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Cordyline - advice please.

(6 Posts)
marthamoo Tue 22-Mar-05 07:04:54

Sorry if that isn't how you spell it. I've got a large red cordyline in a pot in my garden - bought it last summer. It's survived the winter but is absolutely moth-eaten - lots of the leaves are skeletal. There are a couple of new leaves in the centre. What do I do with it? Shall I just hack it down and if so, to where - right to the bottom? Do I just leave a stump? Ideas please!

hub2dee Tue 22-Mar-05 07:38:47

I've never pruned mine. Just pull the dead leaves off, and allow the new leaves to grow and make you feel exotic this Summer. I have a green C. australis that's about 10 ft tall and now the spiky palm heads at the top (whch are very full) are starting to split and go in different directions.

It regularly loses leaves, this is just part of the way it grows (contrast with yucca habit where leaves remain on trunk IIRC).

It will be happiest in the soil. No special care required. I'm in London and the plant appears perfectly hardy (it was about 6 or 7 feet tall when we moved in.


SoupDragon Tue 22-Mar-05 07:45:05

You can, IIRC, repot it so that it sits lower in the pot, covering up some of the bald bit. Mine's looking a bit moth eaten too but it does put out lovely new leaves at the top over the spring/summer.

They do indeed lose the lower leaves as a matter of course.

hermykne Tue 22-Mar-05 13:25:12

give it a feed too. if its in a pot its not really getting enough nutrients, i have just lifted my 6/7footer in the garden and put in a pot so hoping it will survive , they are hardy enough

marthamoo Tue 22-Mar-05 18:40:51

I haven't got a bed wide enough to plant it in the ground - it woudl be squooshed up against the fence. I shall pull the dead leaves off and give it a feed. It's only about 1 and a half feet tall - wonder if it'll grow to 10 feet?

hub2dee Tue 22-Mar-05 22:51:30

Hi marthamoooooo: they start kind of slow, but then really put on the height.

You can position it right up to a fence if you need to - the rear leaves will be a bit squished and the habit won't look the best, but it will outgrow the height of the fence.

They are very tough plants - mine catches a nasty windtap between houses. They are also tremendously useful as they are evergreen and look exotic, plus they are spiky when so much else is leafy / smooth.

They look nice near phormiums, if you fancy more exoticism, which are also evergreen and spiky. Alternatively, plant a banana near it and you'll have your own mini jungle. The bamboo likes to be slightly protected over Winter, but will spout new enormous leaves in Summer...

PS - When you say you haven't got a big enough bed, could you consider enlarging the bed and reducing lawn / path / patio space ?

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