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Scott MacBain
Have a 4 feet cordyline and this year it has started to turn yellow and brown over the last couple of months, any idea how to fix before it is past saving.

Hiya Scott

Is it the lower leaves?  This is natural,habit of the plant. It wants to form a trunk and sheds lowest leaves.

Scott MacBain
No it's all the leaves, the new ones grow in as dark green and then start turning yellow with reddish brown spots. The lower leaves have now started to droop downand the upper leaves are still green for the last four inches beside the trunk.

It could be a nutrient deficiency or being too wet. Can you post a picture of it?

Yep could be wet.  You haven't been watering have you? ,cordylines are a definite no water plant for me even on my light sandy loam.  Cordylines need to be on higher parts to avoid getting soaked.


Yep could be wet.  You haven't been watering have you? ,cordylines are a definite no water plant for me even on my light sandy loam.  Cordylines need to be on higher parts to avoid getting soaked.  Maybe remove it to a pot or drier spot

Scott MacBain

Hi there, thanks for the suggestions, have added a photo of the plant as my profile picture (could not see any other way). I have re-potted the plant and added more drainage to the container along with giving it a feed, time will tell.


I was actually thinking the Cordyline could be too dry, especially if in a pot. They like well draining dampish soil. They grow massive in Ireland and up the west coast of the UK where it is wet.

I think the variety determines how dry compost needs to be.  Down here cordylines thrive everywhere.  However, the GCs are full of new hybrids that I find resent too much damp.  Cannot recall its name but a pink one I grow in a pot just does not want water at all.  


Hi Scott- I'm in East Ren too! I don't grow Cordylines because of the hardiness issue but I do grow Irises, Phormiums and Sempervivums. Drainage is the key- the better it is the more likely they'll be to thrive. It's been very dry here as you'll know (water isn't something we usually go short of!) but I'm wondering if you've watered a bit too much to compensate. I rarely water my phormiums and they're in pots.  Getting it repotted with as much grit as you have soil is probably the best solution just now and watch it's not getting blasted by cold winds. 


Cordylines are hardy in sheltered areas with good drainage.

I grow them and up the Scottish coast to Ullapool they grow into tree size, just as they do in Southern coastal England.

They do badly in exposed dry or exposed wet areas.

My cordyline is growing happily but too much for its location. Can I hold back its growth in any way ?

Only by growing in a pot Alan.

however, you can prune back...a single stem, for example, when cut back will produce multiple stems.   Rub out shoots not required.  

i have 4 in pots, I take them into a frost free greenhouse in winter then tie them up and wrap fleece around the pots. I dont let them dry out and in Sring remove a lot of the lower leaves, feed once then pop back out

i am in deepest south Lanarkshire in a frost pocket too cold to plant this palm

The leaves on my cordyline are either yellow or mottled two thirds of the way up the plant so I have replanted it in John Innes No3 in a large pot will this solve the problem?



I have a 10 maybe 12 foot Cordyline which is outdoors in the ground. It has 2 main trunks to it which stand side by side. the upper area is always lush and green, the lower unfortunately spoils the look of the whole tree as it has brown leaves. I have removed many of the brown leaves carefully by cutting close to the bark. However, once these are removed I seem to get a new batch of brown leaves. 

This tree has been outdoors for the last 12 years and hasn't really had a great deal of attention. eg: fed or watered on a regular basis. Any ideas as to how I can eradicate the brown??

Hi my red cordyline seems to be dying from the middle outwards.  Two others about same size same place  all in large pots seem to be thriving it has been very wet here of late or wondering if it's an insect I have an abundance of spiders. 

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