Cordyline, Cabbage Palm, Cabbage Tree, Ti Kouka, Torbay Palm, Dracaena Spike 'Red Star'

Cordyline australis

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Cordyline (kor-di-LY-nee) (Info)
Species: australis (aw-STRAL-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Star
Synonym:Dracaena australis


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:


Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Clayton, California

Fresno, California

Hayward, California

Oakland, California

Salinas, California

Bartow, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Venice, Florida

Ellijay, Georgia

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Brookings, Oregon

Harbor, Oregon

Johns Island, South Carolina

San Antonio, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Kent, Washington

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 5, 2021, UtahTropics12 from Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 7b) wrote:

Ive seen abundant large Cordyline trees here in Brookings, Oregon theyre almost everywhere. Ive seen the red Cordyline pretty regularly and there are some specimens here in town that are 15- 20 FT+ with multiple branches coming out of the main trunk. I love this variety but it usually grows a lot smaller than the green variety, but sometimes they can become beautiful MONSTERS. They are absolutely eye catching when they get to that size.


On Jan 22, 2020, Bscottj from Oakland, CA wrote:

Similar to what the last person wrote. . . very susceptible to gophers.

Noticed one of mine, 2-3 ft tall, had collapsed one day.

Upon closer inspection, you could see that something chewed the base away.

Now I'm concerned about the well-being of other plants in my yard.


On Dec 31, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- We have had success with green or light color variegated cordyline, but not with red or burgundy ones. Dark colored cordyline don't seem to like the intense Phoenix heat and don't make it through the summer. This is in keeping with other experience with dark colored plants not being as heat tolerant as lighter varieties of the same species. It may be that the dark colored leaves absorb more heat than light colored.


On Apr 22, 2015, LauraJoy from Glasgow,
United Kingdom wrote:

New to this site. Hope it's ok to ask for advice... I'm very novice.

I used to keep my Red Star in a pot in the garden but my new flat has absolutely no outdoor space. I can't keep him on a window ledge either because he's too large.

He seems to be getting sick. The outer leaves started to go brown but I just cut them off. But now ones closer to the middle are getting small cream patches and it seems a bit like they're rotting. The tiny ones in the middle that are coming up are fine.

I do know I should have replanted him in a bigger pot by now and I suspect he's not getting enough sunlight.

Any advice? I was wondering about cutting him right back to the tiny healthy leaves...? Should I take him to the local community garden w... read more


On Nov 26, 2012, scvcampdavis from Kiawah Island, SC wrote:

Doing great, but hasn't gotten any height, yet. I think it needs more sun. I'll relocate in the spring.


On Nov 13, 2010, hoitider from Emerald Isle, NC wrote:

Really like thid plant one of the very few dark leaved specimem plants tha comes back here in zone 8,ill take about 6 of them in for the winter and put them back out in spring and they really grow nicely, the ones left in the ground come back but dont have the vigor that the others have ,this is a must have if you do container gardening


On Apr 7, 2010, purplesun from Krapets,
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant was annihilated after -3 degrees F, snow cover notwithstanding. Krapets, Bulgaria, zone 8a.


On Dec 13, 2009, kdfisher from Ellijay, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Started and growing in hanging baskets since May of this year. Purchased at Lowes, I am surprised it has survived this long outdoors with a half dozen morning temps in the mid to upper 20's. Made it through some 20 degree mornings as well. Probably two or three heavy frosts and it still remains strong. Only time will tell.


On Mar 3, 2007, weatherguesser from Battle Ground, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Beautiful plant and basically takes no maintenance. Just pull off the dead leaves from time to time. Ours has grown about two feet in the year and a half we've been in our house -- it's now around 10 feet tall. It had no trouble with the recent frost in California (we had six nights in a row of temperatures in the twenties), unlike a lot of our plants.


On Dec 18, 2006, DebinSC from Georgetown, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant was beautiful out side in nearly full sun all summer and fall. I've brought in in for winter and it's done great but the foliage has gone a bit greener with the lower light. Sheila965, I'll be interested to hear how yours did over the winter as it sounds like you're trying it outside?


On Aug 2, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

They had these at Home Depot here in Georgia and I purchased two of them. I live in Zone 8b. I hope they make it. Good to see not to water it too much. I'll keep that in mind!


On Mar 12, 2005, SOCALBOY122162 from Venice, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This cultivar is easily grown in Southern California and and in Florda. Be careful not to overwater--let it dry out.


On Sep 13, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Great color on this form of Cordyline, more cold tolerant than its green relatives. Looks best when leaves are cut at the base in an even pattern. Trimming it up also promotes faster growth to attain height and trunk strength.

Very suceptible to pocket gopher damage. Can be toppled overnight as these creatures eat away the soft underground trunk and root structure.