An attractively coloured, large-leaved plant, which was formerly known as Dracaena terminalis. Like other highly coloured foliage plants, the Cordyline produces its pretty cerise-pink new leaves in the mid to late spring and summer when light intensities are higher. However, direct sunlight will scorch and disfigure the plant. As light intensities reduce in the autumn and winter, any emerging leaves are likely to be much more green in coloration. The thin leaves are also very sensitive to a dry atmosphere and it is important to keep the humidity high, otherwise leaf tips and edges will quickly turn brown and leaf loss may also occur. For a more diminutive variety, it may be worth trying C. t. ‘Rededge’, although this too is just as susceptible to the same problems.

Plant type : Foliage plant with erect stem and bushy growth
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 30-90cm (12 — 36in)
Flower : Uninteresting spike infrequently produced on mature plants in spring/summer
Leaf : Spear-shaped, 30-45cm (12—18in) long, 5-7.5cm (2—3in) wide, green and pink (vivid pink on new leaves)
Temperature : 20-21°C (68—70°F)
Aspect/Light : Moderate to reasonable light, away from direct sunlight
Humidity : High
Watering : Evenly moisten compost throughout year, taking care not to over-water and allowing to dry a little before re¬watering
Feeding : Once every two weeks with houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Plant 10-15cm (4—6in) tip cuttings, or 5-7.5cm (2—3in) sections of stem in seed and cutting compost at 21°C (70°F) in late spring
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Red spider mite, mealy bug, browning of tips and edges with dry atmosphere
Availability : Widely available throughout the year
Uses indoors : Very useful specimen plant
Other varieties : C. t 'Rededge' -smaller; red and green striped