'Red Sister' cordyline (Hawaiian Ti) not looking so red

plumeriaflNovember 14, 2009

Anyone know what growing conditions help them color up more (more hot pink color)? I have these in part sun.

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Plumeria, are you certain your Cordyline is 'Red Sister?'
They need humidity and light..of course, more sun means extra watering but the soil shouldn't stay muddy either. Toni

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 5:38PM
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I believe it is. The plants I got these cuttings from were hot pink and purple...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:03PM
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Maybe they need a little more shade: they are looking like Cordylines do here when they get a little too much sun. They also look a little like a micronutrient deficiency--possibly manganese--which will also suppress the red color.

Hope that helps track it down,
Kevin : )

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 11:49PM
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thanks... you may be on to something with the nutrient deficiency, and the need for a little more shade. They do get direct sun for a few hours a day, but are mainly in the shade. However, I know they were neglected in terms of fertilizer for quite a while, until recently. I'll try to put some good fertilizer down and see what happens.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 2:44PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I have several of these planted outside my house...for me the more shade they get the more pink and red they get. The more direct sun they receive the less color they have, they turn more green similar to your picture. HTH

I always have the best color in winter especially the ones that are shaded by the house during the winter months.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 9:35PM
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I live in SW Florida and I have the same issues. I was told when I bought them that Hawaiian Ti, Cordyline, and Red Sister is all the same plant........just depends where you live in the country and what they refer to it as???? Only what the horiculturist told me....I'm not an authority on the subject however, I do notice the labeling on the plants at Home Depot, Lowes, nurseries and other retailers supporting that theory!
When I purchased mine they were a brilliant ruby color and have now turned much lighter pink and green!
I think it had more to do with the micro climates here in Florida than anything else!
I can't grow a Foxtail Palm in my yard......it is beautiful throughout the spring, summer, and fall however, winter kills it every year! I have used blankets to cover them, misters, any and eveything I've heard about and no good! My Barret Palm on the other hand....thrives, gorgeous!! You can drive a half a mile and the Foxtails are thriving......MICRO CLIMATES!!! I've done the soil thing as well mixing Miracle Grow soil with composte, sand, cow manure, peat moss and all the rest of the witch mix to no avail!The same with grass seed in Florida....waste of time and money and it doesn't matter which variety you use! You rarely see hydroseeding either.......everything is sod batts! Up north, you can put a lawn in just throwing seed on the ground and doing nothing else! I spent a fortune on landscaping and some plants will thrive while others just won't! I use my northern skills with my rose bushes and they are worthy of awards! My Hibicus trees and bushes do fine, the cold snaps wack them but they are hardy enough to revive themselves. Crotons do the same as well as Vincia.......you can't kill that stuff with weed killer!! My impatients also come back as well even though they look totally dead. My fruit trees have no issues either.
Another point I might raise is the "cold factor" of a plant. We are a 10b zone and I've never witnessed the 100 day cold factor they claim we have here! I just let mother nature do it's thing.......some people copper sulfate them for defoliation or whatever it is they do.....I don't and they survive just fine! My Tropical Beauty Peach Trees had an abundance of fruit their first year and have had increasing amounts ever since!Same with the Myers Lemon trees!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:30AM
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Whether they're called Ti, or Red Sister, or whatever, they're all Cordylines, which is the scientific name. There are only around 15 species, more than half native to Australia. They were spread around by the Polynesians so strictly are an exotic in Hawaii. They called them Ti which is why that name is often used. Some places they're called Palm Lilies, Cabbage Trees and Cabbage Palms. They've been crossed and bred into thousands of varieties/cultivars, so that's why there's an almost endless number of names they come under.

Coming from tropical and sub tropical climates they're not too keen on the cold. But hardiness depends on which cultivar you have, and its background. And visual differences between cultivars are sometimes not all that clear.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 4:02AM
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Ok, some conflicting information here! I don't think Hawaiian Ti, Red Sister, or Cordyline is refered to as "cabbage palms", they are an entirely different species of plant (actually a palm tree) you see growing all over florida and appear nothing like the Red Sister Plant!
I also found that the more direct the sun (summer months) the greener the color of my Ti plants. In the cooler winter months they are a brilliant red.
I fertilize mine several times a year as I do all of my plants with 10-10-10 fertilizer. It works very well with all my landscape plants, shrubs, roses and it even works great with my fruit trees. I also use my fruit tree pest control spray on my other plants and it does the job!
Like any other industry I'm sure there;s lots of bubkus out there.........corporations will put just about anything on a product to sell it but does it have any validity, probably NOT!!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

I think of Cordyline as reverse Bromeliads. The more shade a bromeliad gets, the less color it ends up with (generally speaking).

I have 2 or 3 varieties of Cordyline in my yard here in Florida, each one under different lighting conditions.
A purple leaf/pink edged plant is extremely colorful in 3/4 shade. A pink/green leaf is about half as vibrant with morning/evening sun, but occasionally suffers burnt leaf edges.

The only problem with these "reverse Bromeliads" is that getting the best color out of them often means not getting as much growth.

If you live in a temperate/semi-temperate zone, full sun helps push growth, but stunts color and requires watering nearly every day with great soil. Provide a lot of shade and you get the colors, but the growth rate and pupping is reduced significantly... at least in my experience.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Shuckapeafarms, common names are neither right nor wrong, they just are. That is why using the correct botanical epithet (Cordyline fruticosa 'Red Sister') is important to ensure two people are discussing a same plant. The best example is the word daisy. You can probably think of at least 5 kinds of plants called daisy.

Any significant amount of sun turns my plant a boring olive green, with sunburned spots. Doesn't jive with pics out there of bright red plants in full sun in the ground in warmer places. Maybe since those plants are outside all of the time, they're just used to it. I'm not very patient with that kind of thing, but could not ease my plant into sun without sunburn. Maybe those plants are not "Red Sister," IDK...

Plumeria, if you're still around, do you still have this plant?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:27PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

"Red Sister" is probably the most common variety of Hawaiian Ti Plant (cordyline fruticosa) but there are hundreds of other varieties. Some other varieties often seen are "Tricolor", "Exotica", "Maria", "Maroon Magic" and "Kiwi".

I'm not sure that the one in the photo is "Red Sister".

See link below to the International Cordyline Society's photos.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: International Cordyline Society

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Oh wow, great info and link. I had no idea there were so many. Thank you!! I have bookmarked that.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:41AM
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I started a "red" and a green Ti plant. Each are about 12 inches tall but look exactly alike. I'm wondering when my "red" ti will actually look red. Each log came in a package from Hawaii and had colored wax on each end so it seems unlikely its a mix up. Each are in a pot grown indoors and get partial sunlight.

Anyone who's grown a red Ti know when I should expect color?
I live in SF where its rarely "hot" but its warm enough for them to grow and look healthy apparently.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 2:47PM
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