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By Kowhai

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

We have a mature cordelyne which in the ten years we've been here has grown by about 6 ft to a height of about 20 feet, and formed four heads. It's also produced several flower spikes over the past two or three summers. Recently, it has started shedding green -- not faded brown -- leaves at an alarming rate -- about a dozen or more a day. The peak leaves on each of the heads are looking a bit sickly: pale with some dark spots (and difficult to photograph, thus no photo).

Maybe the harsh winter has affected the plant. It is a native of New Zealand where we called the cabbage tree when I was a kid. There it grows wild, and seems to tolerate a wide range of habitats, including cold and frost.

Any advice on how to deal with our shedding cordelyne will be gratefully received -- including reassurance that it's just going through a phase.



Not exactly a phase - the severe pre christmas winter weather will have damaged it. Check the trunks for oozing or rotting, otherwise just wait - by June or July, you may find it is producing new growth up the trunks or from below the ground rather than at the top. If that's what happens, you can then cut back to wherever the new growth is if its not at the top.

17 Feb, 2011


Thanks for advice. In fact, it now seems to have ceased shedding green leaves. So it may be over the worst.

18 Feb, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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