S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Hawaiian Ti Plant Cordyline ‘Red Sister’
for the Northeast Florida Landscape
Cordyline terminalis ‘Red Sister’ Origins:
– Cordyline terminalis or Ti plants are members of the Agavaceae family
making them relatives of both Agave and Yucca plants.
– Cordyline termanalis ‘Red Sister’ is a highly colorful form with bright hot pink new growth emerging from the tips of the stems all summer long. It is grown for both its bright, attractive foliage and it’s ability to tolerate a sunnier landscape location. This is probably the most commonly seen cultivar in Northeast Florida, When people ask for Ti plants, they are usually thinking of this bright showy cultivar.
Cordyline plants are considered a tropical plant, thriving year round in zones 9B-11 and frost sensitive in zone 9a here in Northeast Florida you may need to protect these plants from frosts during winter.
Preferred Exposure of the Cordyline terminalis ‘Red Sister’ :
– Cordyline terminalis “Red Sister’ can be planted in a full sun to partially
shaded location in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape. Best or brightest foliage color will be achieved in a brighter sun location. A word of caution to this tale….often these plants are shade grown at the wholesale nurseries down in south Florida and when you try to put them directly out into the sun they suffer some leaf scorch, although they recover quickly they may need a bit of time to acclimate to the sunnier locations of your landscape. They do equally well in partially shaded locations, although you may loose a bit of the vibrant coloring in heavy shade areas. Ideally morning sun with afternoon shade gives you a good balance as does the dappled shade near larger growing trees and palms.
Foliage of the Cordyline termanalis ‘Red Sister’ Hawaiian Ti Plant:
– Big bold foliage with bright hot pink new growth that emerges at the branch tips all summer long.
– Foliage may remain evergreen during the winter in our Northeast Florida area gardens, or may cold damage when temperatures reach below 32 degrees.
Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of Cordyline terminalis / Hawaiian Ti ‘Red Sister’ :
– Cordyline plants prefer moist but well draining soils that are rich in organic matter so amend your planting hole generously when planting into our Northeast Florida landscapes.
– Poor salt tolerance.
Size Variance of the Cordyline terminalis / Hawaiian Ti ‘Red Sister’ Plant:
– Normally seen in about the 4-6 ft height range and 2-3 ft wide in our subtropical climate zone, although if grown in a protected area free of frost damage or farther south in Florida these plants can reach up to 9 ft!
– Expect this one to reach its full size potential around the second to third year in the landscape. You should get 6-12 inches in growth in the first year.
– Although much more durable once established in the landscape, regular water is necessary to get the plant rooted and growing on it’s own after being planted in the ground from an S & J Nursery container. Water every day for the first week then every other day for the next week, and continue to taper watering black to a minimum of once a week.
– Use supplemental irrigation once to twice a week after the plant is
established and growing in the landscape especially during the hot summer months. Cordyline plants have a tendency to experience damage to the foliage during prolonged exposure to drought.
Best Use for the Cordyline terminalis / Hawaiian Ti ‘Red Sister’ Plant in the Jacksonville | St. Augustine Area Landscape:
– Red Sister is a really showy plant that grabs attention at a distance making it the perfect tropical accent anywhere you want to draw the eye to in the landscape.
-Perfect for mixing among other flowering plants in the perennial border or container planting.
– Beautiful when planted in groupings around a palm tree, bird bath,
fountain or other garden accents.
– Easy care plant for containers on pool decks, patio areas, walkways, home
entry accents etc.
– Great indoor planting.
Care of Cordyline Hawaiian Ti ‘Red Sister’ in the Northeast Florida Landscape:
– Amend the soil generously with compost at planting time to ensure that the plant will have moist but well draining soils.
– If planting Cordyline into flood prone areas or areas that hold water after heavy rains, be sure to plant them into an elevated mound of soil to let the roots get air during storm season. just 4-6 inches above grade can keep your plants beautiful in these areas instead of watching them suffer.
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from an S & J Nursery container.
-Trim off cold damaged foliage and stems in spring after all danger of frost has passed.
Fertilize with a slow release garden food like Osmocote directly after spring pruning and again in summer.