How do I get my Cordyline australis to bush out?


Cordyline australis does very in my climate, we have several of differing sizes but apart from one 8' plant they all only have one trunk/stem.  The 8' example flowered 2 years ago and now has 3 branches.  We often see australis in other people's gardens or parks, which seem to branch from the ground or a foot or so up the main stem and wonder how this can be achieved.  We haven't seen any young multi-stemmed plants for sale in garden centres (unless large and established) and are beginning to think there must be some 'magic' way of propagating to achieve such a desirable specimen.  I have thought of pinching out the entire top of a young plant to see what happens but would appreciate your comments before chancing ruining a plant.


Yes, by pinching or damaging the growing tip will stimulate the growth of side shoots, if the plant is too tall you can even cut the top off to the desired height.  The side and base shoots will develop and the result will be a more full and bushy plant, if shoots appear where your don't desire them just nip them off as they emerge.

It would be best to do this in spring and at the same apply some fertilizer.