Ti Plant is just what you need to add a little flair to your garden! It has long been cultivated in Polynesia for its ornamental, functional and cultural values, and is vastly under-appreciated here in North Central Florida. Every now and then you may find the variety "Red Sister" with its neon magenta leaves drawing attention at entrances to shopping centers, but that's only one of the many varieties to choose from! Available in any combination of black, purple, lime, chartreuse, pink, orange, wide leaves, thin leaves little leaves... you name it, there's a ti plant to fit any planting scheme. Limited only by your imagination, you could literally paint a bright and beautiful picture with these beauties.
Try using them in a modern and ultra tropical planting scheme so they're rising out of a minimalist bed of Liriope Spicata, where it provides a dramatic emerald backdrop for ti's architectural silhouettes. If the ti plants get hit by frost you still have a lovely bed of green to warm you up in the coldest part of winter. Just simply wait until multiple stems start filling out in spring! If its too cold where you live, try this idea with Ti plant's hardier cousin, Cordyline Australis and its varieties. With spiky leaves in its own variety of colors, this hardy substitute can be just as dramatic.
Several sources will tell you that Ti is too tender outside of zone 10, but I can assure you that there are sizable stands here in Jacksonville where it reaches 20 degrees in winter. If you're unsure about your temperatures you can always either wrap the trunks to the base or cut the trunks and root cuttings for next year. Since Ti plants are common houseplants, they overwinter indoors well too.
There are many uses for Cordyline Fruticosa, but the easiest include decor and cooking. Simply use the cut leaves as table settings and centerpieces, or cut the leaves in pieces to be used in the same way you would use rose petals in more traditional settings. You can even use the leaves as wrappers for cooking fish and meats, or just as a garnish to your culinary creations. Be advised that the leaves are inedible and fibrous, so their use in the kitchen is limited to wrapping and garnishing. If you're really adventurous, you can weave the fibrous leaves together to make sandals, thatch, skirts, mats... the uses are as endless as their colors!
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