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By Bev137

United Kingdom Gb

Cordylines... bright ideas??

I'm new here, so forgive me if I'm repeating anything. I've been reading everyones comments about their Cordylines, but cannot find the answer (if there is one) that I need.

I planted 3 Cordylines, 1 burgundy & 2 green, about 16yrs ago. One of the green ones was an absolute beauty - it had 5 tall trunks and multiple crowns on each one. It obviously loved its position, reaching around 18/20ft high; with a huge canopy; constantly sending out flower spikes (which we removed because they're nothing spectacular and they deformed the new growth). But alas, like everyone else, thats history now!

So we cut the 2 smaller ones down to about 2" but only removed the tops of the large multi stemmed one because it was such a lovely/large feature and, in the vain hope, it might sprout from the top again... although I doubt that will happen.

The good news is, all 3 have sprouted, the large one from the base of one of the trunks and the other two have sprouted about 2" away from the original trunk, which is really exciting, although I doubt I'll see them reach such dizzying heights again!

My question (eventually I hear you say)... I refuse to cut the large trunks down and have decided, while I wait for the base shoots to establish themselves, I want to make a feature of the other 4 trunks... a large natural bird table? A squirrel theme park? Or, my latest idea, could I use it to grow something else? Either use moss or bore holes to poke in some small plants or colourful fungi, etc? I've already got two hanging baskets at different heights which look lovely and its created a talking point, if nothing else!

Does anyone have any bright ideas or suggestions... I dont want anyone to mention ivy, thanks!

I just wanted to share my good news with others and my suggestions/ideas in case they might stimulate others to come up with other ideas... we can get creative together.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any replies.

Kind regards



A word of warning first - check the trunks from top to bottom for signs of soft, soggy areas or oozing and in particular, an unpleasant smell - damaged Cordylines can get slime flux, and once that happens, it must be cut down.

14 Jun, 2011


Thank you for that, I do check the trunks regularly for signs of growth. At the moment, they are really healthy looking. The one trunk that has new shoots, the squirrels stripped some of the bark at the very top, but we've since cut that one down to allow the new shoots room to grow up.

14 Jun, 2011


The trunk we cut down, is the one we've perched between the other branches and have a hanging basket at either end. It looks quite nice.

14 Jun, 2011


I suppose I meant the trunks on the ones with no growth at the top, if there are any, just shooting from the base. Simplest thing to do to disguise and utilise the trunks is probably to mesh them up and grow climbers up them, probably temporary ones like Eccremocarpus scaber, Tropaeleum peregrinum, morning glory, that kind of thing.

14 Jun, 2011


Sooner or later, the trunks will decay, and will need to be removed anyway.

14 Jun, 2011


I agree - that's why I'm suggesting annual climbers rather than permanent ones... If I'm honest, I'd just tell you to cut them down now.

14 Jun, 2011


Yes, Tugbrethil, that's what we'd thought... but it's such a shame and nice to think they can make a show piece for something else until that day arrives!

14 Jun, 2011


Thank you both for your comments. I agree and know I'm delaying the inevitable, but we did say that we'd give them till the end of this season, just in case anything miraculous happens... and in the meantime, enjoy their stature and perhaps make something useful of them. They took a long time to get to the height they are, its such a shame. And, as we have new life at the base, I won't jepordise that by leaving them longer than absolutely necessary. Thanks again. x

14 Jun, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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