En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - July 27, 2010

From: Brownsville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Red sister Cordyline problems in Brownsville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I bought a Red Sister Cordyline plant but once the leaves grow they dry from the ends.

ANSWER:

"Red Sister" is no doubt a trade name for Cordyline fruticosa (tiplant), native only to Hawaii and certainly not to Brownsville.  This Floridata article on Cordyline fruticosa will give you some general information; apparently it is usually a house plant. 

From the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, some suggestions from a contributor:

"There are a couple of things you could do to help your plant, and the first one is to reduce the fertilizer. You probably won’t need to fertilize it again until next year. If you notice white stuff on the soil surface, then water is not flushing through properly and minerals are building up. Put the plant in the bathtub, or outside somewhere in the shade (direct sun will burn the leaves), and water it well until the water comes pouring out the bottom drainage holes. This will help get rid of some of the extra fertilizer and keep it from burning the roots. Do this once or twice in the next couple of weeks, and your plant should be fine. You may also want to mist the leaves on a regular basis to help keep humidity up, as this can help prevent browning on the leaf tips and edges." 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cordyline fruticosa

Cordyline fruticosa

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

When do you put out bluebonnet seeds in Bastrop, TX?
April 17, 2012 - When do you put out bluebonnet seeds?? I hear fall but don't the seeds pop out of dried up plants in early summer?
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
October 26, 2009 - I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Where can white prickly poppy be viewed en mass from Baton Rouge LA?
January 16, 2013 - Does the center feature the native White Prickly Poppy? When is prime blooming season? Can you give me some specific locations in the area where the plant can be seen en mass and photographed? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Resurrection plant not reviving.
February 04, 2009 - I have what might be a resurrection plant but it never turns green. When it is watered it opens up and turns from tan to dark brown. Is it just a different variety of resurrection plant or something...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center