Although this plant has the common name of Hawaiian ti, it's not native to Hawaii. However, the people of Hawaii have found many uses for this plant including making hula dance skirts and surf board covers.
There are three main varieties which are the tricolor (green with red, pink and cream), red edge (green with red streaks), and plain green. The most popular grown indoors is the red edged type , because it's so colorful. There are also dwarf types which are cultivated and sold.
Flowering: The Ti plant produces small whitish or pink colored flowers in it's natural habitat, but it's very unlikely to bloom indoors. No one minds this because the plant's main attraction is it's colorful leaves.
Foliage: The leaves on the Ti plant can vary in width and length depending on which variety it is, although most leaves grow to about 1ft long. The leaves branch off from the main trunk in a new roseste of leaves, similar to how a dracaena plant does. The lower leaves also die off just like a dracaena, which is normal to encourage new growth.
Care level: While these plant's do need certain conditions provided they are not hard to grow and maintain, although they're a bit tricky for beginners to keep them looking attractive. If they are not taken care of properly they can look very untidy.
Poisonous: The Hawaiian ti plant is said to be toxic for cat's and dog's if ingested.
Southeast Asia and Western Pacific Ocean Areas.
Hawaiian ti, good luck, baby doll ti and others (common). -- Cordyline fruticosa , [syn.] C. terminalis (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx):
Height 3 - 4ft indoors.
Poisionous for pets:
Toxic to cats and dogs.
Hawaiian Ti Care
Temperatures between 65-80ºF (18-27ºC) are ideal, and no lower than 60ºF (15ºC). Avoid cold drafts from near windows and doors.
A brightly lit spot is ideal, without direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will dry the leaves and possibly scorch them. Without enough light the plant will not thrive and grow as it should.
I would advise a grower to water the plant thoroughly once the top part of the soil becomes slightly dry. During the winter water much less. Make sure you have the plant placed in a pot which drains well to avoid causing root rot from waterlogged soil.
A peat (2 parts) based potting mixture with perlite or sand (1 part) added works well, or other well draining types with bark.
Re-pot once every two years (approximately) when the plant is young and growing in height. Once it matures you can re-pot once every 3 -4 years and just replace the top soil the years it's not re-potted.
Feed with a diluted fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season (spring - fall).
If you can - supply cordyline plants with extra humidity by placing them in a tray with pebbles in water or with an electric humidifier. These plants are usually fine though without extra humidity, if the air is not dry.
These are easy to propagate by taking stem tip cuttings and re-potting them. The size of the cuttings does not seem to matter. Rooting hormone can be used on the cutting to be planted, although it's not essential.
The cordyline fruticosas top can be cut off once it becomes to tall for some indoor growers. I think this is better for indoors because it gives the plant a much fuller appearance.