Multicolored shimmers


Latin name:
Asia, Australia, New Zealand.

The genus Cordyline contains 15 species of evergreen shrubs and trees that are very close to the genus Dracaena of the same Agave family. Indeed, until recently, many botanists classified Cordyline undivided (Cordyline indivisa) like the undivided dracaena (Dracaena indivisa). These two genera differ in the color of the roots on the cut: in dracaena they are yellow or orange, and in Cordyline they are white.

Cordyline is a plant of tropical origin with a characteristic rather short stem and long lanceolate leaves, colored differently depending on the species and variety, the color is the basis of their decorative effect. Plants cultivated as houseplants bloom in summer, but rarely.

Southern Cordyline (C. australis), native to Australia and New Zealand, is characterized by lanceolate leaves bent down, 60-90 cm long and 5 cm wide, forming an apical rosette. Of the varieties, the most famous are 'Krasnaya Zvezda' with red leaves on the upper side and 'Solar Star' with a central yellow vein.

Cordyline undivided (C. indivisa, or Dracaena indivisa), also of New Zealand origin, has lanceolate pointed leaves, often with a central red or yellow vein.

Cordyline apiculata (C. terminalis, or C. fruticolosa), native to Southeast Asia, has a short stem and lanceolate leaves 30-35 cm long with a cream, red or purple tint. Very numerous forms and varieties are obtained from this species, which are often used for composing compositions. 'Tricolor' has dark green leaves with red or purple stripes; 'Red-edged' has dark green leaves with intense red edging; 'White-edged' is very similar to 'Red-edged', but the edges of the leaves are white; 'Atom', 'Kiwi', 'Lord Robertson' and 'Prince Albert' have mottled leaves with a variety of red patterns. Especially often in compositions use 'Compact' with a characteristic almost complete absence of internodes.


Types and varieties of Cordyline are grown indoors in pots: in single plantings, several specimens (plants of the same species are planted in a pot) or in compositions with others that have similar requirements for living conditions. Caring for them is quite simple and causes a sense of satisfaction even for novice flower growers. Plants in the open air in areas with mild climates, if all the growing conditions are perfectly met, can form long feathery panicles up to 1 m long in early summer, consisting of white fragrant flowers. In spring and summer, water for irrigation is periodically added liquid fertilizer at the rate of 10 g per bucket.


It is enough to clean the leaves with a damp cloth, because in some varieties the use of lustrous solutions causes burns.


Cordylines do not require a large amount of water. In the summer, they are satisfied with the soil, which should never completely dry out or be too wet. However, frequent spraying is necessary. In winter, watering can be reduced (once every 15-20 days), as long as the land does not dry out in the pot.


This operation is performed in early spring, but only when the roots completely fill the pot. It is necessary to use a universal well-drained soil for indoor plants. The pot size should be only slightly larger than the previous one.


Propagate Cordyline, as a rule, by root processes. Well-rooted cut tops. Cuttings 7-8 cm long are planted in a soil consisting of peat and sand in equal parts, at a temperature of 20-24 °C and sufficient humidity (you can, for example, cover the cuttings with a plastic film). When the seedlings grow up, they are transplanted into larger pots. Seeds for reproduction are used very rarely also because they are difficult to get.


Variegated Cordyline varieties develop brighter and more colorful leaves if the plant is placed in a well-lit (but not direct sunlight) place. Varieties with green leaves grow well even in partial shade.


In winter, the optimal temperature is 18-20 °C. The plant tolerates short-term temperature drops to 10-12 °C, if the humidity is not high. In summer, the temperature can increase to 24-26 °C without damage to plants, if the foliage is often sprayed with water. Avoid temperature changes and drafts.

Diseases and pests

When growing Cordyline, there are usually no big problems if normal light and temperature conditions are provided. There are not too many symptoms of trouble: drying (partial), falling leaves, yellowing of the edges of the leaves. Various fungi can cause rotting of the roots and root neck. Their appearance is prevented by using good soil drainage and proper watering. As for pests, the brown worm is disposed of by treating the leaves of the plant with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, or by treating it with an appropriate insecticide.


Cordyline seedlings are extremely easy to find in both gardening centers and flower shops. Choose plants with brightly colored leaves, without spots or deformities, do not buy plants with damaged stem base, because these are usually old specimens.

Care summary

Requirements and characteristics of the Cordyline plant that you need to remember.

Cultivation simple
Watering in summer-frequent, in winter - 1 time in 20 days
Transplanting in spring, if necessary
Appearance maintenance clean the leaves with a damp cloth
Location well lit or partial shade
Temperature optimal 18-20 °C
Flowering time rare at home
Height 30 cm - 1 m depending on the variety

Photos of varieties and species


List of sources, entry in the process of writing this article.

  • Cordyline // Great Soviet Encyclopedia. — M.: Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969-1978. — 630000 copies.
  • Ilyina E. Ya., Sterligova E. I. Indoor plants and their use in the interior. — Sverdlovsk: Ural University, 1991 — 208 s — 130000 copies. — ISBN 9785752502118
  • Turdiev S. Yu., Vecherko L. I. Flowers in our life. — Alma-Ata: Kainar, 1986. — 217 s — 50000 copies.
  • Chub V. V., Lezina K. D. Complete encyclopedia of indoor plants. — M.: Eksmo, 2003. — 416 s — 7000 copies. — ISBN 9785040060771.
  • Cordyline // Indoor and garden plants. — M.: Premiere, 2005. — 1274 s — 300,000 copies. — ISSN 1729-1828.
  • Golovkin B. N. What do plant names say. — M.: Kolos, 1992. — 192 s — 70000 copies. — ISBN 9785100025054.
  • Golovkin B. N. 1000 amazing facts from the life of plants. — M.: AST; Astrel, 2001. — 224 s — 10000 copies. — ISBN 9785170105342, ISBN 9785271030529.