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Cordyline fruticosa

Pronunciation: Kor-dil-lye-nee tur-min-nay-liss
Family: Agavaceae (agave family)
Common Name: Ti plant, hawaiian ti, cordyline, good luck plant
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 10'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
Bloom Description: Mature plants produce yellowish or reddish flowers that are sweetly scented, less than a half inch (1. 25 cm) across, and clustered in conspicuous 12 in (30 cm) panicles. The fruits are red berries. Ti plant sometimes grows in clumps by suckering from the enlarged tuber-like rhizomes.
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
Propagation: Ti is easy to propagate from stem cuttings, called "logs. " cut 3-5 in (7-12 cm) sections of mature stem, remove the leaves, and place on a bed of sand, preferably with bottom heat. The "eyes" on the stem cuttings will grow into shoots with leaves. When a shoot gets 4-6 leaves, cut it and its eye from the log, and root in potting medium as you would any cutting.
Native to: Cordyline fruticosa probably was native originally to se asia and papua new guinea, but was carried throughout much of the pacific by early polynesians who used the starchy rhizomes for food. Today ti occurs in eastern australia and on many of the larger islands in the tropical pacific, including the hawaiian islands.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - in tropical climates ti makes an interesting specimen shrub, valued mainly for its magnificent foliage. Elsewhere, grow in a container. The white club-shaped rhizomes are high in starch and were a valuable food item for polynesians and maoris. Other than bringing good luck to its owner, perhaps the most important use is that the leaves are made into hawaiian hula skirts! Care: ti does well in partial shade to nearly full sun. It needs more water if grown in full sun. Indoors, ti likes a bright position, but out of direct sunlight. Although it will survive in quite low light, the foliage will never develop its full potential colors. In summer, do not allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Ti needs very humid air to keep the leaf tips from drying out and turning brown. Mist frequently, especially in an air conditioned room, or, better yet, use a humidifier to keep the air around the plant humid. Another trick is to position the pot on a bed of gravel and water. Best bet is to grow in a greenhouse or enclosed flower window. Fluoride in the water will cause the leaf tips to brown.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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