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Hi carol, wet is more of an issue for a cordyline than anything, and if a wet pot then gets exposed to a severe cold snap that won't help. Was the first one in very wet soil to start with? The second one might have been in drier conditions and in a more sheltered spot. Any other info you can give will help with advice or suggestions.
Giving them the protection of a house wall can help enormously - they get less rain and exposure to severe weather that way. Just make sure it's not the wall which is in the direction of the prevailing wind and rain though!