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

Landscaping on South Padre Island
June 07, 2008 - I'm in charge of landscaping at my beachfront condo in South Padre Island and find the wind, salt air, and heat challenging for growing almost anything. We would like to incorporate native plants, b...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for sunny and shady gardens in Cedar Hill TX
March 30, 2010 - Last year I spent way too much on flowers for my sunny and shady flower beds. They all died from the heat, even after constant watering. What flowers could I plant in sunny and shady flower beds that ...
view the full question and answer

How to protect Columbine plants from Texas sun
May 12, 2015 - I planted some Red columbine seeds in October of last year and they are now doing well, roughly 6-inches tall. I believed I was planting them in mostly shade at the time; that area now seems to get 6+...
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Bushes for Broken Arrow OK
August 27, 2014 - I am looking for bushes that attract hummingbirds. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. Can you recommend some?
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around salt water pool
June 27, 2013 - What are some plants that will grow around my salt water pool where there is some salt water runoff occasionally.
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