Cordyline terminalis 'Red Sister'

hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)August 3, 2014

Okay. So I going to try to grow these, even though I don't live in Hawaii ( bahia will for sure chime in on this, I hope). So, here is what I'm doing: They are going in our "jungle" area, which is very protected, and will be getting partial sun, protected from the worst scorching sun of the day. I know the more sun they get, the less red/pink they are, so they're getting just filtered/dappled sun. They will be in an area that has a very heavy layer of leaf mulch, and I will top dress them with a bag of GroMulch, as well as fertilize with a time release 10-10-10 fertilizer. I am also going to bury some frost cloth under the mulch that I can draw up and twist-tie closed, just in case we have a weird cold snap as we did two winters ago. They will get overhead sprinkled, but I also plan on dripping them so the stay relatively moist but not overly wet (my soil is DG for the most part). Hoping I can get these two to grow and thrive. With as humid as it has been in our summers, I think they actually may do pretty well in this more protected area of my garden. As long as they don't get too cold, that is. Have always wanted to grow Ti plants, and this cultivar is probably not the best choice of cordyline, and I have other cultivars that are better suited to my climate (such as Cordyline australis 'Red Sensation', which loves it here), but this area of my yard is our attempt at a more tropical look, so I'm going to give it a try. I think I will also try to find 'Festival' as well, as it really is gorgeous and has a really deep dark purple strappy leaf. It, I know, will do fine in my yard, but still doesn't have the look of 'Red Sister', so if anyone else has had success with 'Red Sister', I'd love to hear what you've done.

Patty S.

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Where I've seen it do best, is planted against buildings and rain protected by an overhang, such as at LAX at arrival terminals. The other issue besides winter cold is wet cool soils and snails attacking it in winter. Or simply treat it as an annual if need be. It really needs a roof over it here in the Bay Area, and with our cool summers, the snails attack it even in summer up here. The Codyline 'Festival' and others like 'Cha Cha' are fabulous, and so is 'Electric Pink' and similar.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:52PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks, bahia, I knew you've give me the lowdown. Okay, so they are planted in a very well-draining area of my garden, somewhat protected by heavy winter rains as they are understory (but not totally out of the rain, as in under a ledge). So, hopefully the soil will not stay too wet during our winter rains - if we get any this year, which I sure hope so. If we got 2" of rain this last season, that would be generous. Snails are always problematic in my yard. Funny, in doing a search about this cultivar, one of the entries I found was someone using it as their "mollusk indicator", lol! Not sure what's worse - coleus, kalanchoes/foxtail agaves, acanthus, or Porphyrocoma for snails. I should own stock in Sluggo. I'll see how it does. I'll surround it with Deadline. Ugly, but will keep the snails and slugs off. I will definitely hunt down 'Festival', 'Cha Cha', and 'Electric Pink' as well. They make great backdrop plants for all my green things, and a nice option to blooming shade plants whose color comes and goes.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:26PM
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stanofh

I have two Red Sisters..to make a long story short,the newest one is in full sun in a pot. The new foliage has the best color although I'm seeing some scorch. So maybe protect from hottest midday sun..dappled. But they are not shade plants. The other I grew as a shade plant when I didn't know any better...and yes,it grew spindly,snails got to it, I thought it was dead. It did comeback with this mild winter..I moved the pot into sun,and its recovering well. Small,but healthy.
Electric Pink could pass for a colorful Ti plant. They have no problems at all with sun, some dryness and are pest free. I have a clump that I guess overall is well over 6'. A nice driveway greeter!
I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:37PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks, Stan. I'll look around for Electric Pink. Two votes of confidence on this cultivar. You'll have to post a photo of yours so I can see it "in person". And, the Red Sisters are getting some decent sun, so hopefully they'll be okay. Just have to keep the stampedes of snails that I deal with hear away. Sigh. Wish I could have ducks, guinea fowl or chickens here to keep the snails down.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:45PM
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