|Cordyline 'Coffee Cream' in May 2011|
And this is what it looks like today:
|Cordyline 'Coffee Cream' in May 2012|
A distinct improvement.
I wish the same could be said about the penny plain Cordyline australis in the front garden. The old saying is be careful what you wish for. For a couple of years now I've idly speculated about cutting it back to ground level to let the latent buds on the rhizome produce new shoots in order to, eventually, produce a multi stemmed plant. There are many examples in the Plymouth area of winter frosted cordylines that have done exactly that - and very elegant they look. I had one in my previous garden. I've never done it, of course. No point in giving up height that easily. It's survived the recent bad winters quite happily and is now a two branched plant of about 12ft / 3.5metres height.
I don't think it is going to branch any more. I noticed a couple of months ago that the lower leaves were going brown at an increasing rate. Since then its gone into rapid decline and there is now little green left. All the symptoms of the Phytoplasma induced sudden cordyline decline which devastated plants in their New Zealand homeland in the 1990s and has since spread to the UK. I'll give it another month but it looks pretty terminal. So I may get my idle wish after all.
|Swansong of a cordyline?|
It's all part of gardening, of course. Plants die; from old age, disease, winter cold, neglect or incorrect placing. Providing the disease hasn't spread to the roots it should regenerate. All I've lost is a little height and a few years growth. But I'll miss it when its gone. And I'll hope the bacterium doesn't spread to my 'Coffee Cream' or the baby 'Red Star' I've got in the rear garden.