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 to 6.5. If you move the plant outdoors during warmer months, make sure the outdoor soil drains well and any threat of frost has passed. Outdoor plants also need to be well secured; with its large leaves, they can catch in the wind and topple over.
Water and Fertilizer
It is important to keep the soil continuously moist. Reduce watering during the winter and water your plant whenever the soil surface starts to feel dry.
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.
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, especially if the temperature drops lower than 62 degrees Fahrenheit. These are jungle plants, so if you’re experiencing leaf drop, try raising both the temperature and humidity.
A mature, well-trimmed plant should have stems of various heights, up to 3 to 4 feet, and be clothed in leaves to the soil level. Over time, cordylines tend toward legginess so you will want to trim back individual stems in a staggered pattern.
Propagation is typically done with cuttings. Cut 3- to 5-inch pieces from mature stems and remove all of the leaves. Lay the pieces in sand and apply heat from below, as needed, to ensure a temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Shoots will grow from the eyes of the stems and can be planted in potting soil when they have about four to six leaves each. You can repot in spring or every other spring, as needed.