Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) Indoor Care and Common Growing Issues with Solutions


Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) also called Hawaiian Goodluck Plant, Hawaiian Ti Plant or Polynesian Ti is a popular plant ideal for adding a splash of color among the greenery and is also believed to bring good luck.

The leaves are broad, about 2 ft long and are usually tinged or splashed with red, pink, orange and cream.

As the Hawaiian Goodluck Plant grows it drops its lower leaves and becomes more tree-like with a trunk topped by a crown of colorful foliage.

Ti Plant, Cordyline terminalis

Botanical name: Cordyline terminalis
Synonyms: Cordyline fruitcosa, Dracaena terminalis
Family: Asparagaceae
Common names: Ti Plant, Hawaiian Goodluck Plant, Hawaiian Ti Plant, Polynesian Ti

Origin

Cordyline terminalis also called Cordyline fruitcosa or Dracaena terminalis is native to the western Pacific Ocean region, from New Zealand, eastern Australia, southeastern Asia and Polynesia, with one species found in southeastern South America.

Size

Ti Plant is a compact False Palm which grows to a height of about 1-2 ft. The leaves are about 2 ft long.

Flower

In the wild Ti Plant produces pink or yellow flower-spikes but not when grown indoors.

Toxicity

Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) is toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. The leaves contain alkyds which if ingested they may cause vomiting and excessive salivation.

Varieties

There are many varieties of Ti Plant. Rededge which has green leaves streaked with red is the favorite one.

Other common varieties of Hawaiian Goodluck Plant are tricolor whose leaves are green and splashed with red, pink and cream. Prince Albert whose leaves are green and red.

There are other varieties like Firebrand whose leaves are bronze. Amabilis, green and white. Baptistii, green, pink and yellow. Ti, all green and is the "grass" used for hula skirts in Hawaii. New varieties include Kiwi and Atom.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to acquire these plants, beautiful and healthy Ti Plants in various sizes are available online.

Cordyline terminalis Care Indoors

Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) requires bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, moderate warmth and humidity and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Cordyline terminalis requires pruning to keep it neat, to discourage pests and diseases, to encourage a bushy growth, to control growth and to rejuvenate growth.

Repotting is only needed when the plant is extremely pot-bound. Continue reading for more on the best growing conditions and how to provide them.

Ti Plant, Cordyline terminalis

Light Requirements

Ti Plant grows best in bright, indirect light. The leaves will lose color and variegation in too low light.

Do not expose the Hawaiian Goodluck Plant to direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. However, the all green varieties grow best under some direct sunlight.

Hawaiian Ti Plant can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Cordyline terminalis can be grown outdoors in a shaded place away from hot direct sunlight to avoid brown sunscorch leaf spots.

Watering

Water Ti Plant liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.

Decrease watering in the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist but do not let it dry out completely.

Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot; ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole.

Use water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

Make sure that the water is free of chlorine, flourides and other chemicals to prevent brown leaf tips.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature for Ti Plant is average to more than average warmth with a minumum of 160C.

Keep the Hawaiian Goodluck Plant away from cold draughts to avoid a sudden drop in temperature which can cause brown leaf tips, leaf drop and reduced growth.

Average room humidity is ideal for Ti Plant. Mist the leaves occasionally and clean them by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pests and disaeses.

If the air is too dry especially where the temperatures are too high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to up humidity or grow the plant in the moist areas of the home. Learn more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Potting Mix

The best potting mix for Ti Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for Ti Plant. Buy quality Potting Mix from Amazon.

Feeding

Feed Ti Plant monthly during the growing period with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer that contains micro-nutrients as magnesium deficiency will lead to yellowing of leaves.

Stop feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Ti Plant at the beginning of the growing season when roots begin to grow through the drainage holes as the plant prefers to be slightly root-bound.

Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has drainage holes. Refresh the top 2-3 in. of soil with fresh soil every 2-3 years for older, larger Hawaiian Goodluck Plants. Check out these Ceramic Pots with Drainage Holes and Saucer on Amazon.

Pruning

Pruning Ti Plant involves removal of dead and yellow leaves to maintain the plant neat and also reduce pest and disease infestations.

To encourage a bushy growth (branching), sever the stem at the desired height and new stems will sprout below the cut. This will result in the plant producing several stems instead of having just one stem.

When the plant becomes too tall, the stem can be cut at the desired height to encourage new growth to sprout just below the cut.

The foliage emanating from the pruning, can be used to propagate new Ti Plants.

Propagation

Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season by air layering, from stem cuttings or by use of the crown from old leggy canes.

Ti Plant, Cordyline terminalis

Cordyline terminalis Common Problems

Ti Plant (Cordyline terminalis) common growing issues include leaf spost, loss of variegation, brown leaf tips and edges, yellow leaves, plant death, pests and diseases among others all of which are caused by improper care. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Loss of leaf color in Variegated Ti Plant

Loss of leaf color in variegated Ti Plant is due to too little light. A variegated plant requires bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.

Cordyline terminalis can also grow under a grow light if the natural light is not sufficient.

Brown leaf tips and yellow edges

There are four possible causes of brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Ti Plant. One possible cause of brown leaf tips and yellow edges is too dry air (low humidity).

To elevate humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

The second possible cause of brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Ti Plant is underwatering. Maintain the soil moderately moist during the growing season and slightly moist in the cold period but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third possible cause of brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Polynesian Ti Plant is chemical accumulation in the soil.

Use chemical free water and regularly flush out salts from the soil by running a steady stream of water through the soil for a few minutes. Repeat the process several times.

The fourth possible cause of brown leaf tips and yellow edges in Ti Plant is cold draughts which cause sudden drops in temperature.

Place Hawaiian Goodluck Plant away from cold draughts like air conditioning units, windy doors and windows among others to avoid sudden drops in temperature.

Soft and curled leaves with brown edges

Soft and curled leaves with brown edges in Ti Plant are due to too low temperatures which are caused by cold drafts.

Maintain an average to above average room temperature for Ti Plant. Keep it away from cold drafts and do not allow the temperature to go below 160C.

Ti Plant dying

Ti Plant dying is due to three possible reasons. One possible reason is root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

Ensure that there is free drainage of both the soil and the pot to avoid getting soggy soil.

In addition, cut down on watering during the cold season to prevent the soil from remaining too wet for too long.

The second possible reason for a dying Ti Plant is keeping it too cold. Maintain average to above average room temperature and keep the plant away from cold draughts.

The third possible reason for the death of Ti Plant is accumulation of salts in the soil. Regularly flush out salts from the soil by running a stream of water through it.

Yellowing lower leaves

This is a natural process in Ti Plant. As the plant matures it sheds the lower leaves. Each lower leaf turns yellow and dries leaving a crown of leaves on top of the cane-like stem of the plant.

Brown leaf spots

Ti Plant will develop brown leaf spots if it is underwatered. Maintain the soil moderately moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Bleached dry patches on the leaves

Bleached dry patches on the leaves in a variegated Ti Plant are due to exposure to direct sunlight. Move the plant to a shadier spot or shield it from direct sunlight.

Diseases

Ti Plant is also prone to leaf spot disease which is prevalent in humid, stuffy conditions. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants. Improve air circulation and treat the affected plant appropriately for the leaf spot disease.

Pests

Common pests in Ti Plant are Mealy Bugs, Fungus Gnats, Scale Insects and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other plants and treat accordingly. Read on how to identify and treat pests in houseplants.

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