Most cordylines are large and tend to be stiff but this one is different. At 2-3’ feet tall Festival Grass cordyline has 2-3’ long strappy leaves that emerge upright buy slowly cascade with age. They sway in the breeze and bring movement to the garden as well as provide rich color and texture. Paired with other tropical plants they create a unique look in beds, borders or containers. Plants grown in full sun tend to more red, while those grown in some shade tend to be more purple. In the summer, small pale lilac flowers with a jasmine-like scent are produced, but most people grow the plant for the foliage. Festive grass cordyline is an excellent container plant but must be brought in doors during the winter in most areas. If you want to over winter it indoors, keep it in a container, pot sinking it if necessary, because it does not like its roots disturbed. Water sparingly indoors to avoid root rot.

Type: Tender perennial

Bloom: Tiny lilac jasmine-scented flowers in summer.

Foliage: Leaves are 2-3’ long, about ½” wide, cascading; red to purple depending on light.

Size: 2-3’ H x 3’ W

Light: Full sun to shade

Soil: High in organic matter, well-drained

Fertilizer: Apply balanced slow-release fertilizer in spring

Hardiness: Zones 9-10

Care: Remove tattered leaves as needed

Pests and Diseases: Root rot in wet conditions

Propagation: Stem cuttings in fall

Companion plants: Red leaf banana, orange or pink hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), yellow/ pink lantana, crimson Mandeville (Mandevilla amabilis).

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By Karen