Cordyline survival hinges on where they are outside

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CORDYLINES, those tropical-looking specimens used as focal points of dot plants in summer bedding schemes or even on their own in pots for patio decoration are not completely hardy by any means. There are still many to be seen still ooutside around the town.

With our mild winter months so far, they have fared well, but more severe weather is sure to come sooner or later and this is when these exotic plants will suffer. As has been recommended on several occasions, cordylines are best planted for garden display still in their pots and this makes lifting that much easier at the end of the season.

To help them over the worst of the weather, once lifted, the could be put in a brick-built garage or inside the back door of the house overnight when forst is at its worst and then back outside during the day.

Experience has shown that it is the purple variety that appears the most vulnerable to severe wintry weather, while the green-leaved type seems to be able to withstand low temperatures better.

Of course, should we be fortunate enough in the coming two months for it not to be a really severe winter, then they have a much better chance of surviving.

Where they are outside at the moment also has a bearing on their survival. Any specimen in a sheltered spot has a much better chance of surving severe frost, as against one in an exposed position.

Placing them in a cold greenhouse is no guarantee, but a greenhouse heated enough to keep the temperature from dropping below zero is adequate.