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

Heirloom plants for Gault Homestead in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, The Gault Homestead at 2106 Klattenhoff in the middle of Wells Branch Subdivision is to be planted with heirloom or heritage plants soon. There is some sun for the planter bo...
view the full question and answer

Germinating Milkweed Seeds
January 23, 2015 - When is the best time to plant milkweed seeds outside? I was told when the overnight temperature hits 70 F. (our garden is in Lakeway, Texas). So around late May? Is this when the seeds germinate i...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Achillea millefolium
May 28, 2007 - I had a clump of yarrow in my garden and was worried that it would become very aggressive to the other plants. I decided to transplant it into large clay pots to control it. Immediately after the tran...
view the full question and answer

Suppliers for Lantana urticoides
March 23, 2007 - I would like to plant yellow Lantana in my beds because of the hot drought conditions we have in north central Texas. Where can I find this to plant now?
view the full question and answer

Wide appearance of Texas Bluebells in Hillsboro TX
July 07, 2011 - I thought Texas Bluebells were rare, endangered and liked wet places. So why, after at least a dozen years of not seeing any and during this horrible drought am I seeing them where I have never seen t...
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