Care of a Cordyline Red Star Spike

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A cordyline Red Star spike is a tropical evergreen plant. A perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness zones 9 to 11, the Red Star has reddish-burgundy spiky leaves that never fade. It can grow 8 to 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, and blooms fragrant, white flowers in early summer. Native to New Zealand and Eastern Australia, the Red Star, also called cabbage tree, is used in dishes such as porridge and can be used to make baskets as well. Plant a Red Star in a container and place on a patio or garden area that receives partial to full sun.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Potting media
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

Place the Red Star spike plant in a lightweight, well-drained and well-aerated potting media intended for potted plants. The container should be large enough for the roots to spread and should have adequate drainage holes. Three to four 1/4-inch drainage holes allow the water to drain, but not the soil.

Water the Red Star frequently to establish the roots. Plants in containers need more water than plants in the ground. Check the soil moisture daily and water as needed.

Fertilize with a controlled-released fertilizer in the spring. Follow the directions of the manufacturer for an accurate amount and usage.

Prune damaged or diseased leaves as necessary to prevent the spread of disease and pests.

Tips & Warnings

  • Move the plant inside during the winter to prevent frost damage.

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