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PlantFiles: Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, Colorful Ti
Cordyline fruticosa 'Colorful Ti Cultivars'

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Family: Agavaceae (ah-gav-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cordyline (kor-di-LY-nee) (Info)
Species: fruticosa (froo-tih-KOH-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Colorful Ti Cultivars

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Category:
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Spacing:
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From softwood cuttings
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 49 photos.
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Profile:

19 positives
7 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral muffingirl97 On Jul 20, 2012, muffingirl97 from Georgetown, TX wrote:

everyone seems to be saying that the hawaiian ti is a houseplant. i bought several at home depot and planted outside (in texas). they seemed fine until it got hot. would you all agree that this should not be planted outdoors? this is an east facing bed but gets the sun until maybe 1pm. i just cant understand why home depot would sell a houseplant as a bedding plant. im thinking i should pull them all up and take them back. thanks for any insite.

Neutral SandieE On Jun 27, 2012, SandieE from Angola, NY wrote:

It took me 3 tries to grow a Ti pant from logs my sister brought back from Hawaii, but the resulting plant has been my "baby" for over 33 years (it is older than my youngest child). It has always been a house plant and there have been times when I thought I had killed it from neglect or whatever, but it has always managed to bounce back. I am not a gardener of any sort and generally tend to fare badly with plants (even a resurrection plant died off permanently on my watch!), but "Ty" has managed to survive all these years in spite of my lack of a green thumb.

It is now a hardy 4.5' tall bush that occupies a western-facing alcove in my dining room in the winter, and a northeastern window in my entry hall in the summer. It has seemed to thrive in those places in my house here in Western NY. Two years ago in late summer Ty actually bloomed! I didn't know it was a flowering plant and was delighted with the delicate stem and tiny fuzzy balls growing out of a pink striated round leaf. I took a gazillion pictures, mostly to prove to myself that it had actually flowered! It saddened me when the tiny flowers dropped off, and I began to wonder if I should have tried to catch them. I thought maybe they had seeds that could have grown more Ti plants. Fortunately, it bloomed again last summer, but this time the flowering stem did not die off. As the tiny flowers dropped off, they were replaced by new ones. Not only has that stem remained flowering, there are two more places that have blossomed as well, one of which has a "berry" or pod mid-way down the stem amongst the tiny white flowers.

I am wondering if this berry/pod holds seeds that can be used to grow more Ti plants. I have read all the postings on how to go about cutting back the plants and using the "logs" to grow new ones, which is something I'd really like to do. Is there a certain time of year in which to do that? I'm afraid that I might interrupt the flowering process going on right now.

I am also concerned about repotting Ty. He has been in the same 12" by 12" pot for several years and probably needs to move into a larger pot, but again I am worried about WHEN to go about doing that. He has been flowering for nearly a year and a half straight at this point. Am I assuming correctly that all this cutting and repotting should be done during the plant's "down" or dormant season for the health of the plant? Any idea when that would be?

Yes, I am a little paranoid about harming a plant that has been part of my family for so long (my children named it Ty in the eighties and helped take care if it - I think they would all be pleased to have a cutting of it for their own homes. Thank you for sharing that possibility with me!) Not knowing much at all about growing plants makes me wary of doing something wrong. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

Positive Bookiecat On Jan 21, 2012, Bookiecat wrote:

Hi everyone! I am worried about my ti plant, I've only had one in the past, and the one I have now is blooming! a leaf has wrapped itself around some yellow seeds and has been detached from the plant. I have no clue what to do, I've never cut up my tea plant or removed any leaves that haven't already turned brown. If anyone could help me that would be great! On the other hand I know a lot of people have questions about their plants. I water mine a cup every other day, it's right next to to large windows and gets all the sunlight it can. I've tried to grow some red ti plants that can never get them past the log stage, apparently they need less sunlight but I still don't know how to grow them. Also, with my first plant, I grew it inside her a few years and then moved it out into the sunlight,with my palm tree too. Anyway they both got burnt from the sun light, as you might know windows typically block the UV rays that the sun admits, by placing the my plants outside in full sunlight without ever seen UV rays before their leaves had not developed the waxy cover the out door tea plants have, therefore they burnt. With my newest ti plant, and coconut/palm tree, I slowly introduce them to the outdoor sunlight by leaving them in partial shade for a few hours before moving them back in. And for all of you who are wondering you pronounce ti like tea or T NOT tie.hope I helped you, whoever you are.
Goodbye.

Positive Lilycrazd On May 17, 2011, Lilycrazd from Slatington, PA wrote:

I bought a ti plant stick at the Philadelphia Flower Show about 35 years ago. It has grown well inside my house, reaching up to the 2-story high roof in my family room during that time. The only problem I have had with it was when my cat mistook it for her litter box and almost killed it. After it recovered (with repotting) and grew another 10 feet high, I had to strip off the leaves and chop it into pieces. I was petrified that it would die. It didn't and now I have 3, and gave everyone pieces, sprouted and potted, for Christmas about 4 years ago. But now, for the first time in 35 years, they are BLOOMING! After my banana tree bloomed, it died. I'm hoping the ti plant doesn't meet the same sad fate. Can anyone give me advice?

Positive imanerd On Nov 6, 2010, imanerd from Saucier, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've been growing this plant outdoors in zone 8b for about six years now. It dies back in winter but so far has regrown from the roots each spring.

Positive heyrink On Aug 8, 2010, heyrink from Wildwood, FL wrote:

I love the Ti plant, I have "red sister" which is very bright pink, but after last winter hard frost in Florida, they came back but are not very colorful at all, like when I bought them at Lowes.
Is there some special attention, or fertilizer that could bring back theirr bright color?

Neutral SBHowell504 On Apr 17, 2010, SBHowell504 from New Orleans, LA wrote:

I live in New Orleans, LA. I recently bought 4 of these plants at a Home Depot. They seemed in reasonably good health and I put them in a bed outside on the east side of my house. As the weather has gotten warmer, not hot yet (it hasn't been above 82 degrees Farenheit yet), the purple leaves look sunburned and are fading to white then brown spots, and the green leaves are turning black. I wish I knew what is wrong. Too much sun? Seems too early and cool for that but I don't know if I should dig them up and put them on the north side or inside?

Positive TiKingMaui On Mar 1, 2010, TiKingMaui from Haiku, HI wrote:

It is best to cut back Ti plants before they get too tall (6' to 8') as the woody part of the plant will begin to thin and/or fall sideways as it gets too tall. I have approx. 5,000 ti plants of various varities and sizes in my nursery, both in the ground and potted.

To cut back the ti plant simply cut all of the thick canes (shoots) at about 2' above ground. New shoots will quickly sprout within 6 inches or so of the cut. Because multiple shoots will result from cutting the "parent" cane it is important to not cut too high as the plant will become top heavy - especially important in the case of potted plants.

The cuttings grow best if you take pieces approx 8 to 12 inches long, place them up right in a bucket or other container, and cover the bottom 2 inches with water. Change the water every couple of days and after about 2 weeks they are ready to pot. The cuttings are very hardy and here in Hawaii I often just cut after a good rain and stick them straight in the ground.

For potting, a mixture of cinders, compost and topsoil works well. Water often after propagation until the new plant is well rooted.

Positive Ron52 On Feb 27, 2010, Ron52 from Gastonia, NC wrote:

In '75 (thats 1975 not 1875!) I went to Hawaii and brought back some of the plant's logs. They grew quite easily, I had six (3 green and 3 red) and reached about 1.5 to 2 ft in height quickly. But while at college they were neglected and I couldn't revive them when I returned home. In 1983 I received a pack of the logs from my in-laws after returning from their trip to Hawaii. All grew quickly after months of soaking in water initially. Even with the wax on the ends, they were quite dry looking. I have one that survived and flourished. Which is the reason for the positive experience. It took time, growing plants is an exercise in patience. And now I have a slight problem. I have a Ti plant now over 10' tall from plant base to top leaf tip, my ceiling at it's apex is about 15'. Moving the plant to the center of the room is not practical, About 4 months ago it developed another shoot from the root and that shoot is now over 30" tall at top leaf tip. Both plants occupy a 15" dia. clay pot. It became root bound many years ago when I transplanted it. It really didn't like being moved so I've been reluctant to move it to a larger pot. But the height of the parent plant is such that I have used tomato stakes to keep it propped up so it won't fall over. Awhile back my mother-in-law was sitting in a chair in front of the Ti plant. The plant began to bend over, slowly, until the crown leaves were in front of her. She exclaimed, "Help! I think I'm in the jungle!" So out came the tomato stakes. The leaves at the crown are the only leaves on it. But there are nodes developing on the sides running the full length of the parent plant. So, here is my quandary. How is the best way to cut the plant back, not killing the parent, and have the parent sprout side shoots while providing for more logs to propagate more plants? Also is the crown easier to get to root and how much of the main stem is required to get it to root? Help! I'm being overtaken by my Ti plant...and a 10' Norfolk Island Pine!

Positive tigoddess On Jan 26, 2010, tigoddess from Annapolis, MD wrote:

Hi, I just found this site today. I have been trying to identify a plant that I brought back from Hawaiia during summer 03. All I could remember was that it was a "good luck" plant of some sort. I gave it (at the time it was in the log form. I thought it was just a dried up root) to my mother as a souvenir.
My mother started the root and the plant was born in fall 03. Now my former tiny Hawaiian Ti log is "two 5' tall beauties". They were difficult to root as I recall and I believe that is why she gave it back to me since her patience were waning.
I decided to fiddle with them; volcanic rock in bottom of clay pots only, my home made organic compost, daily chats, occasional wiping of the leaves, occasional misting, etc.
So they are spoiled. I once separated them. I did this mainly to see how one would do outdoors in the summer (incase it was a fatal experiment). I can tell you this- it did not like direct sunlight in MD (also we are very HUMID here). Although it seemed mother & daughter wanted to be together again. So I returned them to another larger clay pot and they have been happy and growning so well ever since.
Apparently from what I read on here earlier, they typically grow to about a couple feet indoors. My big Ti friends are now 6yrs old and 5 feet tall. This being their 7th year that just started a few months ago, I thought I should research and find out if they bloom, will they offer new shoots, plants, etc. And I found a great deal of information here on this site!
I would like to offer pics of my two beautiful green and red housemates upon my next visit. Also, I think that putting volcanic rock in the bottom of the pots helps with drainage as well as using organic compost I make here at home. They are growing very well here in Annapolis, MD- Chesapeake Bay area. Thank You for the information and pics helping me to identify and thanx to all who posted comments that were also helpful and interesting. :) TiGoddess

Positive teresaabsurd On Jun 8, 2009, teresaabsurd from Fall River, MA wrote:

I grew up in Hawaii and when I moved away I noticed that I missed the plants a lot. I went on vacation back to Hawaii in 2006 and bought Ti logs but when I followed the directions on the package they just rotted (I'm a new gardener). I decided to give it another try when I went back last month and I'm very happy to say that after keeping the new logs in regular soil mixed with Perlite I'm getting growth! It'll be nice to have these plants around my house again. Since I'm in Massachusetts they'll be strictly indoors.

Positive Beach_Barbie On May 12, 2009, Beach_Barbie from Kure Beach, NC (Zone 9a) wrote:

I always thought this plant would be an annual where I am (my tropical hibiscus barely survive the winter with mulching), so imagine my surprise when I saw new growth from the roots this spring! I hadn't pulled them out all winter thru sheer laziness. Now I'm glad I was lazy!!
Barb

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jul 8, 2008, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

The Ti Plants are marginally hardy in my Zone 8b garden with winter temperatures as low as about 28 F in NE Florida. I am able to keep the Ti Plants from having severe frost/freeze damage by stringing the plants with twinkle lights and throwing a cloth cover over them on the coldest nights. Without that treatment, they tend to die back to the ground.

Jeremy

Positive YLgardenman On Jun 14, 2008, YLgardenman from Oroville, CA wrote:

I have had my Red (pink) Ti plant growing in my North facing planter for about 5 years. It has grown about 2.5 feet in height during that time. It gets flower buds every year but since this is in dead of winter they rarely bloom. I now have off shoots on each of the three main stalks. I want to propagate it from cuttings but I don't want to risk killing the main plant or the cutting. Interesting observation is that the color of the leaves is most intense in the fall months!

Update: I have since moved leaving my plant at my old property which is now a rental. Plant still growing.
In my new home I have several of these Ti Plants. Two planted in ground East facing and near house foundation to reduce frost risk and wind damage. These two are growing very well for 1.5 years and are budding now. Then three more are in pots on Southwest facing balcony. These plants are doing well but the leaf tips tend to burn a bit when the afternoon temps are over 95F.
I recommend this plant for outdoors in zones 10 and above. Partial sun best. Protect from frost and high winds to keep full looking foliage. Good drainage but don't allow soil to dry out completely. Can tolerate mild drought conditions for brief period if not too hot. As I've mentioned previously the shorter days or cooler temps or both seem to promote a more pink color to the foliage. I'll try to post picks tomorrow.

Positive mikevan On May 23, 2007, mikevan from Comanche, TX wrote:

I left some of my ti out in an unheated greenhouse in 1-gallon pots here in Zone 8 Texas where they froze back to the soil. I had others so it wasn't a big loss. But when I went out in the Spring to recycle the soil, I noticed that the Ti had put out new shoots from the roots! The pots didn't get bone dry - I'd water some other hardy plants out there in the early Spring and they'd get a little sprinkling from time to time. For those of you who had winter-kill, don't write it off until late Spring - you never know if it'll come back from the roots. Let it sit fairly dry over the winter and start watering it in the Spring and keep an eye out for shoots.

Positive angiesart On Sep 15, 2006, angiesart from Windsor, Ontario
Canada wrote:

I am growing this as a houseplant in a sunny window location and it's doing well. Easy to grow. Don't overwater.The colours on foliage are very dramatic! Beautiful plant! I loved learning about the history and uses.

I also was confused about toxicity - all other sites say it is safe and non-toxic. I was worried about my pets.
I've reported it as an error and they are correcting this page.

Definitely a keeper plant!!! A++++

Neutral mia01 On Aug 31, 2006, mia01 from karachi
Pakistan wrote:

mia01 31 Aug 06 Karachi

I have had this plant [the dark red variety] for two years now and have found it very slow-growing. It is in a largish pot but still under 2 feet high. Also in the plant properties mentioned above it is said to be poisonous, yet foodiesleuth says they wrap food in it.....so have we got something wrong somewhere?? Just wondering...

Neutral ladyannne On May 2, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Lovely colour but needs more water, I think? The leaves dry off quickly.

Positive kbads On Jul 30, 2004, kbads from Kirksville, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I saw this plant on clearance at local store. Plant was in rough shape, but I just love the color on this! It is doing well, now that I took it home and repotted. I am going to try propagating this one, but need to read up on air-layering. The bright, bright pink leaves are really stunning!

Neutral Buckdude On May 30, 2004, Buckdude from Lees Summit, MO wrote:

This is a beautiful plant in summer. I have to bring it in in the winter. It gets kind of ugly, then when put back out in spring it takes off growing again.

Positive jaxpatart On Apr 29, 2004, jaxpatart from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

4/29/04 - Jacksonville, FL- my ti plants (and does "ti" rhyme w/ "eye" or "tea"?) live under a big old live oak tree - tho I was prepared to see them die back during the winter, they did not. In fact, all are "having babies" per this morning's inspection.

Neutral maisoui11 On Jan 24, 2004, maisoui11 from Modesto, CA wrote:

i have had one of these in a pot in my covered patio in orlando for about 2 and a half years. i have had mixed success. the pot came with about 5 logs, and all but 2 died within about 1 and a half years. now a few new ones have come up, but one has died. i water them 1-2X/week and they are in partial shade. any ideas about how i can do better? thank you :)

Positive suncatcheracres On Nov 16, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I lived on the island of Maui, Hawaii, for over a year, and this plant was everywhere. Its red color really stood out in a world of intense green.

I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, zone 9b, for ten years, and tried to grow this plant outdoors, but every few years they would get caught in a deep freeze, and I would lose them. So even there I think it is best grown as a container plant, or in a very protected place.

The "logs" mentioned above are sections of stem that can be rooted. "Lay short lengths in mixture of peat moss and sand, covering about one-half their diameter. Keep moist. When shoots grow out and root, cut them off and plant them." From Southern Living Garden Book.

Positive boop1 On Nov 15, 2003, boop1 from Newport, NC wrote:

I have owned one of the plants since I bought one in the form of a 3inch long stick while on vacation in Hawaii in 1982. I took it back to San Diego, Ca. where it started to grow. It lived there until I moved to Newport,N.C. in 1995 where it is still thriving pretty good.It started its first winter on my screened in patio until the first frost. Thought I was going to loose it as it lost all of its leaves, but a beautiful huge flower sprouted from it. The first flower after owing it, at that point, for 13 years. After the flower died off,leaves started appearing again. I have now owned this plant for 21 years, longer than I have had my two children. Which after all this time I feel like it is one of my children

Positive Maudie On May 26, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

My sister gave me a Ti plant 'log' over twenty years ago. It has grown about five feet tall and still looks good. I have treated it as a houseplant all these years with minimum care.
Just water it when the soil gets dry and feed during the summer with weak solution of liquid fertlilizer and remove bottom leaves as they die off to keep the plant looking pretty.

Positive Dinu On Mar 26, 2003, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

"Complete Gardening In India", a book by KS Gopalswamiengar pictures this plant with a label C.mahatma. The reddish variegation is prominent. Another plant I had also threw up some little flowers at the tip some time ago. I think it was purplish coloured.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Kurtistown, Hawaii



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