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Cordyline Plant Care Indoors

Cordyline Plant Care Indoors

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Cordyline Plant Care Indoors is not overly demanding and with the right tips, you can have them thriving in your home or office in no time.

The Cordyline plant is a genus of 15 species of woody flowering plants from the Aspargaceae family and the subfamily Lomandroideae.

It comes from the western Pacific Ocean region, New Zealand, eastern Australia, southeastern Asia and Polynesia, and one species is from south-eastern South America.

Interestingly, the name comes from a Greek word kordyle which means club– referring to the enlarged underground rhizomes or stems.

This plant typically has leather-like leaves in spear or lance shape and a diverse leaf colouring, including red, yellow, green, purple, white, and purplish-red.

When a cordyline is mature and properly trimmed, it should boast stems of different heights, up to 3 and 4 feet, and full of leaves to the level of the soil.

They’re an excellent choice for areas where you want to add a tropical vibe. The evergreen foliage will ensure your space has greenery all year long.

Like the maidenhair fern, they’re able to filter toxins from the air, including benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

However, like the Yucca and the spider plant, they’re toxic to dogs according to the ASPCA. A dog that has ingested parts of it can experience drooling, depression, vomiting, and loss of appetite!

Despite being an easy-to-grow indoor plant, it’s more prone than some other plants to specific issues and pests, including spider mites, fungal spots, and root rot.

But, with the right tips on cordyline plant care indoors, you’ll lower the risk of experiencing these problems and you’ll know what to do should a problem occur.

Interesting Fact:

Some cordyline species have fragrant flowers and berries. The plant produces white lavender flowers, cup-shaped, and with a sweet fragrance.

They bloom in early summer and are followed by small berries. Even though this is more common in the outdoor varieties, but you can also see this with your cordyline plant indoors.

Cordyline Indoor Care Tips


A cordyline wants to get bright light, but it doesn’t want to be directly exposed to the sun for an excessive period of time.

The cordylines with green leaves tend to thrive when they get more direct light; whereas the ones with other colours may want less direct light and more filtered sunlight.


Want your cordyline to grow happy and healthy? – Make sure this jungle plant gets an indoor temperature higher than 62 degrees F.

Avoid placing it near draft like a window or a door that opens frequently, particularly if the temperature is lower than 62.

Water & Humidity

In addition to keeping the temperature higher than 62 degrees F for cordylines, it’s also important to keep them in an area that’s humid enough.

Since it’s a jungle plant, it doesn’t just want warmer temperatures, but also humid air to grow well. You can increase humidity with a wet pebble tray or humidifier.


Plant your cordyline in a rich and well-drained quality potting mixture that has a pH range between 6 and 6.5.

If the soil is of poorer quality, add organic compost or manure to it.


In spring and summer when the plant is growing, you can feed it with slow-release pellet.

Do it every week with a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer at 50 percent strength. In the winter, when the plant is resting, abandon the feeding.


Transplant your cordyline when the roots will become too much for the current pot. Opt for a pot slightly bigger than the current and add fresh loam-based compost.

When the plant doesn’t need repotting, take out several inches of the soil and add fresh one to improve the plant’s growth!



Cordylines are propagated with cuttings. It’s best to do this in spring or every other spring.

Cut a 3 or 5 inch piece from the mature stems and take out the leaves.

Lay it into sand and apply heat from below to up the temperature to 62 degrees F.

The shoots will begin to grow from the stems soon and then you should transfer them in potting soil when they each have 4 to 6 leaves.

Best Cordyline Species

There are 15 different cordyline species; however, there are some that are more commonly grown indoors than others.

Here are the three great indoor species:

Cordyline Terminalis

This showy tropical variety has a stunning, diverse range of leaf colours, including green, black, red, orange, yellow, and mixed.

The leaves are thin and wide.

Cordyline Rubra or palm lily

This small evergreen shrub has decorative foliage and glossy, wide, and dark-red leaves with rose pink streaks.

It’s an excellent indoor plant for cooler areas.

Cordyline Australis or cabbage tree or palm

This small evergreen tree is interesting choice for an indoor plant- it has several stout braches that arise from one trunk.

Its leaves are long, shaped like swords, and grow in dense clusters at the tip of the branches.

The flowers are small, cream, and fragrant.

Other Tips

Your cordyline is able to tolerate drought; however, it dislikes being left entirely dry.

Another houseplant, dracaena, is commonly confused with cordyline because they’re similar and both related to agave.

To differentiate them better, check their roots- cordyline’s are white and dracaena’s are yellow or orange.


Trouble Shooting- Common Issues

Problem: Scarred leaves, stunted growth, and leaf discoloration

Cause: Thrips (insects)

Solution: Cut away the affected parts and then spray the plant with organic insecticidal soap.


Problem: Burnt tips & mottled leaves

Cause: Fluoride poisoning.

Solution: Make sure the pH of the soil is between 6.0 and 6.5 so that you lower the plant’s exposure to fluoride.

Also, the water you use on cuttings should have less than 0.25 parts per million-fluoride since they absorb high levels of fluoride when they don’t yet have roots.

Problem: Dull leaf color

Cause: Insufficient light, very high temperature or excessive feeding.

Solution: Transfer the plant into a more light-appropriate area, lower the temperature in the room if it’s excessive, and/or reduce the fertilizing.

Thank you for reading this article on cordyline plant care indoors.

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Cordyline Plant Care Indoor

Christine Mattner

What started out as purely a desire to keep my indoor plants alive has turned into a full-blown passion for sharing what I have learned over the years about selecting, growing and caring for indoor plants with those who may be new to the wonderful world of houseplants.

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