This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Winter Damaged Cordyline Palm Update

You may recall in April I posted about my winter damaged cordyline palm. These trees are very popular in the UK; with our harsh winter many were badly damaged. Here's an update on progress and plans.

Variety: Morning Glory 'Carnevale di Venezia', Half hardy annual. Thompson & Morgan Seeds. Sown in early May 2011 indoor (75% germination). Planted outside June 2011.

Over the Summer, I thought I would grow a climber up the trunk. At first I tried sweetpea (photo below) but had better success with Morning Glory.

Photo taken Oct 2011.
Back in May and before the Morning Glory, I transplanted a white Everlasting Sweetpea from another area of the garden to the base of the palm. The sweetpea didn't survive the move.
This is my attempt at cutting and removing the water saturated areas to try to resurrect it. On reflection, (1) I think I should have cut lower, and (2) I think I should have cut the trunk at a slant so water rolls off. By cutting it straight across water will go into the trunk and rot. As soon as it stops raining (when is it going to stop raining?), I'll be cutting.
The palm at the start of my cutting exercise. At first I thought putting pots on top of the trunk would prevent water from seeping down into the trunk but I soon discarded this idea.
Photo taken April 2011.
A message for Ann at Welcome to The Garden Spot. You can see my self fertilising apple tree in a pot behind the palm against the brick wall. (My record 14 apples this year.)

The Cordyline in its prime. Photo taken August 2010.


  1. I've noticed lots of dead cordylines this year. The shape of the trunks really needs keeping as a feature though doesn't it - do you think there is any chance of a resprout at ground level or would it have done that by now?

  2. Hello there Kelli! Your garden looks lovely, beautiful colour - poor palm though...

  3. The palm has an sculptural quality, so looks nice in the garden with the morning glory. Do you see evidence of new growth anywhere?

  4. I hope the palm will pull through. I presume that it takes many years for one to grow to maturity, so re-planting may not be an attractive option.

  5. How sad to lose it. I would still wait until next spring to see if there is any new growth (I'm an optimist!). Never thought about cutting at an angle - guess you learned the hard way. The pots on top seemed like a good idea. Do the ones in your area that were cut back have new growth on them yet?

  6. Hi all, I don't see any evidence of new growth on my cordyline palm (yet). I read an article that said it could take two years for the cordyline to recover. I have high hopes.

    Hi Holley, I haven't noticed any new growth on cordylines in other gardens near me. I'll have to do some investigating. I cut mine high on the trunk as that's what the gardener's did at Belfast Botanic Gardens. I'll have to take a trip and see how their palm is getting on.

  7. Oh no I hope it recovers...meanwhile the climbers are a great way to decorate that beautiful shape...

  8. Lovely b log, just found you via Janet x

  9. We just hate it when trees get damaged. I hope yours returns to its original glory. Is that your little apple tree by the house?