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Cordyline Protection ?

Discussion in 'Tropical Gardening' started by HarryS, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. HarryS

    HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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    I have lost more then my fair share of Cordylines over winters. Mine are container grown and one is a Torbay dazzler. During November I move them too the sheltered part of the patio , away from the prevailing east wind. In western Lancashire we do tend to get mild winters - but who knows .
    Now for protection is it best to just leave them ?
    Tie up and cover with garden fleece - blooming thing rotted last time I tried that !
    Leave untied and cover with fleece ?

    TIA
     
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    • Clare G

      Clare G Super Gardener

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      I'll be interested to see what responses you get @HarryS. I've got a big one in a pot which I acquired this spring when a neighbour chucked it out - think it's "Red Star." I was hoping that here in London it would be OK just in situ. In the past when I've lost relatively tender plants like salvias and pelargoniums it's much more often been thanks to damp/rot, as you say, than extreme cold.
       
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      • andrews

        andrews Gardener

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        We have left cordylines uncovered in winter and had no losses over the last 17 years. We are in an exposed spot so winters can be quite bracing. These are planted in the ground which will help.

        We bought a pink cordyline earlier this year but that has gone in to the polytunnel for winter. It will be planted out next spring and take its chance in the following winter.
         
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        • CarolineL

          CarolineL Super Gardener

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          Hi @HarryS. I have a cordyline in the ground in rural Notts where the cold winds from the east blow straight in over the fields. It never gets protected. It has lived for about 15 years. About 10 years ago we had a winter where I recorded -15 at some points. The top died, but it regrew from the base. Flowered again this year. It is in a raised bed, so drains quite well (I'm on clarty clay). I think it's the frozen roots that do for them in pots. Protected plants in my cold greenhouse died during that winter because the roots froze. Maybe surround your pots with polystyrene over winter?
           
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          • andrews

            andrews Gardener

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            Drainage is a big help with some less hardy plants. We are lucky that our garden is on a slope and drains really well. We have some plants that are touch and go for the UKs winter but they keep coming back (winter of 2010 excepted)
             
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            • Verdun

              Verdun Passionate gardener

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              Never lost a cordyline down here in pots or in the ground.......never really cold enough for long down here. Well, gazanias for example will flower on and off during winter so I guess that says a lot.
              The big thing though is drainage....if the soil is dry cordylines should survive. In containers I never water cordylines anyway...even during the summer.
              For cordylines in containers I use john innes with about 25% horticultural grit so soil has body, weight and good drainage
              Fleece containers as well as plants though but only during periods of very cold weather...otherwise leave them as they are. Best to cover and uncover accordingly I think :)
              Trouble with leaving cordylines in sheltered spots is they may not get enough drying winds..???
               
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              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                I think personally the big problem with all kinds of protection is that it really needs to be removed during mild spells.
                If you think about it, insulation, which is what protection is all about, actually will keep the plant colder after a cold night.
                Add to that a protracted cold spell of a few days or more and you will be containing the cold for a few days after the cold spell has passed.

                So, unless you are prepared to remove it from time to time it can be counter productive.

                Coming up with protection that you can remove quickly and reapply quickly is always a problem.
                 
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                • strongylodon

                  strongylodon Old Member

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                  I only tie my two, Torbay Dazzler and Sunrise, if we are going to get a long cold spell of -2c or below, loosening the ties when it warms up again. They are both in sandy ground so not very secure at the base.
                   
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                  • WeeTam

                    WeeTam Total Gardener

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                    Brought my red ones into the conservatory. No chance of surviving our winter outside. Wrapping rots them i think.
                    Lost a hardier green one last winter outside. But it reshot from the roots producing 8 new plants.
                    Wont be wrapping any plants this year. Had 5 large trachies in pots last winter,wrapped one in fleece and bubble wrapped the pot. That one died,the ones with just a bit of fleece sailed through.
                     
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                    • HarryS

                      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                      Thanks all for the inputs . It appears the best action is to leave unprotected . Unless you are prepared to protect at each cold snap - which I am not. So a move to the sheltered side of the garden is all I will do .
                       

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