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Complete guide to Hardy Tropical Plants

Growing Cordyline Australis in the UK

by Plants for all Seasons 24 Mar 2023 0 Comments

Cordyline australis, also known as the Cabbage Palm or Torbay Palm, is a popular and hardy evergreen tree native to New Zealand. It can be grown successfully in the UK, providing an exotic touch to your garden with its palm-like appearance and long, slender leaves. Here are some guidelines for growing Cordyline australis in the UK:

  1. Location: Choose a sunny or partially shaded spot for your Cordyline australis. Although they can tolerate some shade, they will grow best in a position with plenty of sunlight. Ensure the location is sheltered from strong winds to prevent damage to the leaves.

  2. Soil preparation: Cordyline australis prefers well-draining soil, and it can tolerate a range of soil types, including loam, sand, and clay. However, it's essential to ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging. If your soil is heavy clay or poorly drained, consider adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve drainage.

  3. Planting: Dig a hole that is twice the width and depth of the root ball of your Cordyline australis. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Fill the hole with the soil mixture, gently firming it around the roots.

  4. Watering: Water your Cordyline australis deeply and regularly during its first growing season to help it establish a healthy root system. After this initial period, you can reduce watering, but be sure to keep the soil consistently moist, especially during hot, dry spells.

  5. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring, following the manufacturer's instructions. This will provide your Cordyline australis with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

  6. Pruning: Cordyline australis requires minimal pruning. Remove any dead, damaged, or lower leaves as needed to maintain a tidy appearance. You can also remove any side shoots if you prefer a single trunk.

  7. Winter protection: Cordyline australis is relatively cold hardy (down to around -5 to -8°C), but younger plants or those in colder areas may benefit from some winter protection. Wrap the trunk in fleece or hessian to insulate it from cold temperatures and harsh winds. You can also add a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to protect the roots from freezing temperatures.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully grow Cordyline australis in the UK and enjoy an exotic touch in your garden.

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