Plant Of The Week! 'Cordyline'
PLANT OF THE WEEK
· Cordylines are a bold and handsome evergreen shrub that slowly develop a tree-like form. It has a dramatic and exotic appearance with an attractive architectural shape, forming either a single trunk or multiple stems topped with dense tufts of long, narrow, leathery leaves.
· Cordyline’s are sometimes known as cabbage palm, New Zealand cabbage tree or Torbay palm, although it isn’t a palm tree or anything to do with cabbage.
· Despite the exotic appearance of cordylines, they are reasonably hardy and can survive the winter outside in mild areas or sheltered sites outside with winter temperatures down to around -5° C. They do best in well-drained soil.
· Cordylines are generally low maintenance, needing little watering once established. When grown in containers, however, they require regular watering and feeding, and winter protection, except in mild areas. So be prepared to either bring them indoors or move them to a sheltered spot and wrap them with fleece.
· Although grown for their foliage, Cordylines do flower. In mid-summer an enormous and slightly preposterous spray of small white flowers is produced followed by little round red or purple berries. The leaves of a Cordyline grow in a rosette circling the central stem.
· The most widely grown species is Cordyline Australis which is native to New Zealand. It has plain green leaves, although there’s a range of cultivars with variegated, coloured, or multi-coloured foliage.
· They have not been widely grown and tested in our British climate as well as Australis. The standard green Cordyline is the hardiest and the most established in the UK. The purple and reds vary in hardiness but are the next most established.
· Cordylines love the full sun, but they can get burned. They are grown in a shade house so it is best to plant in the fall and winter when the sun is weakest, and they can adapt to the changing seasons. Cordylines get burned when they are fertilized in the hot summer sun. Best to fertilize in Fall and Spring.