Ti Plant

Cordyline fruticosa is an evergreen flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae. Although many plant sources still refer to the plant as Cordyline terminalis, that name is now considered invalid by the International Cordyline Society. Other common names for a Hawaiian Ti plant are, Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, and Hawaiian Good Luck plant. Many types of cordylines are native to Hawaii, but other varieties were also found in Australia, New Zealand, South America, and parts of Asia. The plant is of great cultural importance to the traditional animistic religions of Austronesian and Papuan peoples of the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Island Southeast Asia, and Papua New Guinea.



Botanically, a ti plant is a tropical broadleaf evergreen that has thin, lanceolate leaves. A Hawaiian Ti plant is one of the most colorful foliage plants you can purchase. The cane-like woody stems produce sword-shaped leaves. Leaf color can be a solid color or a mixture of maroon, purple, rose, yellow, cream, white, pink, green, or just plant solid green. When young, a Hawaiian Ti plant is a small table plant, as it matures, it becomes an exotic looking floor plant. In the wild, these plants reproduce via the berries that result from their flowers. In domestic settings, it’s much easier to propagate a Hawaiian ti plant from stem cuttings.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

2 - 15 feet


Width-Circumference (Avg)

3 - 5 feet


Approximate pH

5.5 - 6.5


Types of Ti Plant


Hawaiian Boy


This gorgeous variety showcases dark purple to red foliage, which adds beauty to any room with its eye-catching shape and form.


Florida Red



‘Florida Red’ has strap-like, dark purple or red leaves variegated with a red-pink hue.


Candy Cane



This colorful variety features green foliage adorned in contrasting cream streaks and pink margins. It does best in dappled light.


Black Magic



There is a certain charm in black foliage plants, and the variety ‘Black Magic’ with its purple-black foliage truly justifies that.


Morning Sunshine


This wonderful Cordyline variety features light green leaves splashed in cream, purple, and pink hues.


Red Sister



As the name suggests, this classic variety offers dark purple-pink-green leaves variegated with eye-catching hot-pink stripes.


Pink Passion



Like its name, the plant has brilliant pink-purple, sword-like arching leaves embellished with bold pink edges.


Bolero Tricolor



It offers a wider leaf as compared to other cordyline varieties. The green foliage is adorned with pink edges with hints of cream.


Red Fountain


This trunkless specimen offers strap-like deep red foliage. The plant looks great in containers and does well in full sun or partial shade.


Rainbow


This vibrant plant is called rainbow because it offers multiple shades of colors in its foliage! It’ll be a great addition to your houseplant collection.


Caruba Black



The glossy, dark purple foliage of the plant almost looks black from a distance. It’s a great contrasting specimen that will go well with other houseplants.


Miss Andrea


It has a wonderful blend of cream and pastel green on slightly ruffled leaves. The streaks on the foliage make it simply stand out!


Maria



Maria is an incredibly colorful variety that stands out in any room where you will put it. It has leaves that initially appear as solid magenta, then develop bright pink tips and streaks. For the best colors, make sure it gets plenty of bright and indirect light.


Kiwi



The unique color combination of green and yellow, along with the pink-red hue on the edges of the foliage, makes it one of the most vivid Ti plants on the list!


Harlequin



Harlequin is a handsome cultivar with a muted show of colors. The foliage has a matt finish, which makes it a tad bit different from the glossy ones.


Black Mystique


It has leaves that are initially green, transforming to a deep purple-black.


Sherbert



'Sherbert' is a cultivar with green leaves striped with pink, cream, and magenta colors.


Ruby



Depending on the light, deep burgundy, magenta, pink, and green leaves.


Planting Ti Plant


Ti plants can be grown at home in pots or in a garden and can bring vibrant colors to any outdoor space.

  1. Choose an area for your ti plant that will receive full sun or direct sunlight, as ti plants require bright light to grow.

  2. For indoor plants, choose a pot with drainage holes and prepare a well-draining potting mix. Choose fluoride-free potting soil, since ti plants are sensitive to fluoride.

  3. Dig a hole in the soil roughly the same depth as the root ball of the ti plant so that the top of the root is flush with the top of the soil. Gently massage the root ball of the plant and then lower it into the soil. Cover with soil and water until the soil is damp.


Growing Ti Plant


How to Grow Ti Plant From Seed


In the spring, harvest the berries produced by the blooms. Plant the berries 1/4 inch deep in a pot filled with commercial potting soil amended with sand and peat moss. You can plant the berries or mash the berries lightly to get the seeds—they may germinate faster this way.


Place the pot in a warm, sunny location and make sure to keep the soil consistently moist. Transplant seedlings after they've established robust root systems and have grown to be several inches tall.


How to Get Ti Plant to Bloom


These plants are normally grown for their foliage, but small white or pink flowers that may bloom in spring are a bonus, and are most common with plants growing outdoors in the landscape. (Blooming is rare for indoor potted plants.) Ti plant is most likely to bloom if it gets plenty of light and adequate feeding.


Ti Plant Care


In tropical climates, such as in Hawaii where it is a popular garden plant, ti plant thrives nicely in a location with indirect sun and well-drained, loamy/sandy soil. To prepare a garden area for this plant, shovel and till to loosen the soil and remove weeds. Dense soils should be amended with organic material and gritty sand to improve drainage. Dig a hole twice as wide as the nursery container and just as deep.


When planting, gently remove the ti plant from its pot—dust off any excess soil from its roots. Cut any damaged or dead roots, so all that is left of the root system is healthy, firm, and white. Place the root ball in the ground at the same depth it was growing in its nursery container, then firmly backfill with soil around the root ball. Water thoroughly immediately after planting.


As a potted specimen, ti plant grows well in standard commercial potting mix, but remember that this plant likes a humid environment. You may need to artificially increase indoor humidity levels, especially in temperate climates during dry winter months. Adding a tray of pebbles with water under the pot can help increase humidity--but make sure the pot is well-draining. The plant cannot stand in water.


Light


Getting the light exposure right with ti plant is a little tricky, as full sun provides the best leaf color, but too much direct hot sunlight can cause browning of the tips and margins. Ti plant is considered a full-sun specimen (six hour or more per day), but when grown outdoors, it will benefit from being shaded during the hottest hours of the afternoon. It can, however, tolerate a location with bright filtered light for the entire day. But in low-light conditions, these plants may lose some of their bright color and become greener.


When grown indoors, give ti plant a sunny window, if possible, or as much bright indirect light as you can. Here, too, it may be helpful to draw blinds during the hottest hours of the afternoon for plants growing in sunny windows, or the leaves may scorch.


In a room that is not bright enough, you may need to supplement with artificial light to get the best possible foliage color for your indoor plants.


Soil


Ti plants prefer slightly acidic soil that is fertile and well-drained. Sandy or loamy soil works well, provided it has plenty of organic matter. Avoid wet or hard clay and sites where there could be salt spray. If planted in an area that is too shady or soggy, roots and stems may rot, snail and slug damage may occur, and the plant will be susceptible to leaf spot.

Water


As a garden plant, ti plant grows best in soil that is kept moist but not constantly saturated. In its native environment, it's not uncommon for these plants to experience daily rainfall, though they will survive nicely if watered a couple of times each week during the growing season. In poorly draining soil, however, root rot can develop if there is too much rainfall. Make sure the soil is properly amended to drain well.


Where natural rainfall is not enough, water deeply at the soil level to keep the foliage dry. Water regularly during the growing season—the traditional 1 inch per week is usually sufficient, which is best delivered in two equal waterings each week. Use a 2- to 6-inch deep layer of mulch, 4 inches from the trunk's base to keep the water from evaporating. In fall and winter, water more sparingly—once every two weeks may be sufficient.


When growing ti plant indoors, wait for the top inch of soil to dry out, then water deeply until water runs out the drainage holes in the pot. Watering once a week is usually sufficient for potted plants.


These plants are very sensitive to fluoride, so it's best to water them with rain water or bottled distilled water. Fluoridated water may cause the leaf tips and edges to turn brown.


Temperature and Humidity


These plants cannot tolerate prolonged temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so be careful not to place indoor specimens where they may experience drafts from windows or doors during the winter. While they can handle a brief chill of 30 degrees, ti plants grow best where temperatures stay in a steady range between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If you've placed your houseplant outdoors for the summer, make sure to bring it inside before first frost.


Like many tropical plants, the ti plant prefers a fairly humid environment. When growing them indoors in climates with dry winter air, it can help to set the pots on a shallow pebble-filled dish of water to increase humidity. Or, you can use a room humidifier to keep air moisture levels optimal.


Fertilizer


When planted outside, feed ti plants once in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer that is well-balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (8-8-8 or 10-10-10). Spread the fertilizer evenly around the soil at least one foot away from the plant's base. Water deeply.


Potted plants should be fed monthly with a water-soluble balanced fertilizer. For the amount to use, follow the product label instructions. During the fall and winter, withhold feeding, as the plant slows its growth rate.


Pruning and Propagating Ti Plant


Pruning


The only essential pruning is to remove yellowed leaves as they appear. It is quite natural for old leaves to die out as the plant matures.


Cut down lanky or unattractive stalks. It's safe to shear the ti plant as low as 6 inches from the top of the soil. The cuts may seem drastic, but healthy new shoots will quickly grow.


To control the height of the plant indoors, ti plants are often cut off on the top, which causes them to branch out and become fuller specimens.


Propagating Ti Plant


Ti plants can be propagated by several methods, including layering, placing cuttings in water, division, or sowing seeds. But one of the easiest methods is rooting short stem (cane) sections. Here's how to do it.

  1. Begin by taking 1-inch cuttings from young, healthy canes, using sharp pruners.

  2. Plant the cane into a pot filled with arid soil, like a combination of sand, peat moss, and perlite or vermiculite. With the cane on its side, bury it to a depth that is equal to one-quarter of its diameter.

  3. Keep the soil moist and put the cutting in a warm, partially sunny spot. Roots should develop from the nodes within two to four weeks. When new green shoots appear, the cutting is ready to transplant into the garden or into a larger permanent pot.


You can also propagate ti plants by placing the cuttings in water:

  1. Begin by cutting a piece of healthy cane that's at least 5 inches long.

  2. Place it in enough water to cover, but not submerge, the cane. Change the water regularly to keep it clean and fresh.

  3. When the cane has developed a robust root system, plant it outdoors or in a container filled with commercial potting soil or sand combined with peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite.


Potting and Repotting Ti Plant


A well-draining potting soil will work best for potting your ti plant. Any material will work for the container, but it must have several drainage holes. Potted plants grow more slowly than garden specimens, so you should be able to get by with repotting only every two or three years—at the point where you see roots beginning to grow out of the drainage holes. When repotting, choose a new container that is only slightly larger than the previous one.


As the plants become more mature, the growth rate slows and they need repotting less often. As these plants get large, they may be top-heavy and prone to tipping if growing on a deck or patio. Opt for a wide, heavy container to provide balance for taller plants.


Overwintering


If temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in your region during the winter, the plant should be potted and taken indoors or winterized. If cold snaps are possible in your region, protect plants in winter with about 6 inches of mulch covering the plant's root zone. Also, consider a frost cover or binding the leaves together to protect them from harsh wind exposure or freezing water gathering in the recesses of the plant.


Whether growing indoors or outdoors, withhold feeding in the fall and winter, as these plants naturally slow their growth rate during this time.


Pests and Plant Diseases


Pests


Fungus gnats may lay eggs in the base of your plant, giving their larvae access to roots after they hatch. As they feed, they can cause leaf drop. To rid your ti plants of these pesky dudes, reduce your watering frequency, as they are attracted to constantly moist soil. Then provide your ti plants with a diluted neem oil drench to kill the remaining eggs or larva.


Diseases


Fusarium wilt and root rot present on ti plants as yellowing and wilting leaves on the lower parts of the plant, wilting leaves and spots on the stems, perhaps some yellow spore powder and brown roots. Dispose of infected plants, use a little copper fungicide, and check your watering habits.


Fungal leaf spot causes brown, oval spots with a yellow ring on the leaves and leaf tips. Watering too much might be the culprit. A little copper fungicide may help guard the healthy plants from catching it.​


Bacterial leaf spot and stem rot causes slimy leaves and stems, blackened roots, and rotten cuttings. Not much can be done aside from getting rid of the infected plants and making sure the new ones you get aren’t bringing it home with them.​ The disease can be prevented through proper care measures.


Common Problems With Ti Plant


Ti plant is generally a fairly trouble-free plant, but you may notice these cultural problems:


Browning Leaves


The most common cultural problem with ti plant is browning leaf tips. This usually occurs when conditions are too dry—especially low air humidity that is common during the winter months in temperate climates. Make sure to water regularly, and either rest the pot on a pan filled with pebbles and water, or use a room humidifier.


Browning leaf tips and margins can also be caused by too much fluoride in water—use distilled water where this is a problem.


Poor Leaf Color


If your ti plant loses the foliage color that was present when you purchased your plant, reverting instead to green, it may be due to insufficient sunlight. Move it to a location where it can enjoy at least six hours, and preferably eight hours, of direct sunlight each day. With indoor plants, using artificial grow lights can help restore the leaf color.


Benefits of Ti Plant


1. Anti-Inflammatory


One of the most common benefits from Goodluck Plant is its capability as an anti-inflammation or swelling of the gums. You can apply the ti plant leaf by smoothing the leaves and, mix with a little salt and apply on the swollen gums. Your gums will quickly heal and minimize the pain.


2. Infectious conditions


Juice expressed from the leaf after heating it is the remedy for sores and pimples of the Tok Sisin tribe in Papua New Guinea. Fijian makes use of this juice to treat earache, sore eyes and eczema. Roots cure toothache and laryngitis while the outer rind of the flower stalk is used in the treatment of syphilis.


3. Curing Hemorrhoids


Hemorrhoids usually occur in people who drink less, less of physical activity, and sit too much, and didn’t consume sufficient fiber. The disease can be recognized by the presence of a mixture of blood stains on the feces (fese) when you defecate. When it gets worse, it will be very disturbing because you will have difficulty to sitting, anemia (lack of blood) and many others. To use Ti Plant as for treat Hemorrhoids, you simply combine 7 pieces of purple leaves and 3 sheets of Ti Plant leaves. Wash and crushed both then boiled with 3 cups of water until it remaining 2 cups. Drinking routinely 2 times a day until the hemorrhoids you suffer are completely healed.


4. Treat Bloody Urine


Sometimes health problems make the sufferer freaked because of something strange in urine color. This change is recognized by urine that mixed with blood and make the urine color becomes reddened and painful when urinating. To overcome this disease, boil 600 gm. roots and leaves of ti plant using 3 cups of water until the remaining about 2 cups. Drink regularly 2 times a day (morning and night), each 1/2 cup for one time consumption.


5. Treating Dysentery


Dysentery is a problem related to the digestive system and there are symptoms such as mucus feces, repeated diarrhea and many others. To heal this problem prepares the leaves and roots of ti plant that have dried and then boil until it boiling. Drink 3 times a day on a regular basis until healed.


6. Menstruating


Every woman could experience this problem and it is a very familiar. Ti plant leaves have a unique ability so that your menstrual period can run normally. All you have to do is boil the roots and leaves with water and drink regularly.


7. Anti-Cancer


Goodluck Plant is believed to prevent the growth of tumor cells and cancer in the body. This can be done with a simple step. Just a precaution, drink potion from Ti Plant regularly at least once a week.


8. Relieve Asthma Symptoms


Asthma is a disease related with the respiratory system due to a disturbance and it can also be caused by genetics factor. Asthma is also called shortness of breath so that people will find it difficult when they want to breathe. To overcome it you can consume the decoction of leaves and roots of ti plant plants.


9. Overcoming a Bloody Cough


Severe cough occasionally also carries blood due to infection. To cure it, you can boil the leaves, roots and flowers of Ti Plants that have been dried and drink it regularly as much as 3 times a day.


10. Alleviate Ulcer Symptoms


Ulcer is a disease caused due to uncontrolled stomach acid that causes nausea, lack of appetite, and often stomach pain. You can overcome this problem by consuming boiled leaf regularly.


Uses


Culinary Uses

  • Rhizomes, leaves, young shoots and seeds are eaten.

  • Fleshy rhizome contains up to 20 % sugar, mainly fructose, and is used as a natural sweetener in New Zealand and for the production of an alcoholic beverage okolehao in Hawaii.

  • Large, sweet, white rhizome of some cultivars are cooked, roasted or baked for up to four days in earthen ovens to be consumed as food, sweets, refreshment or confectionery in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

  • Young shoots are cooked and eaten as lalap with rice in Java.

  • Food is wrapped into the leaves for cooking in Hawaiian kitchens.

  • The Maoris in New Zealand eat both the leaves and seeds.


Other facts

  • Ti plant is often cultivated as hedge plant and ornamental shrub and indoor foliage potted plant with numerous cultivars available in the tropics, many of them selected for green or reddish or purple foliage.

  • It is used as food, medicinal plant, fiber crop and for magical purposes.

  • Ti foliage is extensively used for flower arrangement and decorative displays and used as food wrappings.

  • Leaves are used as thatch, rain capes and symbols of status, plates, instruments and cups.

  • Stem is used in divining.

  • Leaves are knotted together as measure for houses building.

  • Ti leaves are also used to make items of clothing including skirts worn in dance performances.

  • Hawaiian hula skirt is a dense skirt, an opaque layer of at least 50 green leaves with the bottom shaved flat.

  • The Tongan dance dress, the sisi, is an apron of about 20 leaves, worn over a tupenu and decorated with some yellow or red leaves.

  • Ti leaves are also used to make lei and to outline borders between properties.

  • To this day, some Hawaiians plant Ti near their houses to bring good luck.

  • Leaves are also used for lava sledding.

  • Numbers of leaves are lashed together and people ride down hills on them.

  • Ti plant represents a symbol of purity and spiritual power in ancient (and modern) Hawai’i.

  • In ancient Hawaii, Ti was thought to have great spiritual power; only high priests and chiefs were able to wear leaves around their necks during certain ritual activities and used in ceremonial blessings.

  • It was often grown at temples of the medicine god Lono and the hula goddess Laka.

  • Temples to Lono were thatched with lä’ï leaves and those to Kü were thatched with other plants.

  • In Malaysia, green and red Ti plants had been used in occult and magic to keep away evil spirits.

  • Red-leaved Ti plants had been hung over the head of women during confinement to keep away evil spirits.

  • Sick man may be stroked with a bunch of Ti leaves to purge out mischievous spirits from him and may be carried when elephant hunting as a protection.

  • Among the Dayak in East Malaysia, Ti plants were planted where propitiatory offerings were placed to attract good spirits.

  • Also shoots had been placed in water in a spirit summoning ceremony in Kelantan.

  • Plants are used to form hedges.

  • Ti leaves are buried under newly built houses in Pohnpei to ward of malign sorcery in Micronesia.

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