Red Star Dracaena Care: Learn About Growing Red Star Dracaenas

Lookingfor something interesting to grow in the garden or home? Consider adding RedStar dracaena to your list. Read on to learn more about this lovely specimen.

About Red Star Dracaena Plants

The dark red, almost burgundy,sword-like leaves of Red Star dracaena (Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’) addan unusual flair when growing in a display. Surround it with blooms that peakfrom spring to fall in an outdoor bed or grow it as a focal point in the garden.Likewise, this plant makes a great addition in the home.

Cordyline australis is a dracaena-like species. While this interesting plantgoes by the name of dracaenaor palm,it is neither – technically, the Red Star dracaena palm is a type of cordylineplant. Dracaena and cordyline are close cousins, and both may resemble yucca(another cousin) or palm trees. Most dracaena and cordyline start out palm-likebut their trunks, or canes, eventually branch out as they get older, hence thepalm moniker. That being said, they’re all different genera.

Cordylines, unlike most dracaena plants, are typically grownas outdoor plants with exception to the Tiplant (pronounced “tee”), although this really depends on the region.

Growing Red Star Dracaena

Growing Red Star dracaena palm inUSDA zones 9 to 11 is a great way to frame an entryway or add height to anoutdoor bed. Some info says the plant is hardy in zone 8. If your winter tempsdon’t get below 35 degrees F. (1.6 C.), it will likely be fine outside if somecover is provided.

In colder areas, grow the plant ina container to bring indoors for winter.

Though it grows moderately, it is alarge plant in maturity and the trunk may get thick. As with others in the family,it cannot tolerate consistently cold temperatures. Keep this in mind whenlocating the containerized plant outside. It may be heavy, so have a plan onhow to get it inside when winter arrives.

Grow Red Star in a full to part sunarea. Keep in mind that it can reach 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 m.), depending upongrowing conditions.

Red Star Dracaena Care

Information indicates this plantshould have regular watering during the growing season, depending on how muchsun it gets. If it gets lots of sun, water more often than if it grows in apart shade bed. Container plants normally need water more often than those inthe ground. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Grow the plant in average well-drainingsoil. Fertilize monthly with a balancedfertilizer (10-10-10).

Although pruning isn’t necessarywith these plants, if you’d like a fuller look, you can cut back the tallest “heads,”which will promote sprouting from the sides. Don’t toss out what you cut, as mostcuttings will easily root and grow if you want to start a new plant or give oneto someone else.

Bring the plant indoors beforetemperatures reach freezing or before frost is expected. This plant can adjustto life as a houseplant for the winter and is an attractive addition near abrightly lit window indoors. Red Star Dracaena care is limited throughoutwinter months. Water sparingly, as the plant will likely be dormant.

One thing to consider is providinghumidity while your heat is drying the air. A pebble tray is a simple andinexpensive way to provide humidity. The tray doesn’t have to hold the plant,but it can. Fill a shallow container with pebbles and then add water. If youuse medium sized pebbles, the plant should not be able to get water through thedrain hole. Avoid bottom watering when using a pebble tray, as it may causeroots to stay too wet and rot.

Cordylines & Dracaenas

Cordyline fruticosa & Dracaena spp.

Cordylines and dracaenas have fabulous foliage for dramatic color and provide height and a look of the tropics to South Florida gardens.

These colorful foliage plants come in almost endless varieties and provide colors like pink, cream, bronze, lime-green, and red to areas with some shade.

Though they're in different plant families, both are easy-care plants.

They look very similar and have almost identical landscape uses, so we've grouped them together here.

To learn the name of each pictured on this page - as on all photos on this site - run your cursor over the photo.

Cordyline plants are typically lumped together and called "ti plants."

The most popular and commonly grown is "Red Sister" cordyline (pictured below), with its brilliant fuschia-pink new growth and bronze-magenta leaves.

Ti is correctly pronounced "tee," though most of us fall into the habit of saying "tie" simply because everyone seems to do so.

Cordylines show off their best color during cooler weather. a real boon for snowbirds.

They're considered a good luck plant in Hawaii where every property seems to have at least one ti plant.

Dracaenas, like cordylines, have the benefit of shapeliness - they fit nicely into narrow spaces - and enough height to set off a tropical garden.

They're also considered to be deer-resistant.

Dracaena marginata (pictured below), the most well-known of this group, has spiky green leaves rimmed with a thin line of red.

It's a very popular houseplant in northern climates, but here it works well as a striking outdoor plant, especially useful in narrow areas.

This plant can add architectural interest against a blank wall or makes a unique accent by an entryway.

These plants - both cordylines and dracaenas - do flower. some more noticeably than others.

One, the "Corn Plant" (dracaena fragrans) - pictured below - has extremely fragrant flowers, though the blooms don't look like flowers, more like a bunch of knots on a rope. However if you catch them at dusk tiny white blossoms open in each "knot" to release their heady perfume.

The smell is intensely sweet, especially at dusk.

The most common complaint about cordylines (and some dracaenas) is that eventually they can grow tall and leggy, with thin bare trunks (called "canes") and foliage only on top.

To encourage a fuller look at varying levels, prune during warm spring weather. To do this, cut off a cane at a lower height and it will usually sprout a new "head" or two from the sides of the cut.

Rather than chopping off the heads of all the canes at once, cut the tallest one first.

After it sprouts new growth, do the next tallest one. This way some foliage is visible while you're pruning the plant.

Plant each cutting back into the ground near the base of the original plant (or start it in a container) - most will root and grow. Remove most of the leaves to help the cutting get rooted.

In some cases, the openness of bare canes can create an interesting silhouette. But if you prefer to camouflage them, use cordylines and dracaenas as backdrop plants or use low spreading plants to hide a bit of the legginess.

A few varieties stay fuller at the base, such as the deeply-colored 'Black Magic' cordyline (pictured below). Strong windy weather can make this plant drop some lower leaves, so a protected spot is best to keep it full.

Plant specs

Heights vary by variety but most of these plants are slow growers.

Zone 10 is best but in Zone 9B keep them in containers to move inside during cold weather.

Bright shade works fine for all, though some can take more sun than others. morning sun, preferably.

You often see ti plants doing fine in sunny areas, but they can become brown-edged and raggedy, so give yours afternoon shade.

Ask at the nursery when you purchase one of these plants what kind of light it prefers.

Plant in an area protected from wind so the foliage doesn't become shredded and unattractive.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant, especially if the area is very sandy and dry.

Trimming is totally unnecessary, other than pruning in late spring to early summer, if you like, to control height and/or encourage fuller growth.

These plants don't like to stay wet, so give them regular irrigation with time to dry out a bit between waterings.

Dracaenas are a bit more drought-tolerant but, with either plant, too-infrequent waterings will cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown.

Fertilize twice a year (spring and fall) with a good quality granular fertilizer. Don't over-fertilize these plants.

Plant spacing

You can plant groupings of most of these plants very close together for upright plants. A few exceptions are Song of India and Black Magic.

Song of India dracaena (dracaena reflexa) - pictured above - has a swirling, meandering habit, but dracaena marginata, corn plant dracaena and others grow straight up.

Black Magic cordyline grows in a large swirly pattern and can grow 8 feet tall or more. This one needs some elbow room to look its best, so place it at least 3 feet from the nearest plant.

Depending on variety, these plants can be placed as close as 2 feet from the house. Come in from walks and drives 3 feet to allow for future growth.

Both cordylines and dracaenas make excellent container plants. Dracaenas do fine as houseplants as well.

Landscape uses for cordylines and dracaenas

  • backdrop
  • tall accent for entry or garden bed
  • architectural accent
  • semi-privacy plant by a window, deck, porch or patio
  • along a blank wall


Other plants you might like: Heliconia, Canna Lily

Red Star Cordyline Overview

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Red Star Cordyline Articles

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How To Plant Red Star Cordyline

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How To Prune Red Star Cordyline

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How To Fertlize & Water Red Star Cordyline

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Red Star Cordyline Pests / Problems

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Red Star requires little maintenance. To keep the plant looking its best, remove dead or damaged growth throughout the season. If you live below USDA zone 9, grow the plant in a container and bring it indoors before the first frost in fall. Use a deep container to accommodate the plant's long tap root. Put the plant in your brightest window and provide only enough water to keep the potting slightly moist.

Maintaining Cordyline

Once planted, cordyline doesn’t really require a lot of maintenance. Removing any dead leaves, spent flowers, and damaged stems are really the only things that you will need to attend to.

However, it should be noted that if you are planting cordyline outdoors, you will need to take some measures to protect it before the cold winter weather arrives.

If you live in a location where the temperatures remain mild during the winter and the plant is set in a sheltered location, laying a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant will protect the roots and the base of the stem from any chilly temperatures that may arrive.

To protect the plant from chilly winter winds, to prevent wind damage and water from settling on its crown, consider tying up the foliage. Be sure to use a soft material to avoid damaging the leaves (a pair of tights or stockings would be ideal).

Prior to tying it up, make sure that the plant is fully dried if any moisture is on the leaves before you tie it up, there’s a good chance that they will rot.

If you are growing your cordyline in a container and intend on placing it outside during the summer months, be sure to move it inside before the cold weather arrives. It should be placed in a warm location that receives plenty of sunlight a greenhouse would be the most suitable location.

Cordyline Pruning Tips

As previously mentioned, cordyline does not need a lot of pruning. Just remove any spent blooms and dead leaves from the plant as you see them.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to remove any leaves or stems that have sustained damage if it’s an outdoor plant, wait until the most severe part of the winter weather has passed.

If your cordyline starts to get a little unkempt, you can prune it to enhance its shape and improve its growth. For outdoor plants, wait until the middle of spring to do this. If there are any shoots growing off the side of the plant, cut them back. To ensure the plant recovers from pruning, apply a balanced fertilizer to the soil to promote new growth.

House plants with red and green leaves

Leaves of a plant can come in many breathtaking varieties and colors however in this article we’re going to talk about house plants with red and green leaves! Check out the list below –

1. Red Aglaonema

This houseplant can grow to a height of approximately 3 to 4 feet tall and its foliage can spread to a diameter of 1 to 2 inches. The Red Aglaonema is one of the easiest to grow in our list of house plants with red and green leaves.

Its colorful leaves are indeed a treat to the eyes thereby gaining its popularity for its beauty.

The plant prefers indirect sunlight and thrives with moderate watering as long as there is no danger of its soil getting water- clogged. It looks best when placed in the living room, on the coffee tables, or in the bedroom.

2. Coleus

A popular plant with red and green leaves, the Coleus grows to a height of around 1 to 3 feet and spreads about 1 to 2 feet wide. The Coleus can come in many varieties and colors though the most popular variety is the Rainbow Coleus.

It is a no-fuss plant and can thrive in full sunlight as well as in partial shade. It likes well-drained soil which must remain moist at all times. The Coleus is known to be one of the most versatile plants there is.

3. Angel Wings

The botanical name of Angel wings is Caladium Red Flash and it can grow to the height of 3 to 4 feet tall while it spreads 1 to 2 feet wide.

This variety of house plants with red and green leaves stands out significantly for its large heart-shaped leaves.

They come in the shade of olive green with red veins running across the leaves. There are noticeable pink spots present on the surface of these leaves.

The Angel Wings like full to partial sunlight, with moist and well-drained soil. Be careful not to allow the soil to dry out completely at any point in time.

Angel Wings is another plant with red and green leaves.

4. Pencil Cactus

The botanical name for the Pencil Cactus is Euphorbia tirucalli. It can grow to a height of up to 4 to 5 feet. Although essentially the foliage is green in color, when the container is small and is provided with full sunlight, the leaves gradually start to turn red in color.

This red pigmentation on the foliage of this beautiful plant appears in order to protect itself from sunburn. The Pencil cacti grow best in dry conditions.

The sap of this plant is toxic in nature therefore, caution has to be exercised.

5. Red – Edge Dracaena

This is a rather well-known houseplant with red and green leaves! Its other name is the Dracaena Marginata Red – Edge. This plant grows easily to a height of 5 feet and about 2 to 3 feet in diameter.

It has luscious green foliage that sprouts out beautifully from the center like a fountain and the leaves have a red-colored border. When exposed to the sun for long periods of time, the red color starts to become more prominent.

This plant is known for cleaning the surrounding air and has earned its name in NASA’s listing of air-purifying indoor plants.

Red – Edge Dracaena is another useful red and green leaf plant.

6. Ti Plant

The botanical name of this house plant with red and green leaves is Cordyline fruticosa. It grows to about 3 to 5 feet tall and can spread 2 to 3 feet wide. The leaves of the Ti plant are variegated with colors of reds and pink.

When fully matured, this plant can turn into a dark and rich reddish – burgundy color.

The Ti plant must be kept away from direct sunlight and the water should be provided moderately. This plant wins on account of its visual appeal!

7. The Croton

Though Crotons come in many varieties and colors, the Mammy plant and the ‘Bush on Fire’ Croton are the ones that display rich hues of red color on their leaves.

The botanical name for Crotons is Codiaeum variegatum and they can grow anywhere between 3 to 5 feet tall with 2 to 3 feet wide.

The Crotons thrive in indirect sunlight and are sensitive to dry soil. These bold plants add a definite character to any room that they are placed in.

Croton is another beautiful red and green leaf plant.

8. Red Veined Nerve Plant

This house plant with red and green leaves is known for its beauty and lushness. The botanical name of the Res Veined Nerve plant is Fittonia verschaffeltti and it grows to be 4 to 7 inches tall with a spread of about 14 to 20 inches wide.

Its foliage consists of amazing looking light and dark green leaves with bright and conspicuous red veins running through them. This variety of house plant does not like direct sunlight and grows well in slightly acidic soil.

9. The Polka Dot Plant

As the name suggests, the Polka Dot plant’s green leaves have a spray of irregular patches of red dots on them.

The botanical name for this house plant with red and green leaves is Hypoestes phyllostachya and it is a short plant that grows only about 1 feet tall and wide.

This plant loves the shade and thrives in the interiors of your home without any fuss. If you want the red color on the leaves to stand out and turn brighter, give your Polka Dot plant a little sunlight once in a while.

You should keep the Polka dot plant in your garden or indoor as it is another indoor plant with red and green leaves.

10. Poinsettia

Popularly used as a Christmas decoration, this houseplant with red and green leaves is known for its bright and festive appearance. Poinsettia’s botanical name is Euphorbia polcherrima and it stands 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. It grows best in warm weather and requires full sunlight.

It thrives best in temperatures ranging between 65 to 75 degrees F.

Poinsettia is a gorgeous red indoor plants or red house plants.

11. Flamingo Lily

Another house plant with red and green leaves, that is famous for its beauty and that can be regarded as a prized possession in any room ornamentation. It stands out for its heart-shaped red bracts that bloom amongst its green leaves.

These red bracts have a waxy texture and appearance and are always the focal point of this plant.

Its botanical name is Anthurium andraeanum and it can grow up to 1 to 2 feet tall while it spreads to about 1 foot. The Flamingo Lily is sensitive to harsh sunlight and is well known for its air-purifying properties.

12. Red Star Dracaena

This house plant has a rich burgundy red sword-like leaves that grow outwards from one central point. It resembles almost like a palm tree and makes a great indoor plant due to its medium growth rate.

It stands 4 to 6 feet in height and spreads around the diameter of 2 to 3 feet. The Red Star Dracaena loves plenty of sunlight.

You can keep these red indoor plants in your house.

13. Rex Begonia

This house plant is well known for its deep red colored foliage with a black border. The leaves of the Rex Begonia’s are fairly large in size. Its botanical name is Red Begonia Red Kiss. It thrives in partial sunlight which also helps in retaining the color of its leaves.

This plant stands 1 foot tall and wide. It loves humidity and the soil most suitable for its growth is organic and well-drained in nature.

14. Heuchera

The botanical name for this plant is Heuchera Forever Red. This plant grows to a height of 7 to 8 inches and spreads around in a diameter of 10 to 12 inches. It grows with a bunch of disarranged red leaves that have creamy white flowers emerging from pink buds.

This entire array of colors culminates into a breathtaking display. The Heuchera likes its soil to remain moist and is known for its fast-growing quality. The cooler temperatures help to deepen the red color of its foliage so keep it away from direct sunlight.

15. Japanese Barberry

This plant has of late been grown extensively indoors because of its tolerance to shade. For the Japanese Barberry to exude its deep red color, it needs to be shown bright sunlight from time to time whether placed on a window sill or the balcony.

The botanical name of this house plant is Berberis thunbergii Red chief. This shrub grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet and spreads around to a diameter of 2 to 3 feet.

All in all this houseplant is pretty easygoing and hence gaining popularity with the new generation of home decor enthusiasts as an indoor plant with red and green leaves.

If you are new to gardening, check out the gardening articles:

  • How to Create a Phenomenal Yet Low-Maintenance Garden
  • Ultimate Guide to Holistic Gardening
  • Winter Gardening Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Winter Garden
  • Essential Oils for Gardening
  • Best organic gardening fertilizer
  • Best Low maintenance gardening tips
  • A Complete Beginners Guide to Market Gardening Farming
  • How to Do Square Foot Gardening: A Complete Guide
  • How to Do Hydroponic Gardening
  • Everything to Know About Fall Gardening
  • Urban Gardening 101: Tips, Benefits, and History

The list of plants with red and green leaves can go on and on varying in shape and size! They each come with their own unique characteristics. It is of no surprise that these house plants (red and green leaf plant) are gaining a place in homes around the world for their sheer beauty. A great wonder of nature, to observe the manifolds of variations in the foliage patterns, textures, and leaf designs. It is truly a work of art!

I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.


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