Bushy Cordyline for Tropical Gardens

By Charlie Nardozzi

Tropical plants continue to be the rage, especially in container gardens. One of the most popular tropicals is best loved for its leaves, not flowers. Cordyline is an Australian native that features strap-like leaves. Its spiky growth adds height to a container or flower border. While most cordyline species grow into small trees, a new variety grows lower and bushier than its taller cousins.

'Festival Grass' (Cordyline australis 'Festival Grass') grows only 3 feet tall and wide at maturity. It's noted for its basal branches that keep the plant bushy and low growing. The burgundy-colored leaves create a red fountain effect. Hundreds of small, star-like, pink flowers open in summer and add to its beauty. 'Festival Grass' is hardy to USDA zone 8, so it's grown as an annual in most of the country. It grows best in full to part sun on well-drained soil, and tolerates drought once established.

For more information on Festival Grass, go to: Anthony Tesselaar Plants.

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