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Cordyline dropping leaves.

morphmorph Posts: 18


Im sure this plant is a cordyline and for some reason its dying. I had it potted up in front garden with panseys and ivy as a display and it looked beautiful with its bronze coloured leaves but all of a sudden the outer leaves started going brown and dropping of until the new ones near the middle started going brown on the tips. I thought maybe the other plants were strangling it so took it out of the planter and put it in a tub on its own but its still dying. Its been well watered unless this is the problem. Why oh why is the poor thing dying, Im not going to give up on it. The garden centres had them planted in tubs with other flowers for a display which is why I did simular for the front of our bungalow as looked really striking but not now.

Any ideas greatly appreciated. Does anyone else have the same problem?



  • It sounds like you might of over watered it 

  • morphmorph Posts: 18

    I was wondering that, killed with kindness, ive put it in a pot on its own but then i gave it aload of water so im going to repot it again and add some grit to the compost and vermiculite to try and aid drainage and get it back again, do you think this will help?

    I watered it well because the other plants in the container were wilting in the strong sun and heat so in the evenings we watered all the containers like you do but didnt realise the cordyline cant handle alot of water.

    Makes me wonder why its put in containers with petunias, panseys etc in the garden centres when it cant cope with the amount of water that the bedding plants need.

    Very confusing.

    Thankyou for your reply Chrissy, any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    If it does survive you might care to put it in its own pot if planting amongst other plants again, and in a very sandy, free-draining soil - that might keep it happier.

  • morphmorph Posts: 18

    Thats a good idea, put it in a container with other plants but keep it in its own pot so can water the other plants without overwatering the cordyline, that way I can still have it in with other plants for a nice display but in its own pot. Fingers crossed it survives.


  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929

    I think that Phillipa is right,being in a lager pot now is too much for it.

    they do like a sandy free draining soil . Some of the composts are too cloggy so I add a proportion of pearlite rather than vamiculite...

    As far as I know cordylines and Phormiums come from dry sunny places and don't like too much wet.

    I have several , some I have had 25 years .these had grown massive I'd split them up loads of times .during the bad winter a few years back I lost them all along with two Cordylines. They went to mush , the  six ft cordylines flopped and rotted away.

    After tearfully clearing the remains I covered the area  with sand sand  and planned on replacing. them sick that it would take ages to get thick tall plants.

    I couldn't believe it when come summer New shoots sprung up , they grew very quickly and as Autumn approached they were replicas of what I had lost !

    The  cordylines did the same but will take a lot longer than the phormiums to trunk up. 

    So even if you lose all the leaves my advice is the same as the others have given .lots of      TLC  but watch the watering.

  • morphmorph Posts: 18

    Thankyou that is so helpful.

    I think I have defo over watered it so will do as suggested, I will also put a pic of it on to make sure ive got the right plant name and to show you how sick it is.

    Will keep an update as to how its doing.

    Thanks again.

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    I had (have) a Cordyline that was growing well but I moved it when I put new borders in, it looked like it was dead and I thought I'd killed it, but my friend told me not to get rid of it as she had one that looked dead and it came back!! 

    So, I did as I was told and left it, last night I removed all the dead leaves from it and there about half a dozen new leaves that have come up at the top.  It looks a bit odd at the moment but I'm sure as it gets more leaves and the droop over again then it will look fine image

    So, the moral of the story is they must be tougher than we think so good luck with yours Morph and fingers crossed all is ok for you too.

  • morphmorph Posts: 18

    Just to sound really stupid, whats the difference between vemiculite and perlite as ive bought a big sack of vemiculite thinking it was simular just a different make.image

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Well just to join you morph and make you feel better.....I have no idea image Will google image

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    i googled and found this thread, not read it all yet but it might help image

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