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Outdoor Ti Plant Care: Learn About Growing Ti Plants Outdoors

Outdoor Ti Plant Care: Learn About Growing Ti Plants Outdoors


With common names like miracle plant, tree of kings, and Hawaiian good luck plant, it makes sense that Hawaiian Ti plants have become such popular accent plants for the home. Most of us welcome all the good luck we can get. However, Ti plants are not just grown for their positive folk names; their unique, dramatic foliage speaks for itself.

This same eye-catching, evergreen foliage can be an excellent accent in the outdoor landscape as well. With such a tropical looking plant, many people skeptically question, “can you grow Ti plants outside?” Continue reading to learn about growing Ti plants in the landscape.

Can You Grow Ti Plants Outside?

Native to Eastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, Ti plants (Cordyline fruticosa and Cordyline terminalis) are hardy in U.S. hardiness zones 10-12. While they can handle a brief chill down to 30 F. (-1 C.), they grow best where temperatures stay in a steady range between 65 and 95 F. (18-35 C.).

In cooler climates, they should be grown in pots which can be taken indoors through winter. Ti plants are extremely heat tolerant; however, they cannot handle drought. They grow best in a moist location with partial shade, but can handle full sun to dense shade. For the best foliage display, light filtered shade is recommended.

Ti plants are mostly grown for their colorful, evergreen foliage. Depending on variety, this foliage may be a dark glossy green, deep glossy red or have variegations of green, white, pink and red. Variety names such as, ‘Firebrand,’ ‘Painter’s Palette’ and ‘Oahu Rainbow’ describe their outstanding foliage displays.

Ti plants can grow up to 10 feet (3 m.) tall and are usually 3-4 feet (1 m.) wide at maturity. In the landscape, they are used as specimen, accent and foundation plants, as well as privacy hedges or screens.

Care of Outdoor Ti Plants

Ti plants grow best in slightly acidic soil. This soil should also be consistently moist, as Ti plants require a lot of moisture and cannot survive drought. However, if the site is too shady and soggy, Ti plants may be susceptible to root and stem rot, snail and slug damage, as well as leaf spot. Ti plants also do not tolerate salt spray.

Outdoor Ti plants can easily be propagated by simple layering or divisions. Care of outdoor Ti plants is as simple as regularly watering them, applying a general purpose 20-10-20 fertilizer every three to four months, and regular trimming of dead or diseased foliage. Ti plants can be cut right back to the ground if pests or disease have become a problem. Common pests of outdoor Ti plants include:

  • Scale
  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Nematodes
  • Thrips

Prune A Ti Plant

The ti plant is known by many common monikers, including Hawaiian ti, good luck tree, dracaena and red sister. Science adds its two cents with Cordyline fruticosa, which is synonymous with Cordyline terminalis. No matter what you choose to call this attractive tropical ornamental, sooner or later you'll find yourself busy with ti plant pruning. Trim off colorful ti plant leaves to accent your indoor arrangements throughout the growing season. Use clean, sharp shears or scissors. New shoots will sprout from the cut as well as from lower areas of the stem. Cut all but three of the older stems back to about 6 inches above the soil level to rejuvenate more mature plants if they begin to look tired or straggly. Provide a warm, humid environment free of drafts to help the ti plant bounce back quickly from pruning. Keep it between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t allow the temperature to drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant cuttings three-fourths of the stem length deep vertically to produce single-stemmed plants. Mist two or three times daily. Keep the cutting in a bright, warm area out of direct sun.

  • The ti plant is known by many common monikers, including Hawaiian ti, good luck tree, dracaena and red sister.
  • Provide a warm, humid environment free of drafts to help the ti plant bounce back quickly from pruning.

Ti plant clippings can easily be rooted in soil. Keep the rooting medium evenly moist and don’t allow it to dry out. Keep the cutting at around 75 degrees F, and provide lots of bright indirect light while it’s rooting.


The Hawaiian ti plant’s optimal range as an outdoor plant is limited to USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. It’s not surprising given the fact that it lives in southeastern Asia and throughout the Pacific. Even though you may not be able to have it in the garden, it makes an excellent houseplant for bringing a bit of the tropics indoors.

Light and Temperature

The best conditions for the Hawaiian ti plant replicate its native habitat. That means bright indirect light. Outdoors, you’d be looking at partial to full sun. And as you might also surmise, the Hawaiian ti plant prefers it warm with temperatures well above the Zone 10 extreme low of 30 degrees Fahrenheit. It thrives best in temperatures over 55 degrees.

The climate of Hawaii is best described as mild temperatures all year round with moderate humidity. The Hawaiian ti plant prefers moist soils, especially during the growing season. You should water the plant regularly, but avoid over-watering which can lead to root rot. You shouldn’t wet its leaves to prevent fungal growth. Water at the base of the plant.

Soil Conditions and Fertilizing

The Hawaiian ti plant prefers soils on the acidic side within the range of 5.6 to 6.5. You can use a peat-based soil mixture as long as it falls within that pH range. Just make sure that it is a well-draining mix if you’re planting in it in a container. Proper drainage is essential to keep your plant healthy.

If you’re planting the Hawaiian ti plant outdoors, you should do a soil test before planting. Then, amend the soil with compost or other additives to get the pH in its optimal range. Regarding fertilizer, the plan will vary depending on whether you have them in the garden or a container. The Hawaiian ti plant is one that you’ll grow for foliage as a houseplant. It rarely blooms indoors.

The fertilizer mix should favor this growth with a higher ratio of nitrogen for houseplants. You should fertilize outdoor plants at the beginning of the growing season to support both foliage and flower development. During the winter months, you can reduce applications to once a month. If you notice yellowing of the leaves, the plants need an extra boost of magnesium.

Fitting In

The range of cultivars and hybrids makes it easy to find a plant that will work for your situation. You can also keep its growth in check by topping them. Unlike shrubs and trees, the growth of the Hawaiian ti plant comes from the base. You needn’t worry about ruining its shape or hurting the plant as long as you use sharp pruning shears.

Propagating New Plants

You can easily grow new plants from your established one with cuttings from the stems. Place the cut ends into moist soil to encourage root development. You can also propagate plants with air layering. You can then spread your good luck with plants as gifts for friends and family.

The Hawaiian ti plant has one critical special care note regarding water. Fluoride in tap water is toxic to these plants. It begins with brown leaf tips and will spread to the leaves. The lower pH of the soil will help it endure it. You can also leave tap water to sit out before using it to water your plants. You might also want to consider using a rain barrel to collect rainwater.

The Hawaiian ti plant is an attractive plant for the southern garden or as a beautiful indoor plant that will bring plenty of color to a room. With many cultivars available, you’ll be able to pick the right plant to match the color scheme and mood of your garden or indoor space. And you’ll also appreciate the extra bit of luck it’ll bring to your home.


10 Low-Maintenance Outdoor Plants That are Good for Beginners

These potted wonders flourish with minimum care

A beautiful garden doesn't have to be a challenge to grow. If you want a blossoming patch of land without the effort, all you have to is browse through these pretty, but easy to care for plants and fresh blooms. The best part? None of these green wonders cost more than P500. Check them out below:


IMAGE lzphotographs - blogger

1. Kalachuchi

Use a single large one as a focal point. Most people think that it’s a tree, but you can plant it in a planter or kawa to restrict its growth and it can look like a bonsai. Make sure to grow it under full sunlight. To propagate, just cut off a branch, and stick it in a pot.


IMAGE Simple Garden Thoughts

2. Bird’s Nest Fern (Dapo)

Use one or several ferns planted on different levels to highlight an area it’s very aesthetic with its large green leaves. It’s also good indoors—either in a kawa or a large pot. It grows best in partly shaded areas.


IMAGE Gardening Know How

3. Bromeliad

Use as a focal point individually or in groups. It complements arrangements because its leaves are broad. It has different varieties with shades of green, orange, and yellow.


IMAGE The Virginian-Pilot

Use in groups to highlight an area. You can trim the main stem to keep it clean and to emphasize the maroon or dark purple leaves at the top. It can grow up to 1.5m high.


IMAGE Leaf, Root and Fruit

5. Peanut Plant

Use as fast-growing ground cover or “rug” in unused areas that you want to look nice and uniform. It is in favor of sunlight so try to grow it in open spaces.


IMAGE Plantz

Use in groups to create a massing of plants as background or to make areas look more uniform. You can trim the lower part so that only the top part is lush. Grow under partial shade or full sunlight. You can also plant these indoors in pots (but you need to bring them out from time to time).


IMAGE itfgs.org

7. San Francisco

Use in groups for better impact. This may be common but it has many varieties you just have to pick them well. It also doesn't require constant watering as long as the soil is kept moist.


IMAGE Dr. Farrah Cancer Center

8. Buhok ni Esther

Use as a hanging plant on grills or trellises to promote a vertical view. Here’s some trivia: “Esther” is supposed to be an engkantada whose hair got blown by the wind.


IMAGE Our House Plants

9. Schefflera

The schefflera houseplant is a popular plant that comes in many varieties and is best grown to border an area. Grow under full sunlight and trim to control growth. Giant schefflera can reach up to 1.5cm in height.


IMAGE Wikipedia

10. Mini-santan

Santan or Ixora coccinea is a flowering shrub native to tropical countries like the Philippines. It doesn't require much care at all, too—just grow under full sunlight and trim to control growth.

WHERE TO BUY:

Cedarhills Garden Center

  • 57 Mother Ignacia street, Quezon City
  • 09079262707

Angel’s Blooms Garden

  • Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
  • 439-3661

Bulacan Garden Corporation

  • Katipunan Road, White Plains Village, Quezon City
  • 911-4318

How do outdoor flowers grow for beginners?

As the Philippines is a tropical country, it does not want for flowers that a beginner can easily grow. For most of these plants, such as the santan and the sampaguita, you only need to allow a cutting to take root prior to transfering it to a pot or a ground. The trick is patience: depending on whch flowering plant you choose, rooting them can go from two to four weeks, and you'll also need to give them time to acclimatize themselves to a their new environment after transferring them into soil. Do not expose them to harsh sunlight immediately a bit of shade can help them get used to their new habitat faster.

What plants look good all year round?

Any plant can look good all year round, but if you're looking for those that flower, santan consistently blossoms. In a locale with good humidity, so does ilang-ilang, kalachuchi, bougainvillea, sampaguita, and champaca.

Which plants are good in pots?

We'd go with succulents for this, especially since contrary to popular belief, many species thrive better when they're not under direct sunlight, so being in pots allows you to move them around when needed. Moreover, these kinds of plants need the right soil to survive, which is a mix of pebbles and dirt, which allows water to easily seep through to avoid root rot. You can learn more about caring for them here.


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