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Is Cordyline a Perennial? [The Epic Truth]

Despite the confusing annual and perennial behavior, the alluring leaves of Cordyline still rock the gardens of many houses.

But in fact, Cordyline is both perennial and annual depending on the growing condition, varieties, and USDA zones. Here, minimum winter temperature is pivotal to determining the growth habit of Cordylines.

Thus, continue reading till the end of the article to explore the versatile growth habit of Cordyline.

What is a Cordyline?

Cordylines are evergreen, tropical plants with alluring flowers and vibrant leaves. They are native to Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.

Further, Cordyline is a genus consisting of about 24 species of flowering plants. Moreover, they belong to the Asparagus plant family.

Cordyline plants are popular ornamental houseplants. They are prized for their colorful leaves and elegant flowers.

cordyline plant
Be it annual or perennial, Cordyline plants can add a touch of tropical beauty and exotic flair to any setting.

Leaves are usually spear-shaped and 12-24 inches long, and 2-4 inches wide. But the flowers are small and unshowy. Yet, the flower spikes are quite fragrant.

Likewise, Cordylines are easy to grow and care for as they are suitable plants for beginner gardeners.

Further, Cordyline plants are low-maintenance plants and require minimal care. Moreover, They are hardy plants that tolerate and adapt easily.

Interestingly, many mistake Cordyline for Dracaena as they look similar. But they are not the same plant. That said, both of them are related to Agave.

Is Cordyline a Perennial or Annual?

Depending on the species, USDA zones, and climate, Cordyline is both a perennial and annual plant.

In temperate zones, an annual Cordyline can act like a perennial. Meanwhile, a perennial type may behave annual type in colder zones.

Thus, the temperature is the key factor that influences the growth habit of Cordyline.

That is why you must choose a Cordyline species that can tolerate the coldest climate of your area.

Perennial Cordyline

Cordylines are not frost-tolerant plants. So, they show perennial growth habits in warmer areas only.

Further, if the temperature does not dip below 50°F, your Cordylines will come back every year. You might not even need to protect them in such a case.

The most common Cordyline plants grown as a perennial are Australis, Fruticosa, and Terminalis. These plants can tolerate cold temperatures up to 30°F.

These Cordyline plants grow exquisitely both indoors and outdoors in USDA zones 9-12.

But you must provide winter protection if you live below these USDA zones. They will wither and behave as an annual if you fail.

Thus, to protect your Cordylines from frost damage, use frost blankets and add organic mulches.

Furthermore, you can plan to move in the outdoor potted Cordyline plants. But ensure the plant is not anywhere near the drafty window.

Annual Cordyline

Unlike perennials, annual Cordyline does not come back year after winter. So, it means they wither down and die off due to severe cold.

Red Star, Albertii, and Pelorus Gold are the most popular annual Cordyline plants.

However, these plants can also act like a perennial in warmer regions. And these are most commonly grown as an annual plant.

Though you might not need to give them winter protection, ensure 4-6 hours of sunlight for ideal growth.

Likewise, you can deadhead these annuals to enjoy longer flowering.

Editor’s Note

Tips For Ideal Cordyline Growth!

Cordyline prefers indirect bright sunlight and thrives well in well-draining soil. Also, they require regular watering to keep their feets slightly moist.

You can encourage their growth by feeding them with balanced, slow-release fertilizer every few months.

All The Best!