The way to Prune a Ti Plant

The ti plant is known by several common monikers, including Hawaiian ti, good luck tree, dracaena and reddish sister. Science adds its two cents with Cordyline fruticosa, which is synonymous with Cordyline terminalis. No matter what you decide to call this attractive tropical ornamental, sooner or later it is going to require a trim. Ti plants may quickly grow out of control, obtaining heights as tall as 15 feet and spreads up to eight feet. Thriving in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 through 12, easy-care ti lends itself nicely to indoor culture. Occasional pruning keeps this plant’s appearance clean and its size manageable.

Trim off vibrant ti plant leaves to accent your indoor structures throughout the growing season.

Snip off yellow, brown, damaged or diseased ti plant leaves or stems as they may occur year round. Use clean, sharp shears or scissors.

Prune any stalks that appear too tall, lanky or unsightly to you throughout the growing season. You may safely cut stems back to about 12 inches above the soil level to encourage branching. New shoots will sprout from the cut in addition to from lower areas of the stem. This also serves to control the ti plant’s size.

Cut all but three of the older stems back to about 6 inches above the soil level to replenish more mature plants if they start to appear tired or straggly. Trim the three remaining stalks back to 6 inches above soil level the subsequent spring. Leave others alone. This method helps to ensure that the leaves growing on the pruned plant continue to make food for it.

Provide a warm, humid environment free of drafts to help the ti plant rebound quickly from pruning. Keep it between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t allow the temperature to fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Give the plant lots of bright, indirect light, but don’t expose it to direct sunlight. Water often enough to keep the surface soil evenly moist. Mist two or three times daily and place the pot on a saucer of wet gravel to boost humidity levels. Don’t allow the pot to break in water.

Divide more cut stems, cutting them to pieces at least 1 inch long to spread more ti plants rather than discarding them. Use vermiculite, perlite or even a 50-50 mud and peat moss mix. Plant cuttings three-fourths of this stem length deep vertically to produce single-stemmed plants. Set cuttings one-fourth of their diameter deep horizontally to develop multi-stemmed specimens. Keep them in a warm, brightly lit area out of direct sun. Maintain the medium evenly moist and don’t let it dry out. Mist two or three times daily. The cuttings will root in 2 to 4 weeks.

Root ti plant trimmings with stems over 6 inches long in a transparent glass with about 1 inch water. Keep the cutting at a bright, warm area out of direct sun. Change the water every two or three days to prevent bacterial growth and rot growth. Supplement using a water soluble 20-10-20 houseplant fertilizer per the packing directions. Step the ti plant up to potting soil when strong roots are about 1/2 inch extended.

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