if you remove them and pot them up. If you want to attempt to take stem cuttings, then you should remove sections of a healthy stem, each one with one or two nodes and slice each section in half lengthwise. If the inner section is moist, then root them in moist sharp sand, however if it is dry, you can use a freely draining cutting compost. Lay the cuttings cut side down on top of the sand or soil, water and keep in bright shade at 18-21C until they have rooted. Alternatively you can take a 5-8cm section of stem (cutting just above a node) with one leaf attached. Fill a pot with sharp sand and half bury the stem vertically and trim the leaf by half. Water and keep at temperature as before. Unfortunately though, this does mean you have to chop up your perfectly lovely plant.Answered on 8/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Are ants eating my Sunflowers?
Hi there I bought some sunflowers and planted them. They were doing well, but then the stem seems to be rotting at the base. There are some ants about. This has happened with both sunflowers in pots and in the ground. A few years ago I grew sunflowers without any trouble at all. Thanks so much in advance. FarahAsked on 19/6/2009 by Farah Nazeer
A:Hello Farah, Ants will not cause any harm, however they are usually present when there are other sap sucking insects about. The most likely sucpects would be slugs and snails or caterpillars so keep a look out for these. I'm afraid though that if the stems are badly damaged there is little you can do to save the plants. I'm sorry not to be more help, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 19/6/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Whats wrong with my Cordyline?
Can anyone give me advice re my Cordyline? I've moved it into a big container as it looked unhappy before in the garden, and now it looks on it's last legs and the leaves are all drooping. Is there anything I can do?Asked on 21/5/2006 by Frances Cooper
A:There could be a number of reasons why your palm isn't doing very well, but the most likely culprits are temperatures which are too low (they are not quite fully hardy) or too much water. If it has deteriorated further since being potted up, then it may be in shock from root disturbance, or the initial damage was just too severe. The only thing you can do now is to give it a little more time and see if it rallies around, although it sounds as if it may need replacing.Answered on 22/5/2006 by Crocus
Q:Have I killed our Cordylines?
We have a two beautiful Cordylines growing in garden. Two weeks ago we dug them up and placed them in big pots on our patio. They are now rapidly going yellow from the bottom up. Have we killed them? We were very careful with the root ball when we lifted them out and mixed in fresh fertiliser .They were a beautiful lush grass green but are now looking tatty. Please can you help.Asked on 27/4/2005 by nick thompson
A:It definitely sounds as if the plants have suffered from shock. The most likely cause is root disturbance, but the other thing that springs to mind is the use of fertiliser. If too much was applied then it may have scorched the already damaged roots. The only thing I can suggest now is to keep an eye on them, water when they get dry and hopefully they will survive.Answered on 28/4/2005 by Crocus
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