The club lily belongs to the asparagus family. It grows as a tree-like plant or a single-stemmed shrub. In this country it is mainly cultivated as a container plant. Their long-stalked leaves are green, yellow or purple, as well as multi-colored leaves, depending on the variety. These are always green in the beginning in young plants of all species. The club lily is often confused with the dragon tree because of its sword-shaped leaves and its growth habit. Both have different requirements in terms of location and fertilization. The most important difference, however, lies in the wintering.
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When planting, drainage is essential to protect the club lily from waterlogging and thus also from root rot. Perlite, volcanic rock or coarse sand can be used as drainage material. This then forms the bottom layer in the planter. A suitable substrate is then placed on top of the drainage system.
This should be loose and humus, with a pH value of around 6. Commercially available potting soil is also suitable, but cactus soil is also suitable. You can also mix commercial potted plant soil with sand and clay granules in a ratio of 3: 1: 1. After the club lily has been planted, the whole thing is well watered. The club lily should be transplanted after 3-4 years, preferably in spring.
types The warmth-loving types of the club lily need a light to partially shaded location with consistently warm temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees and a relatively high humidity all year round. Full sun should be avoided. In locations with too little light, green, variegated varieties of club lily usually turn green.
Cold house species
In contrast to the warmth-loving species, cold- loving species can stand outside throughout the summer if the temperatures allow it, as early as April. However, they should be used carefully to the sun. In winter, locations with temperatures of around 8-12 degrees are ideal. The location should be bright or partially shaded both in summer and in winter, although these species cannot tolerate blazing sun either. A humidity of 50% is sufficient here.
Watering and fertilizing
Water is abundant during the main growth phase, March to October. The root ball should always be slightly damp and not dry out completely between the individual waterings. Excess water that collects in the coaster must be removed.
The irrigation water should be as low in lime as possible and at room temperature. In addition to watering, the club lily should be sprayed with water from time to time both in summer and in winter to counteract pest infestation. During the resting phase in winter, water is only moderately poured.
The cold house types can be fertilized from April to August, about every two weeks with a low-dose green plant fertilizer or in April with a 4-6 month long-term fertilizer. In addition, a balanced complex fertilizer can be administered with the irrigation water between May and September. Fertilization can be dispensed with in winter.
Warm house plants can be fertilized all year round. In winter, from November to the end of February, fertilization is only applied once a month and then only in a lower concentration.
Artificial fertilizers should be avoided as far as possible with the club lily, because they usually contain salts and / or chlorine, which this plant does not tolerate. Natural fertilizers are the better alternative.
Club lilies that have grown too big can easily be cut back. Below the intersection, the plant usually sprouts again in multiple shoots, so that sometimes real splendid specimens emerge.
Warm house plants such as Cordyline ‘fruticosa’ also need temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees in winter, although the darker and red-leaved varieties are less sensitive. In addition, the winter quarters should be bright without direct sunlight. Warm house types are also fertilized once a month in winter.
The cold house types such as Cordyline ‘australis’ or Cordyline ‘indivisia’ can cope with significantly low temperatures between 5 and 12 degrees in winter. They are usually the more robust species and can be left outside for the summer.
The Cordyline ‘australis’ variety should be frost-hardy down to -10 degrees, but frost-free overwintering is still recommended. Cold house species do not have to be fertilized in winter. Watering should be reduced significantly and the plants should be sprayed with water from time to time.
can be done in January / February. Before sowing, it is advisable to soak the seeds in room warm water for about 24 hours. Then they are placed in a suitable seeding substrate, if necessary in an indoor greenhouse and about 1.0 cm covered with substrate and lightly pressed.
The substrate can consist of nutrient-poor unit soil, mixed with sand or perlite, which makes it well-drained. After sowing, the substrate is moistened and covered with translucent film or glass and placed in a warm place. Direct sunlight should be avoided.
Since the club lily or its seeds need a lot of warmth, soil temperatures of around 23-26 degrees are required for germination. This can be ensured, for example, with a room greenhouse with floor heating or by placing it on a heating mat, because a correspondingly high floor temperature is crucial for germination.
It takes about 5-6 weeks for germination. When the young seedlings are about 7-10 cm tall and have 1-2 leaves, they can be separated. You should be very careful not to damage the fine roots. It is best to cultivate the young plants in small pots until spring and only transplant them into larger planters when the pots are well rooted.
With head cuttings
Propagation via head cuttings is possible from spring to summer. To do this, cuttings 5-10 cm long are cut at an angle, if possible half a centimeter below a knot. Ultimately, the cuttings should have 4-6 leaves and two knots.
The bottom two leaves are then removed and the cuttings are inserted into a loose and not too nutrient-rich substrate, for example made of peat or moist sand, and watered. The substrate should not dry out but also not be too wet, otherwise the cutting could rot. In order to form roots, the cuttings now need uniform soil temperatures of at least 24 degrees and high humidity.
By trunk cuttings
- For propagation via stem cuttings you need 7-12 cm long stem pieces.
- These are cut from the respective plant in spring.
- The fresh interfaces should be treated with charcoal powder if possible.
- When cutting, make sure that the leaf nodes are in the middle of the cutting.
- After the cut, let the interfaces dry off a bit!
- Then place the stem cuttings horizontally with the buds up in the moist propagation substrate.
- Roots and leaves soon develop from the buds.
- Then the new plants can be repotted or planted.
Diseases and pests
rot Heart rot occurs mainly in inadequately ventilated winter quarters. You can recognize them by their yellowed, withered heart leaves. The only thing that can help here is a radical cut back into healthy tissue.
Small white webs on the plant can indicate an infestation with spider mites. An infestation is often caused by insufficient humidity. Systemic agents in the form of crop protection sprays can be used for control. As a preventive measure, you can regularly spray the plants with water, especially in winter.
If the winter is too warm, scale insects can under certain circumstances become infested. They can be recognized by small brown labels on and under the leaves or the leaf veins. As the infestation progresses, the leaves cripple, change color and fall off.
Affected plants should be separated from healthy ones as soon as possible. An infestation can be effectively combated with oil-based pesticides. Otherwise, you can also use systemic agents in the form of sprays or sticks.
A mealybird infestation shows up in small, white, cotton wool-like webs and traces of honeydew. Even with a mealybug infestation, the affected plants should be isolated from the others as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading.
Preparations containing no oil are particularly suitable for combating this. However, systemic plant protection agents that should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions are also possible here.
Most common varieties
Cordyline ‘australis’ This exotic-looking club lily is a maximum of 150 cm high in the tub and is characterized by a dense crown with slightly overhanging, sword-shaped leaves about 1 m long and 5 cm wide. Depending on the type of culture, these can have different green colors or be speckled. With age, the panicle-like inflorescences appear with white or cream-colored single flowers, followed by white or pale blue berries. Blended specimens of this type of cold house grow much more slowly and with multiple shoots.
Cordyline ‘fructicosa’ When fully grown
, this demanding club lily species resembles a palm-like shrub and is between 0.80 and 150 cm tall. The glossy, lanceolate stalked and clearly veined leaves appear at the end of the trunk. There are numerous cultivated forms of this type of warm house, the leaves of which differ in length, width, color and pattern. With the exception of the ‘Red Edge’ variety, which remains relatively small, all other species of the Cordyline ‘fructicosa’ grow more bushy. The fragrant white inflorescences appear between March and May.
The long leaves of this majestic plant can be more than 10 cm wide and colored yellow and orange in young specimens. The fragrant white flowers of this club lily appear in early summer. Small blue berries emerge from these flowers in autumn. The plant becomes about 140 cm high. Its leaves are over 10 cm wide and have a clearly defined red central rib. The Cordyline ‘indivisa’ is often confused with the Cordyline ‘australis’, whereby the ‘indivisa’ has much wider leaves.
The club lily is a very demanding plant, which in Germany is mostly grown in pots. A wrong location can be just as dangerous for her as too intensive or too little watering. In places that are too dark, variegated species turn green relatively quickly. Club lilies are hardly or not at all frost hardy in this country, whereby the red-leaved varieties are more robust than the green-leaved ones. Accordingly, a frost-free wintering is recommended.