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The Plant Guide

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Giant dracaena

Cordyline australis 'Purple Tower'

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'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 CharacteristicsLong, narrow foliage in an unusual purple color. Great accent plant.

CareNeeds 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.

PropagationSow seed at 61°F in spring. Remove well-rooted suckers in spring.

ProblemsScale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs are common, while bacterial and fungal spots, bacterial soft rot, and root rot can occur.

  • Genus : Cordyline
  • Zones : 10, 11
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Flower Color : White
View Comments


  1. user-7007504 04/13/2015

    I have a purple town but all of the ends of the leafs have gone light brown over the winter, looks like they have dried out what should I do?

  2. susancranfill 07/14/2015

    I live in Az. Gets real hot. So can I plant in full sun? I do not get much shade till late late afternoon?

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