Cordyline Fruticosa ‘Kiwi’
Recently, Cordyline terminalis has been renamed Cordyline fruticosa, and plants are often sold under either name: Cordyline fruticosa ‘Kiwi’ is one of the numerous cultivars of the species with red colouring. These ‘new’ plants arise from one-off oddities – sports -produced by the species, which are then selected by plant breeders and propagated vegetatively. C. f. ‘Kiwi’ is a particularly pretty plant, having pinkish-red leaf margins, while the main leaf blade is splashed with broad bands of pale and dark green. If the necessary humidity levels can be provided, Cordyline fruticosa ‘Kiwi’ makes a stunning and unusual plant for the home. Immature plants do not have the characteristic ‘palm’ shape of older plants.
Provide this tropical plant with a minimum temperature of 18°C (65°F); an ideal temperature range is 24-27°C (75-80°F).
The brightly-coloured leaves of Cordyline fruticosa ‘Kiwi’ need good light to retain their colour; don’t position this plant in full sun, but in the brightest indirect light available.
This plant needs plenty of water during the growing period: if the temperature requirements are satisfied, theshould be well moistened, but not soaked. During the remainder of the year, the compost should be kept just moist.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Kiwi’ needs a high level of humidity to grow well.
Stand the plant pot on a tray of moisture-retentive pellets, but don’t allow the pot to sit in the water. In addition, if the air is very dry, mist plants first thing in the morning.
Feed established plants every other month during the growing period, using a proprietary houseplant fertilizer. Do not feed newly-purchased or recently-repotted plants for a period of six months.
Repot plants only when the roots have become — overcrowded and the plant seems liable to become pot-bound. Use a loam-based potting compost, especially for larger plants, which will benefit from the additional stability provided by this medium.
Leggy, or very large, plants may be pruned back. Prune them to shape, or even cut back hard to 7-10cm (3-4in). The plant will sprout bushily from the stump, looking much healthier and attractive; thin out the resultant stems to leave the strongest.
Poor light will reduce the colour of the leaf markings.
Low humidity, or a lack of water, will result in leaf-drop.
Under-watering will manifest itself as brown leaf spots, while dry and crispy leaf spots will appear if the plant is given too much direct sun.
Viral diseases which affect Cordyline are difficult to spot on plants with such multi-coloured leaves: any suspect plants should be discarded.