The Hawaiian Ti plant, Cordyline fruticosa, may sound like an unusual name, but it’s well loved by those who favor charismatic houseplants. Among a few of its names are the Baby Doll, Ti Leaf, and the Good Luck plant. The leaves are large, long, and predominately purple with a flash of pinks, greens, whites, or cream colorations.
Living in the tropical regions of Australia, Southeast Asia and some of the Hawaiian Islands, this plant is rather resilient. A lot of people choose to plant them outdoors as a landscape shrub. Keeping them indoors, however, can be quite beneficial.
This article will look at everything you need to know about the Hawaiian Ti plant so that it can bring your home good luck!
- 1 TI PLANT CARE BASICS
- 2 THE TEA ABOUT WATERING YOUR TI PLANT
- 3 TI PLANT PROPAGATION TECHNIQUES
- 4 HAWAIIAN TI PLANT PESTS
- 5 TELLTALE SIGNS OF A HAWAIIAN TI PLANT
- 6 FIVE STEPS TO A HAPPY TI PLANT
- 7 TI PLANT FAQ
TI PLANT CARE BASICS
Did you know that people once used the leaves off of Cordyline fruticosa for multiple purposes, including thatching their roofs, plates and cups, fishing lures, woven sandals, and traditional hula skirts?
It truly was a luck providing plant. But, in order to use it, they had to nurture the growth.
Although you simply want them to adorn your house with a tropical plant, you should still take special care of them. We’ve got you covered!
The Hawaiian Ti plant heavily depends upon a soil that can drain adequately. You don’t want the roots to sit in water.
This will lead to root rot. You can choose just about any type of soil, even clay, as long as there are drainage holes.
Adding organic matter such as peat moss or perlite. For those who want to get technical, a pH between 6.0 and 6.5 is optimal.
These tropical plants need a good amount of sunlight in order to survive. Those colors that you see presented on the foliage can be a bit sensitive to the amount of sun that they get however, so be mindful.
They do need bright sunlight for the majority of the day. Unfortunately, direct exposure can make the leaves lose their vibrancy.
Those who keep their Cordyline fruticosa outdoors struggle with finding an adequate spot.
Keeping one of these plants indoors is a bit easier. As explained in our article pertaining to light levels, indirect sunlight needs to pass through another object first.
The soil of a Hawaiian Ti plant should be kept consistently moist, without being oversaturated. This is typically achieved through less frequent watering sessions where more water is added at one time.
You should be sure to let the plant dry out some before moving forward with your next session, being careful to not let the soil become completely dry.
You should also be mindful of the different chemicals that your water may have since these can alter the leaf’s vitality. We will go over this later on in the article.
Cordyline fruticosa isn’t picky when it comes to temperature. This makes it quite easy for those who choose to raise their Ti plant indoors. They can actually survive in a wide range
This can be as low as 18 degrees Celsius, all the way up to 26 degrees Celsius. Any environment lower than 15 degrees Celsius can potentially damage the overall state of your Hawaiian Ti plant.
Another factor to consider is the amount of drafts that your house experiences. Choose the location of your plant carefully, typically in a room that is on the warmer end of the spectrum.
You might expect a tropical plant, such as the Hawaiian Ti plant to demand high levels of humidity. In fact, it isn’t all that essential. Your house can have average, or even low levels of humidity and it would be just fine.
The real trick is to just make sure that the air doesn’t become overly dry. This will manifest in several catastrophes such as the leaves losing their color or the plant dying altogether.
There have been a few specialists that state a higher humidity will increase vibrant coloration of the foliage. So, we suggest that you try to keep your home’s humidity relatively high without worrying about below average levels.
These plants grow clusters of flowers, though they are only about half an inch in their overall width. Fertilizers are typically used when a plant needs help with the growth of flowers and fruits.
With such a small bloom production, the Ti plant does not necessarily require the use of fertilizer. In fact, the only time that you should consider any food is during the growing season, at about two week intervals.
The fertilizer that you choose should be high in nitrogen and diluted to about half of its intended strength.
You may have heard us talk about how easy it is to copy your parent plant through the act of stem cuttings. This is just one of the methods that individuals use to propagate their Hawaiian Ti plant.
You can also go about this through cane cuttings, plant division, and air layering.
The stalks on your plant need to be quite wide for air layering to work. Stem cuttings and plant division are our preferred method of copying your beloved Cordyline fruticosa.
These vibrant and eye-catching tropical plants are relatively quick growers. Did you know that it can only take about five weeks for them to reach nearly their full size? That’s astounding!
Once reaching full maturity, the Ti plant can oftentimes reach heights of about 10 feet with a width of four feet. This may sound a bit overwhelming for someone who wants to keep it indoors.
Well, you can stop this from happening. By making incisions to the stem itself, you’ll discourage such growth.
Making sure that the roots have ample space to grow is key in keeping this plant healthy. For the first few years, expect to transfer your Ti plant to a new dwelling space every two years or so.
Adding a loam-based soil over the roots can help keep the budding flora happy. Once it has reached its full potential, you’ll only need to repot every three or four years. This may be a nice break from your higher-maintenance flowering plants.
THE TEA ABOUT WATERING YOUR TI PLANT
Unfortunately, figuring out the right amount of water is among the hardest parts about owning a Hawaiian Ti plant. The soil needs to be kept considerably moist, without allowing the roots to become soggy. When implementing a schedule, choose to water less frequently with more water at once.
You may also choose to add a daily misting to your routine as this will help to increase water without over saturating. Certain households may have water that contains too much fluorine or chlorine in their tap water.
If you feel that this might be the case, proceed to water with distilled water.
TI PLANT PROPAGATION TECHNIQUES
The most common techniques chosen for the propagation of a Hawaiian Ti plant are through cane or stem cuttings, plant divisions, and air layering. In this section, we will focus on stem cuttings, as it can be quite simple. Even for beginners!
PROPAGATION THROUGH CANE CUTTINGS
- Identify a healthy cane, cutting it into pieces that are at least an inch in length.
- Place your cane cuttings into a pot with fresh soil with organic matter such as perlite, moss, and vermiculite. The canes should be put on their side and buried under the top layer of soil.
- Move your pot to a warm area of the house that has partial shade.
- Continue to mist your cuttings multiple times a day.
- After four to six weeks, you should start to see roots develop. Once this happens, transfer them to a larger pot.
HAWAIIAN TI PLANT PESTS
Cordyline fruticosa is a rather resilient plant, though it can be affected by a number of pests. Knowing how to tackle these terrible foes can save your plant from imminent danger.
Here are the most common bugs and diseases that you could find on your Ti plant.
Arthropod invaders include mealybugs, mites, scales, thrips, and fungus gnats. The loss of your leaves, sudden spots, and stunted growth can allude to these pests.
You can choose to tackle this problem with a homemade or store-bought insecticide, but that can sometimes be too much for the leaves. We recommend researching which bug you’re dealing with and then proceed to use water to hose off any potential eggs.
TELLTALE SIGNS OF A HAWAIIAN TI PLANT
Plants are actually able to tell you what’s wrong, as long as you know what you are looking at. We have taken the liberty to compile the four typical problems and how to go about solving them.
TELLTALE SIGN #1: LEAVES TURNING BROWN
Cause: The average color of a Ti plant’s foliage ranges from red to green. Brown, on the other hand can be a sign of a few different issues. These include overwatering, too much sunlight, or an excess of warm temperatures.
Remedy: The easiest out of these to solve is sunlight. Move your plant to a location where there is less direct sunlight. If this doesn’t fix the problem, move on to adjusting the watering schedule.
TELLTALE SIGN #2: YELLOW LEAVES
Cause: The yellowing of leaves is a bit more straightforward. This is a clear indicator that the foliage is being scorched from sunlight that is too direct.
Remedy: The best thing you can do for a yellow-leafed Ti plant is to change its location in the house. Find a spot that has plenty of warm, indirect sunlight.
TELLTALE SIGN #3: LOSS OF LEAVES
Cause: If you notice that the lower leaves have started to dry up and fall, you can be pretty sure that it is a result of under watering.
Remedy: Readjust your watering schedule and consider implementing a misting schedule. It’s important to let the plant dry out between sessions, just not too much.
TELLTALE SIGN #4: SPOTTED LEAVES
Cause: By now, you might have noticed that the leaves are a big indicator that there might be something wrong. Spots located on the foliage are due to a fungal pathogen.
Remedy: Unfortunately, it is tricky to determine which fungus your plant has. We suggest that you simply contact an expert on the matter at your local plant nursery.
FIVE STEPS TO A HAPPY TI PLANT
Just to make things easy, we’ve added a list of the five most important care facts related to your Hawaiian Ti plant!
- Feel free to use any soil type as long as there are drainage holes!
- Choose a spot that has bright, indirect sunlight for your Ti plant.
- Your house should stay somewhere between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius.
- Only use fertilizer if you’re sure that you won’t harm your plant. It isn’t entirely necessary after all.
- Find the right watering schedule for your plant so that the soil stays relatively moist without getting too dried out.
TI PLANT FAQ
Is the Ti Plant poisonous to dogs?
You may want to be careful where you place your Ti plant. These floras have toxins that, when ingested, are toxic to your animals.
Is the Hawaiian Ti plant an annual or perennial plant?
These tropical facts are perennials, meaning that they live more than two years.
How do you prune a Hawaiian Ti plant?
Pruning your Ti plant will help it from becoming too tall for your home. The general rule of thumb is that you can safely clip back any of the stalk as long as it is six inches from the top of the soil. Don’t touch any growth that is closer than that.