Any success with Cordyline Fruticosa / Ti Plant 'Kiwi'...?

jennabee(9)June 5, 2007

I live in California, zone 9, and I am growing a Cordyline Fruticosa indoors. I got it from the internet. I repotted it a week later after receipt. The soil was VERY wet when I got it, and it had about 8 leaves on it. I tried to provide the conditions that I read on websites that it needed. After the soil dried a bit, I repotted in regular potting soil (it has peat moss, forrest bark, worm castings, bat guano and a bunch of other good stuff) and I mixed in about 15% coarse sand. I misted the plant, as I read that it is totally neccessary and humidity is essential to success. I air condition the room it grows in at night, so I know that even though I open the window in the mornings, the air is a bit dry from the AC. (BTW all plants are removed when the AC is on and replaced there around 10am) This room is a western facing window. And all the plants get the eastern window for the mornings and sunrise, and then are moved to the West room in afternoon.

I had it in direct sun at first, for about 2 days before realizing this plant needs to be in the shade. I also let the soil dry out a bit before watering again, which I know is another no-no (at least now anyways). I made a few mistakes with this guy, but regardless, it is putting forth a new leaf.

Now, I had to cut off 1/2 the mature leaves like 3 days after I got it because it was getting a bunch of dry brown spots all over the leaves. Those spots were speckled all over the leafs, and dry. They were not scales. There are no signs of pests whatsoever on this plant. It wasn't on the tips or plant edges, it was random. The description sounded like a fungal leaf spot problem, and funny thing is it did occur right after I misted the plant.

I cut off those leafs and did not mist again for a week. I did again, as an experiment, and now one mature leaf (of the remaining 4) has a spot, and tip burn to boot (but that could be from allowing the medium to dry between waterings). It looks just like the spots on this Cordy Red Sister (found this from the houseplants forum, this is not my plant): This is wendyl2's Red Sister. Mine has got the same thing.

Now I have stationed it in a room, about 6-8 foot from my window, and right in the shade (so it gets bright indirect light in the afternoon. Really "cold" looking light in the morning and early afternoon. 5 strong hours of bright indirect). I water it just to keep the medium moist but not soggy, and I water thouroughly. I also put a humidifier in the room and I put it on "high" all day with the highest moisture setting, and its a big room. NO MORE MISTING! Period. Additionally, I put it on a humidity tray with pebbles and water. It still looks droopy, but I hear it takes time for the plant to acclimate to its indoor conditions, and that it is a slow grower.

I was hoping someone could give me any pointers on what I might be doing wrong since I am losing more leaves than gaining. It doesn't seem perky and happy, just droopy. Has any one had success growing this Kiwi Ti indoors? And if so, what potting medium, fertilizer, humidity, light, etc do you provide? THanks!

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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I dont know about indoors, but I grow my kiwi in a pot outdoors. This is a desert climate-no humidity and it looks good. It is in the shade and its colors look much brighter than in full sun where the leaves will burn. I imagine that some humidity would be better for them but they seem to do okay. Mine dry out a little between waterings. I have kiwi, pink sister, and red ti right now. They all seem to do okay without alot of humidity. I wonder if you are overwatering them? It is easy to do, especially indoors.
~SJN

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 1:41PM
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birdsnblooms

Jen, it's been a while since I had a Ti, but living in IL, mine had to come indoors in winter.
Once spring came, I set out in 'full sun'. The more sun colors are more pronounced..
In winter, I use a humidifier, mist daily, and only water when soil feels dry..(also in summer)
Overwatring will cause root rot.
The sad thing growing Ti's indoors is they're prone to spider mites..So, check plant thoroughly. Some mites are difficult detecting..especially in early stages. and we all know how destructive those little critters are.
Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 3:07PM
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cameronhawkins1_hotmail_com

i have a small cordyline kiwi plant, but its new and im not sure when or how much to water it. could you give me some pointers to make sure it stays healthy?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:54AM
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