Cordyline fruticosa, also known as the ti plant injects plenty of color and life into any room. The difficulty lies in what variety you should choose.
There are many cultivars to choose from, each forming a unique combination of colors and leaf variegation.
Let’s take a look.
At A Glance: What You Should Know About Ti Plants
Ti plants come from tropical parts of the world, including Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, but they are grown all over the world for their beauty.
In some places, they are treated as bright annual outdoor plants where the weather isn’t warm enough. In warmer climates, they will survive all year round outside, and many people keep them as houseplants, too.
Outdoors, these plants will survive in full sunlight and partial shade, though colors will be at their most vivid in the brightest position.
It’s important to note that this plant will not withstand drought, so you will need to keep the soil damp at all times, but not so wet that it stays soaking.
Indoors, ti plants need bright but indirect light, and some humidity to thrive. It’s worth noting that these plants hate fluoride, and the leaves will brown if the levels of fluoride in water are too high.
To avoid this, use distilled water or cooled down kettle water, and avoid compost that contains perlite or superphosphate fertilizer.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Black Mystique’
One of the darkest varieties you can get, ‘Black Mystique’ is a wonder. It produces deep purple-black leaves, and if you provide it with the right conditions, it can reach up to 8 feet tall, and 5 feet wide.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Bolero Tricolor’
If you like more colors in your houseplants, but you can’t decide between pink, cream, or green cordyline, why not have all three in one? ‘Bolero Tricolor’ gives you this in abundance, as well as much wider leaves than many cordyline varieties are known for.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Candy Cane’
The new growth is really the star of this particular variety, as the young leaves start out white with red streaks, and over time, they develop green middles which push the other colors into the leaf borders.
They’re perfect for the winter holidays especially, but look good as a houseplant all year round.
One thing you should avoid is to place ‘Candy Cane’ in direct afternoon sunlight, as this will scorch the leaves.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Florida Red’
If you like the idea of a purple cordyline, but a red one sounds nice too, you don’t have to choose. ‘Florida Red’ produces leaves that are dark purple with red variegation, almost taking on hints of pink in the right light.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Kiwi’
One of the brightest and most uplifting ti cultivars is ‘Kiwi’. It has unique leaves which are emerald green with large stripes of yellow, topped off with pink borders.
This plant would look stunning in any houseplant collection, and would offset the beauty of any plant you place it near.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Soledad Purple’
Great for those who haven’t owned a ti plant before, ‘Soledad Purple’ is pretty forgiving, happy to live indoors or outdoors, and changes color over time.
While mature leaves are deep green with a glossy sheen, newly emerging leaves are much paler and take on hints of purple.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Waihee Rainbow’
If you’re after something more unusual (even more so than ti plants in general), ‘Waihee Rainbow’ is the cordyline for you.
It produces huge leaves in a unique variegation of bronze, gold, and green, adding unique drama to any room or garden.
One thing to note, however, is that they won’t stand a lot of sunlight. A bright but shaded position is best for keeping this plant’s colors as strong as possible.
Ti plants are unquestionably beautiful plants, known for their gorgeous leaves (see also How To Propagate Ti Plants), and aren’t as demanding or as tricky to find the right place for like rex begonias as houseplants, for example.
As long as you avoid giving them tap water with high levels of fluoride, and give them a warm and humid room with indirect light, they will treat you to fabulous displays of color.