Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’


Cabbage Palm

Looking very much like a palm, and always referred to as a palm, you may be surprised to find out that the ‘Red Star’ is…… not a palm. Not that it matters, its a great choice for giving height and structure to a planting area, whether planted out or potted up. The Red Star can cope with strong wind, but keeps better colour if given some shelter from it.

  • Situation: Full or part sun, well-drained soil
  • Hardiness: Hardy in milder areas of UK.
  • Grows to: 3m tall by 1.5m
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Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ is less hardy than the non variegated green Cordyline australis and 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, Cordylines, once established, have proved 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. To best keep the striking red foliage colour from fading we recommend planting Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ in a sheltered spot. For more exposed areas look to use the green Cordyline

The Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ be warned, grows fast and grows tall, so make sure this is allowed for when siting the tree. Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ can be used as a standalone specimen either planted or potted, or at the back of beds to offer height and structure and contrast.

The Cordyline 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 Cordyline monthly from late May to early September.

A great point of conjecture with the Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’ 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.