The Q&A Archives: Growing TI Plant

Question: I have received a TI log. It is presently soaking in water in vertical position. Do I want to cover the entire log or just a portion with water? I am beginning to see sprouts in area which is soaking but nothing in dry area. How large can I expect the "sprouts" to get and do they grow upright or drape down/over the container? Does it produce flowers or just foilage? How large a container should I use? The log is 3" in length. I do not believe I have ever seen one growing and am totally without knowledge of the how-to care & maintenance. Thanks for your time.

Answer: Ki, the Ti plant, grows abundantly, cultivated and wild, throughout the tropical Pacific and Southeast Asia. It is common from sea level in the lower wetlands up to the 4,000 foot elevation. Ti is found in shady moist gardens, as a landscaping background plant or as a hedge. The people of Hawai`i plant it around their homes and churches for good luck. In the old days Ki was planted around the lo`i, taro ponds. The botanical or scientific name of this member of the lily family is Cordyline terminalis. The plant's flower stalk emerges in winter. With the coming of spring, a many-branched drooping cluster of flowers comes into bloom. Its hundreds of tiny half-inch whitish purple flowers resemble miniature lilies.

New plants propagate easily from cuttings and grow best where sunlight and moisture are both available. The cutting can be planted vertically for one plant, or horizontally for several. The culture for this plant is the same as for Dracaena; provide average household warmth (minimum 55F in winter), bright light with some direct sunlight, keep the potting soil moist at all times, but reduce watering in the winter, and mist the leaves regularly. Start your new plant out in a 6" pot and repot every 2 years.

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