How to Grow and Care for Cordyline


Cordyline, or Ti, is a common decorative plant that thrives outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 12, but it also makes an excellent houseplant with its long, spikey leaves. Cordyline typically has leathery leaves in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, white, purple, and purplish-red.

Some species in this group have fragrant flowers followed by berries. The moderate-growing plant will produce white, pink, or pale lavender flowers that are cup-shaped and sweet-smelling. They bloom in early summer and then small berries will appear after the flowers. It's more typical for flowering to occur in outdoor varieties, but flowers can appear on houseplants. If you plant cordyline outside, do so in the spring. This plant is toxic to dogs and cats.

Cordyline Care

Tropical cordyline is a hardy plant if you grow it in the right climate. Its many varieties are colorful and cheery, and it's an attractive low-maintenance evergreen shrub. Cordyline will bring color to both your indoor or outdoor garden, and it's very easy to maintain.

The name Cordyline originates from Greek; the word kordyle, meaning "club," is a reference to the plant's vigorous root system. If you've planted cordyline outdoors in a raised garden bed, the root system can sometimes grow so large it may disrupt surrounding plants.


The Cordyline needs bright light, but avoid direct sunlight in unhabituated plants. Also, green-leaved cordyline tends to do best with direct light, while those with other colored leaves may prefer bright indirect or filtered sunlight.


Cordyline needs a rich, well-drained high-quality potting mix with a pH of 6-6.5.


Cordyline plants prefer to be watered when the surface of its soil feels dry. Water until it starts to run out of the drainage holes. Do not put the drained water back into the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Cordyline thrives in temperatures above 62 degrees Fahrenheit and prefers a high humidity environment. Avoid putting the plant near a cold draft like a window. These are tropical plants, so if you're experiencing leaf drop, try raising both the temperature and humidity.


These plants can be fed in the spring with slow-release pellets. You can feed the plant weekly during the growing season with a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer at half-strength. Do not fertilize during the winter.