A favourite is Cordyline ?Rubra?. Rubra means red, and boy, it?s red all right but right next door to it is a lovely cordyline with yellow colouring. Brown tips on the leaves indicates that last winter was a bit tough on it ? and if you live in a cold climate, the plants might develop more of these.

The range of colours is absolutely stunning. Other colour combinations to watch for include: green and an almost burnt orange; green and bright pink, and the good thing about these leaves is they stay that colour all year round. 

It's interesting to learn how the colouring gets into cordyline leaves. The green colouring is of course chlorophyll, but when that breaks down, the chemical that's remaining is anthocyanin which produces the red leaves. In yellow leaves, the remaining chemical is xanthophyll and if we had an orange leaf, it would be carotene. 

To make the leaf colour bright, add fertiliser with a high level of potassium, in spring and autumn. Use an organic lawn fertiliser because it's got a good level of nitrogen but do make sure there?s potash in it. To enhance the colours even more give them a folia spray with a fertiliser containing both potash and iron, every so often through the growing period. 


Cordylines can give year round lushness and colour in a shady spot that really compliments other plants like palms. And regardless of whether you live in the sunny north or quite temperate climates, you can create that lush tropical look and feel with these ultimate easy care plants.



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