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Cordyline Australis Torbay Dazzler

Hello, hoping for some help with a potential issue with my 3x cordyline australis torbay dazzlers. The yellowing/drying up of lower leaves seems to be getting worse.
- Planted in early May
- Planted with compost soil mix 
- initially watered everyday with hose
- when starting to yellow added a plant feed
- watering 1-2 a week. 
- they don’t feel properly rooted in the soil - they move a bit when gently tilted. 
Could it be the type of water? Over / under watering? 
We have not had a good spell of rain for a while. 
Any advice would be great. 
Many thanks in advance (new to gardening) 


  • I had this issue before. The roots were rotting that's why. They really need good drainage and should be allowed to dry out a bit. Even in hot and  periods my cordyline never struggles. I always add grit to the compost now.
  • Hey TinyGardenGlrl,
    Thanks for your response. So should I carefully dig up and add grit? Do I just look for grit at a garden Centre and just mix with the compost and soil? I did add stones to the base before planting but did wonder if it was enough. It’s a new flower bed, I have wondered if adding worms would help. Thanks again
  • Hi,
    What I use is normal builders sand. It seems to do the job and is really cheap. I don't know if they will survive but you could try amending the soil making it 25% sand. The sooner their soil is allowed to dry the better. I wish you all the best with it.
  • Great tips! Thank you I’ll give it a go this weekend! Fingers crossed!! 
    Many thanks 
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806
    However, it is normal for the lower leaves to go brown and drop off. What the plant is trying to do is grow a trunk with the leafy bit at the top, and as the stem/trunk grows, the leaves fall off.
  • What you could do if unsure is take it out and check the roots to see if they have turned mushy with rot or of they still look firm and healthy.
  • Hey Green Magpie, I did wonder if it was a natural thing but it does look like it’s getting worse. Ill test one of them and hopefully get to the bottom of it! Haha Thanks :-) 
  • Ummm roots don’t look happy do they? Hope you can see pics.  I’ve replanted all with a soil, John Innes 25% sand mix! They may have had it but I hope not. 

  • Roots 
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