Cordyline indivisa

Common Name: mountain palm 
Type: Tree
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: New Zealand
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Greenish-white to purplish-brown
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. Best grown in moist, fertile, organically rich, well-drained soils in part shade. In St. Louis, it must be grown in containers that can be placed outside on patios in summer or grown indoors year-round as houseplants. Keep container soils consistently moist in summer but reduce moisture indoors in winter. Container patio plants should be overwintered in bright spots in the home or in greenhouses.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cordyline indivisa, commonly called mountain cabbage tree, blue dracaena or Toi, is native to New Zealand where it typically grows as a small single trunk (hence indivisa) understory tree to 10-18’ tall. It was introduced into the U.S in the mid-1800s, but is not as widely planted in California and the southern U.S. as is its larger relative, Cordyline australis. It features very large, glossy, strap-shaped leaves to 3-6’ long and 8” wide. Drooping panicles of small fragrant greenish-white to purplish-brown flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, however container-grown plants rarely flower. Young plants feature a graceful rosette of arching leaves with no trunk and are often sold in this form as houseplants. Patio container plants will slowly develop a short, stocky trunk over time, typically growing (3-6’ tall).

Genus name comes from the Greek word kordyle meaning a club.

Specific epithet means undivided.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs, scale and spider mites, especially on indoor plants.

Garden Uses

Grow in containers in the St. Louis area for use as summer patio plants or as year round houseplants. Mature container plants can lend a tropical flavor to patios, decks and other locations around the home.