Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’

Deep red foliage. Small upright tree occasionally branches. Fragrant spring bloom. Good on coast. Tolerates drought, shade. Nice in containers.
height 12–20ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Fog, Narrow Planting, Pots, Salt, Wind
Low – Moderate
Cordylines are surprisingly drought tolerant once established, though they will look their best with deep watering every week or two. Having good drainage is important with cordylines, which will also makes them quite tolerant of overwatering.
exposure Full Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Hybrid, New Zealand
5, 6, 8, 9, 14–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Cordylines are versatile in the garden. These upright cordylines have a clean vertical form, but also respond well to a hard pruning back (even all the way to the ground) and will send new growth out wherever they are cut back. By cutting multiple canes at different levels you can get a nice staggered effect and maximize screening.
Cordyline ‘Red Star’ occasionally suckers from the base, creating a multi trunked tree over time.
Once the older lower leaves dry up they can be pulled cleanly away, exposing a textured trunk.
Cordylines are an excellent choice for a pot, where they are low-maintenance plants for the long term.
In particularly windy conditions cordylines may develop brown frayed tips.

Special Interest

Most cordylines aren’t grown for their flowers, but they do occasionally bloom with pleasant clusters of fragrant white to blue-amethyst flowers.