Home Gardening How to Grow Cordyline: A Beginner’s Guide to Planting, Care, and Propagation

How to Grow Cordyline: A Beginner’s Guide to Planting, Care, and Propagation

by Gregory
3 minutes read

How to Grow Cordyline: A Beginner’s Guide

What is Cordyline?

Cordyline is a beautiful evergreen shrub with a striking architectural shape. It’s often called cabbage palm or New Zealand cabbage tree, but it’s not actually a palm tree. The most common type of cordyline is Cordyline australis, which has plain green leaves. However, there are also many variegated, colored, and multi-colored varieties.

Growing Conditions

Cordylines are relatively easy to grow and can thrive in a variety of conditions.

  • Sun: Cordylines with green leaves prefer full sun, while those with colored leaves do best in light shade.
  • Soil: Cordylines need well-drained soil.
  • Water: Water your cordyline regularly, especially during dry spells.
  • Fertilizer: Apply a slow-release fertilizer in spring.

Planting and Care

  • You can plant cordylines in the ground or in containers.
  • If you’re planting in the ground, choose a spot that’s sheltered from cold winds.
  • If you’re planting in a container, make sure the container is large enough to accommodate the plant’s roots.
  • Water your cordyline regularly and fertilize it once a year.
  • As your cordyline matures, the lower leaves will yellow and die off. You can gently pull or trim these leaves off.

Winter Care

Cordylines can survive temperatures down to around -5 degrees Celsius. However, it’s important to protect them from frost and cold winds.

  • If you live in a cold climate, you can wrap your cordyline in horticultural fleece for the winter.
  • You can also move your cordyline into a sheltered location, such as a greenhouse or garage.


You can propagate cordylines from seed or from cuttings.

  • Seed: Cordyline australis can be grown from seed, but it can take years to develop sizeable plants.
  • Cuttings: Large, established cordyline plants may produce suckers, which are shoots that arise from the base of the plant. You can cut these suckers off and pot them up to create new plants.


Cordylines are generally trouble-free plants, but they can occasionally be affected by pests or diseases.

  • Pests: Cordylines can be susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.
  • Diseases: Cordylines can be susceptible to root rot and slime flux.


  • Can cordylines be split? Yes, cordylines can be split by cutting down vertically into the base of the plant and removing the suckers with some roots intact.
  • What are some different varieties of cordyline? Some popular varieties of cordyline include Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’, Cordyline australis Albertii, and Cordyline australis Purple Tower.
  • Where can I buy cordyline plants? You can buy cordyline plants at most garden centers and nurseries. You can also find them online.

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More