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​​​​​​​​​Red Palm Lily

Cordyline rubra

  • Common name: Red Palm Lily
  • Scientific name: Cordyline rubra
  • Family name: Asparagaceae
  • Origin: Australia
  • Height:  13 ft at maturity
  • Width:  3 to 5 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: USDA zones 10 through 12
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers a moist, well-drained soil with high organic matter and a circumneutral pH between 6.0 and 8.0.
  • Moisture: Needs moist soil and is tolerant of high humidity
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/Diseases: Snails and slugs may chew on the leaves.
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a warm, humid area. It can be grown in both full sun and part shade, but the soil shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. Due to its affinity for humidity, it is suitable as a houseplant, especially for humid areas of the house such as kitchens and bathrooms. It should occasionally be fertilized with an organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
  • Characteristics: This slow-growing plant may take over 10 years to reach its full size, which is usually around 13 ft tall. Leaves grow from long, thin “trunks”, which are usually grayish in color. These trunks may not be seen for the first few years of growth. The leaves emerge in a spiral-like arrangement from the top of the trunks. These leaves are large and shiny, about 20 inches long, and usually have a deep burgundy-red color. The flowers are light purple and emerge from the tops of trunks on panicles. The berries are red.
  • Propagation: By seeds or stem cuttings.
  • Wildlife: Animals may eat the berries. Pollinator insects, especially bees, love the flowers.
  • Facts: This plant is naturally found in rainforests and eucalyptus forests in Australia.
  • Designer considerations: It is a common houseplant due to its eye-catching color and ease of care. When planted outdoors, it can be used as a mass planting, and older individuals can be used as a hedge. It adds a pop of color and a tropical ambience to shady areas.


Ancient Garden

Red Palm Lily