Giant dracaena

Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower'

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Giant dracaena (Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower')
kor-dih-LYE-nee oss-TRAL-iss
Synonyms:  Dracaena australis
Genus:  Cordyline
'Purple Tower' is a cultivar of the New Zealand native cabbage tree, frequently grown in greenhouses, as houseplants, or as large accent plants outdoors. It is hardy to Zone 10. The narrow, plum-purple leaves reach 3 feet long. The fragrant white flowers are small, but they are borne in large panicles in spring and early summer on mature plants. Plants grown in containers only rarely flower, however. Young plants are often sold as houseplants. Mature specimens have thick trunks with foliage at the top, resembling a palm tree. They are striking container specimens and can be plugged into a summer border. The species has naturalized in portions of California and the southern U.S.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Long, narrow foliage in an unusual purple color. Great accent plant.
Care:  Needs well-drained, fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. If grown indoors, provide bright filtered or indirect light and moderate water during the growing season.
Propagation:  Sow seed at 61°F in spring. Remove well-rooted suckers in spring.
Problems:  Scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs are common, while bacterial and fungal spots, bacterial soft rot, and root rot can occur.

Overview

Height
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Spread
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Indoor Plant,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Trees

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