Cordyline australis


Cordyline australis

Looking very much like a palm, and always referred to as a palm, you may be surprised to find out that the Cordyline australis is… not a palm. The Cabbage palm is a tree native to New Zealand and Australia that is very fast growing which grows very, very tall.

  • Situation: Full or part sun, well-drained soil
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Grows to: 6m x 2m
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Cabbage Palm has proven hardy in UK gardens for many years but has proven susceptible in the coldest winters, such as experienced in 2009/2010. But in the milder parts of the UK, Cabbage Palm, once established have proved wonderfully hardy. This is borne out just by the sheer numbers of these large trees you can see in gardens, on sea fronts, and other amenity areas.

The Cabbage Palm be warned, grows fast and grows tall, so make sure this is allowed for when siting the tree. Cabbage Palm can be used as a standalone specimen either planted or potted, or at the back of beds to offer height and structure. It is one of the best choices for very windy and exposed coastal areas.

The Cabbage Palm requires very little care once established; watering is generally unnecessary and feeding is rarely necessary, unless planted in a container. If containerised water regularly throughout dry spells and feed the Cabbage Palm monthly from late May to early September.

A great point of conjecture with the Cabbage Palm is what to do with the old leaves. Some will leave the old leaves hanging down to form a ‘skirt’ as is done in its natural environment, or our preference is to cut back the old leaves keeping a nice, tidy and clean trunk.

Cabbage Palm comes in many different colours, but this green variety does keep better condition and colour than other varieties.