Hawaiian Ti plant, also known as Cordyline fruticosa, is a beautiful plant to grow at home.
Our experts reveal all you need to know about growing the Hawaiian Ti plant in this guide while providing some handy care tips.
What is a Hawaiian Ti plant?
Hawaiian Ti plant is a tropical plant best known for its vibrant foliage and palm tree look. Despite the name, it’s not native to Hawaii, but Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
This gorgeous tropical plant enjoys excellent popularity among gardeners for its leaves, which are striped with rich shades of fuchsia, purple and dark green. Traditionally believed to bring good luck, the Hawaiian Ti plant is a terrific choice for beginners and experts, adding a colorful, exotic vibe to any home.
How to care for an Hawaiian Ti plant
The Hawaiian Ti plant is relatively low maintenance when grown indoors. Even so, it’s best to know how to provide it with the right growing conditions.
– Light requirements
Giving your Hawaiian Ti plant the proper amount of light is essential if you want to keep the vibrant pink coloring on the leaves. Pick a spot in your house that receives plenty of bright, indirect light. If you have a room that’s facing east or west, it would be perfect. Place it about 3 feet (90 cm) from the window, so it gets at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight each day.
Hawaiian Ti plants grown in the shade will have dull, mostly green-colored leaves. On the other hand, direct sun will scorch the leaves, causing them to curl and develop brown edges.
When picking the location, choose a room where the temperatures remain between the 65 °F and 80 °F (18 °C to 27 °C) range. This plant doesn’t like sudden fluctuations in temperature, so avoid placing it in a room that’s drafty, next to a radiator, or under an AC vent. Like all tropical plants, it is sensitive to temperatures below 60 °F (15 °C), so make sure that your room doesn’t get too cold in winter.
– Water requirements
Keep the soil of your Hawaiian Ti plant moist but not soaked. Ideally, the soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings slightly. This way, you will prevent fungal problems such as root rot or pests like fungus gnats.
When in doubt whether you should water your Hawaiian Ti plant, test the soil with your finger. If the top inch feels dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a thorough watering. Remember to cut down on watering during winter, when the Ti plant slows down on its growth.
Hawaiian Ti plants can be sensitive to tap water. Chemicals in the water can cause yellowing spots on the leaves or even stunt the plant’s growth. If you live someplace with hard water, we recommend using rainwater instead or even distilled water.
Your Hawaiian Ti plant will need feeding once a month during its growing season, from early spring until the end of summer. An organic, liquid fertilizer with a 10-10-10 nutrient ratio should do the trick.
The Hawaiian Ti plant should thrive in your home without a humidity boost. Just make sure that your Ti plant isn’t positioned next to a radiator or under an AC vent. Otherwise, the average home humidity levels are suitable for this plant.
– Best soil for the plant
Use a soil mix that is well-draining and aerated. Hawaiian Ti plant can be susceptible to root rot if the soil is compacted.
The ideal Hawaiian Ti plant soil should consist of a blend of loamy, nutrient-rich potting soil, perlite, and other amendments that improve drainages, such as bark, coir, or even sand.
– When should you repot?
The Hawaiian Ti plant growth rate is rapid when young but slows down as the plant reaches maturity. On average, you should repot it once every couple of years when young, then repot it once every 3 to 4 years after it’s reached a height of over 3 feet (90 cm). Use a container that’s around 2 inches (5 cm) wider than the one the plant was previously in.
The Hawaiian Ti plant height reaches up to 13 feet (4 meters). Plants grown indoors are a bit more contained and usually grow to a height of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters).
– Pruning and maintenance
Regularly prune your Hawaiian Ti plant to give it a fuller shape and prevent it from growing too tall and leggy. The best time to do this is in spring, just as the plant is entering its growth season.
Using a sharp knife, cut the stem to the desired height above the leaf nodes. You can trim the plant as far down as 12 inches (30 cm) above the soil without harming it. Throughout summer, new stems will grow around the cutting, giving your Ti plant a bushy look.
To keep the leaves looking shiny and vibrant, wipe them regularly with a damp cloth. This will remove any dust that has built up on the foliage. Trim any yellow or damaged leaves throughout the year, especially the older ones growing at the bottom.
Does the Hawaiian Ti plant flower?
Yes! The Hawaiian Ti plant produces strings of small, fragrant, light pink flowers, which later develop into red berries. However, it’s best to note that this plant usually only flowers in the wild or grown outdoors. Mature Ti plants grown inside can bloom, but this happens rarely. On the plus side, the stunning leaves have a high ornamental value that makes up for the lack of flowers.
Is the Hawaiian Ti plant toxic to pets?
The Hawaiian Ti plant is reported to be poisonous to cats and dogs. Chewing or eating the leaves and stems can cause gastrointestinal problems for your pets. As a result, we recommend keeping this plant someplace where your pets don’t have access to it.
How to propagate an Hawaiian Ti plant
Here’s our step-by-step propagation guide.
1. Use a sharp knife and cut the stem at least 2 inches (5 cm) below the bottom leaves.
2. Place the cutting in a glass with water.
3. Keep the glass in a room where the plant gets plenty of bright, indirect light and where temperatures are steadily above 65 °F (18 °C).
4. Change the water once every 2 to 3 days. You can also add a touch of hydrogen peroxide to prevent the end of the cutting from rotting. However, if you change the water regularly, this shouldn’t be an issue.
5. Hawaiian Ti plants grow new roots very quickly, so you should start seeing them pop up in as little as seven days.
6. Keep your cutting in water for a couple more weeks after the roots have emerged. Once the roots are at least 2 inches (5 cm) long, your cutting is ready to be planets into the soil.
You can also propagate Hawaiian Ti plants through stem cuttings that have no leaves attached. This might often be the case if your Ti plant has grown very long and leggy. Cut the stem into 3 inches (8 cm) sections, and allow the ends to dry for a day or so.
Then, lay down the cuttings in shallow water, with one of the ends slightly raised. Keep them in a warm, bright spot, and change the water once every three days. You should start seeing roots grow in seven to 10 days.
Hawaiian Ti plant problems
The Hawaiian Ti plant is easy to care for, and it doesn’t have too many pests and diseases. However, there are a few problems it might encounter along the way. Here’s what to keep an eye out for, what might be causing it, and how to fix it.
– Brown leaves
This is one of the most common signs that your Hawaiian Ti plant is struggling. Brown leaves and dried edges are typically caused by a problem with light, humidity levels, or watering problems.
If the leaves are only crispy around the edges, that’s often a sign of the air being too dry. If the entire leaf is turning brown and soft, that’s a symptom of overwatering. Brown leaves and spots are also signs that your Hawaiian Ti plant is getting too much sun, which is scorching the leaves.
Depending on the case, you will need to adjust your watering schedule, move the plant further away from the light, or increase your home’s humidity. Browning leaves on your Hawaiian Ti plant could also be a sign of pests. Check our instructions on how to deal with them a bit further down.
– Curling leaves
If your Hawaiian Ti plant has curling leaves, that could mean that the air is too dry. Plants often curl their leaves in an attempt to retain moisture. Make sure that your Ti plant is not sitting next to a radiator or under an AC vent. Check the soil as well, and water if it’s dry to the touch. It might also be worth using a humidifier in your home, especially if you notice that other plants are also curling their leaves.
– Yellowing leaves
Yellow leaves on your Hawaiian Ti plant can be a sign of too little light, overwatering, but also fertilizer burn. If you notice that the leaves are turning yellow after feeding the plant, that’s usually caused by too much fertilizer. To save your plant, remove it from the soil, rinse out the roots, and plant it in a fresh potting mix. Avoid using any other fertilizers until the following year to prevent overfeeding.
– Common pests
Spider mites are one of the most common houseplant pests. Your Hawaiian Ti plant can also be susceptible to them. These small pests live on the leaves’ underside, forming white clusters covered by a web, which protects them while they feed.
Spider mites can be very difficult to get rid of, and they can deal significant damage to your plant. The best way to treat a Hawaiian Ti plant infested with spider mites is regularly wiping the leaves with a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol. Often, cutting the infested parts of your plant will be necessary.
Fungus gnats are another common pest for the Hawaiian Ti plant, especially if the soil is kept too wet. The adults can be harmless, but the larvae can harm the roots. Use sticky yellow paper traps to get rid of the adults. For the larvae, a neem oil solution should do the trick. If the plant is badly infested, we recommend repotting it in fresh soil and keeping a strict watering schedule to prevent further attacks.
Hawaiian Ti plant leaves can bring a splash of color to any home. And, with this care guide, it’s never been easier to grow your own.
Just remember the basics:
- For best results, keep your Hawaiian Ti plant in an area that maintains a fairly consistent temperature;
- Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems;
- Around 6-hours of indirect light will ensure your Hawaiian Ti plant leaves are vibrant and bright!
Now that you know what to do, why not grab your own Hawaiian Ti plant today!
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