Identification: Cordyline terminalis 'Red Sister'

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Unregistered, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. unknown plant

    Hello, my name is Brandi and I am from British Columbia. A couple of months ago I purchased a beautiful house plant but do not know what it is. I am definitely not a gardener so please bear with my lack of knowledge. It is like a tree in some ways that it grows from a trunk. It doesn't flower, but instead has long broad leaves that are bright fuscia in color and with age they turn a dark green and are only pink in the middle. It is about 4 ft. tall now, and was about 3 ft. tall when I bought it. I fertilize it about every 2 weeks with miracle grow and I keep it in moderate sun, but am finding that the leaves are turning brown and really dry around the edges but I don't know what it is to search more info about it. I bought it at Wal-Mart and all the tag said was 'tropical plant, moderate to full sun, water every 2-3 days'. I would be greatly appreciated if somebody could identify it for me. I would hate to see it die because I didn't know what it was and how to help it.

    Thank you to anybody that can help. It is greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely, Brandi
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2003
  2. PlantExplorer

    PlantExplorer Active Member 10 Years

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    Possible Answer

    Hi Brandi,

    Does your plant look anything like the picture below? If it does, then what you have is a Ti Plant, or Cordyline terminalis and the picture I have included here is of a variety called ‘Red Sister’. They actually do flower, as you can see in the picture, but it doesn’t happen very often on homegrown plants.

    There are a couple of things you could do to help your plant, and the first one is to reduce the fertilizer. You probably won’t need to fertilize it again until next year. If you notice white stuff on the soil surface, then water is not flushing through properly and minerals are building up. Put the plant in the bathtub, out outside somewhere in the shade (direct sun will burn the leaves), and water it well until the water comes pouring out the bottom drainage holes. This will help get rid of some of the extra fertilizer and keep it from burning the roots. Do this once or twice in the next couple of weeks, and your plant should be fine. You may also want to mist the leaves on a regular basis to help keep humidity up, as this can help prevent browning on the leaf tips and edges.

    The fact that the plant has grown a foot since you bought it does suggest that you are caring for it well, but over-fertilization can become a problem in the long term. In the future, try using it only a couple of times in the spring.

    Hope this helps
     

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  3. PlantExplorer

    PlantExplorer Active Member 10 Years

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    Sunlight

    Just wanted to clarify about direct sun burning the leaves – most tropical house plants sold locally are grown under glass and have never been exposed to direct unfiltered sunlight. Even regular glass can filter out a significant amount of harmful UV rays, so the bright sunlight through a window is very different from direct sunlight outdoors.

    Houseplants, even cactus and succulents, not used to direct sun can burn badly with only an hour or so of exposure. So plants moved outside for the fresh air and sunlight of summer should always be kept in the shade - anything from bright dappled shade to very deep shade, depending on the type of plant.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The following was received via email:

    Thank you for answering Brandi's question about the Cordyline Red Sister. I have the same plant and found that the edges and tips of the leaves go brown. I often wondered why that happened and you have answered my question as well. I will spray mist the leaves and be sure to place it in the shade if I put it outside in the summer months. I love this plant and the vibrant pink that it is. Your information was very helpful.

    Thank you very much.
    Tany
     
  5. Red Sister plant

    We have a similar plant but it is dropping its leaves. It is in a shady spot indoors. I beleive it is afflicted by something but need some advice. There does not appear to have spider mite or anything attached to its trunk. Can you help?

    Thanks
    Lori Lynn
     
  6. PlantExplorer

    PlantExplorer Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Lori Lynn,

    There is also the problem of too much shade – when you say a ‘shady spot’ indoors, how much light is the plant getting? They need a good amount of light and will do best if placed within a foot of a window. If it is a large south facing window, the plant should be fine up to two to three feet away – but all these measurements are relative to the actual amount of light. If the plant is leaning, reaching toward the nearest light source, dropping leaves, losing colour in the leaves, or is producing leaves of a significantly different colour than when you first bought it, then chances are good that it is not getting enough light. Hope this helps.

    J. W.
     
  7. Cordyline

    I stumbled upon your forum looking for Cordyline information. The discolouration on the leaves (turning brown on the edges and dropping them) may possibly be due to chlorine/flouride in the water. I have heard that Ti don't tolerated flouride....

    What a great forum you have! OH, I live in Hawaii and grow lots of Ti.

    Carol
     
  8. Hello! My name is Jessica and I just recently purchased a Red Sisiter Cordyline from Walmart. When I got home, I noticed that a lot of the leaves, especially the lower ones, had brown spots on them. They are fairly small and all over the leaf. I trimmed off quite a few of them, but not all. My main concern lies in the cause...does anyone know if it was the way the plants were cared for that caused the spots, or if it is something more serious? I would appreciate any help. Thanks so much!!
     
  9. kimo

    kimo Member

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    Re: Cordyline

    Aloha, Where are you in Hawaii and do you or anyone you know grow Ti in quantity for sale? I am trying to buy quantities of Ti roots.

    Mahalo

    Kimo




    QUOTE=Unregistered;3754]I stumbled upon your forum looking for Cordyline information. The discolouration on the leaves (turning brown on the edges and dropping them) may possibly be due to chlorine/flouride in the water. I have heard that Ti don't tolerated flouride....

    What a great forum you have! OH, I live in Hawaii and grow lots of Ti.

    Carol[/QUOTE]
     

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