How To Grow and Care For Cordyline Red Sister Plant

From the Cordyline plant family of which there are many varieties you’ll find also Cordyline Fruticosa (Kor-di-LY-nee Froo-tih-KOH-suh), and a sport named Cordyline Red Sister. It is an evergreen plant with stunning foliage, which makes a bold statement in any garden.  

The plant belongs to the family of Asparagaceae and is native to Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and eastern Australia.

bright colors of the Cordyline Red Sister
Red Sisters plant | Courtesy of Proven Winners – www.provenwinners.com

The synonyms of this plant include:

  • Terminalis Fruticosa (L.) Kuntze
  • Dracaena Terminalis Lam.
  • Cordyline Terminalis Kunth
  • Asparagus Terminalis L.
  • Convallaria Fruticosa L. 

This plant is also known by various common names, including:

  • Good Luck Plant
  • Ti Plant
  • Florida Ti plant
  • Hawaiian Ti Plant
  • Palm Lily
  • Cordyline Fruticosa ‘Red Sister’
  • Red Sister Cordyline
  • Red Sister Hawaiian Ti Plant

Cordyline Red Sister Care

Size & Growth

The Cordyline plants have various Ti plant varieties, some with maroon and green leaves, some have hot pink tips, and some with variegated leaves.

The Red Sister Ti plant, in particular, has colorful foliage with burgundy to pinkish leaves. 

The leaves are around 12” to 30” inches long and 4” to 6” inches wide. 

The red sister plants grow around 4’ to 6’ feet in ideal conditions.

Flowering and Fragrance

The Red Sister produces tiny pink, purple, or white-colored flowers when growing in its natural habitat.  

The blooming period of this plant is late spring to early summer.  

These beautiful flowers grow in clusters and are 0.5” inches wide. 

However, indoor plants don’t bloom. 

In rare cases, it also produces a fruit, which resembles red colored berries.

Light & Temperature

As a houseplant, the Cordyline fruticosa Plant thrives well under bright light. 

The more light it receives, the more vivid the foliage will be. 

Providing it with southern or eastern sun exposure is best, but it also tolerates partial shade. 

It fares well in full sun when planted outdoors but needs protection from the wind.

If the sun is too harsh, it is best to place the plant under partial shade to avoid direct sunlight; otherwise, its leaves might burn. 

The USDA hardiness zones of this plant are from 9 to 12.

Watering and Feeding

  • This plant needs regular watering as it prefers to grow in moist soil. 
  • However, it is optimal to let the soil dry out slightly before watering. 
  • Avoid overwatering the plant.
  • Fertilize the plant every three months. 
  • Feed the indoor plants with half-strength liquid fertilizer and provide outdoor plants with a slow-release fertilizer.

Soil & Transplanting

While the Ti Plant tolerates poor and dry soil conditions, it prefers a well-draining, rich potting mix. 

You should re-pot the plant every three to four years and replace the top surface of the soil every year to ensure it gets the right nutrients to grow. 

Make sure the pot size of the new plant is slightly bigger than the previous one.

Grooming and Maintenance

This plant requires occasional maintenance. 

For glossier and fresher foliage, provide the plant with some humidity. 

Avoid overhead watering as it may promote leaf diseases.

Cordyline Red Sister requires protection in freezing temperatures. 

Don’t cut back the stems damaged due to the cold until you see new growth emerging in the spring season.

Cordyline Red Sister growing in the landscape
Bright red colored Ti plants growing in the landscape

How To Propagate Cordyline Red Sister

The propagation of this plant is done using seeds and stem cuttings.

When using seeds, be sure to soak the seeds in warm water for around ten minutes before you sow them. 

The germination process takes about one to three months. 

Plant the seedlings in individual pots once they become large enough to handle.

Water them regularly, and when they are about 4” inches tall, transplant them in their permanent position.

When using tip or stem cuttings:

  • Make sure to take the cutting from a mature plant, just below the head of the plant. 
  • The cuttings should be 3” to 5” inches long at a minimum.  
  • For tip cuttings remove the bottom leaves and dip the stem in rooting hormone powder
  • Plant tips in a well draining potting soil – plant bare stems 1” inch deep in the potting soil.
  • Place the plant in a shaded location and keep it moist until a strong rooting system is established. 
  • One roots form place them in individual pots.

Cordyline Red Sister Plant Pest or Diseases

Make sure to regularly monitor the plant for pests, particularly, mealy bugs, scales, and spider mites. 

Spray the lower and upper leaf surfaces using insecticidal soap or Neem oil to eliminate the pests.

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Leaf spot, root and stem rot, and bacterial leaf are a few diseases, which may infect this plant. 

There isn’t much to do to save the plant if it develops a bacterial infection. Discard it immediately. 

Some telltale signs include:

  • Black roots
  • Slimy, wet leaves.
  • Stem or leaf spot with purple, red-brown, or tan spots. 

For blight diseases and leaf spots, treat the plant with a natural houseplant fungicide like Neem oil.

Make sure to spray the plant during the evening or morning hours to avoid leaf burn.

Is The Plant Toxic Or Poisonous?

This plant is known to be toxic for dogs and cats if ingested.

USes For Cordyline Red Sister Plant

The Red Sister Cordyline makes a stunning ornamental plant. 

It looks excellent in a container garden, screening or hedges, mass planting, and as an accent plant. 

It is a perfect way to add a pop of color to your garden.

Feng shui specialists also believe the plant brings good luck to the owner.  

This plant is also utilized in numerous ways, mainly in Hawaii making covers for surfboards and hula dancing skirts.

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