Clapham Garden (Part 2: Moving A Cordyline Australis)


Two very Clapham features of our Clapham garden are two Cordyline australis trees (originating from New Zealand). The green one was smack bang in the middle of the main bed and starting to lean out across the patio. In Feb while it was still cold but after frosts I moved it over to the back right corner to sit next to the dark red tree. Personally I think this helps add structure to one corner of the bed and contrasts nicely with the other tree.

If you’d like to move a Cordyline tree it’s much easier than other trees because the root forms one big ball near the base like a palm, so you just need to water heavily, dig around to find the root mass and clear soil without damaging the roots. Have the hole ready where you want to place it, carry over, surround with soil again to the same level, stamp down to firm up and water again. Do it in early spring while it’s still dormant. This is obviously easier to do when the tree is still small.

The good thing about Cordylines is that they grow tall on thin trunks allowing light to still reach the ground below for other plants.

6 thoughts on “Clapham Garden (Part 2: Moving A Cordyline Australis)

  1. My parents have a 10 ft Cordyline Australis which has 3 other similar sized cordys growing from the base. They are against a concrete based fence and in a small area of soil which has lots of stones to drain it. Mum uses blood and fish bone to feed them and they’re beautiful. Mum wants to let me and my sister each take one for our gardens but we are unsure how and don’t want to hurt it. It is so healthy but mum is concerned the rear two trees are being pressed against the fence and aren’t thriving the same. She wants it taking back to just two trunks . Also one has grown a mini one at its base. It cute. Can this be safely cut from the tree or not. Thank you and sorry for long questions

    1. I would love to know the answer to this question as well. I have a very tall and mature tree and a smaller one roughly ten foot in height that has grown out of the base. I would love to move it but I’m unsure if it has its own root ball and I don’t want to damage either tree!!!

      1. If you follow it down you’ll see if it’s separate but it is highly unlikely, they just grow from the trunk.

  2. If you check , you should be able to see whether the new growths have formed their own roots below the soil surface and if this is the case, you can detach the new shoots with their roots and pot on separately. If not, give it another year or so and check again.

    Otherwise, treat it as a multi stemmed plant and enjoy it.

  3. I had herd CA was notoriously difficult to transplant and most plants died within a few months of being moved. How did yours do after the move? Asking because I need to move mine…

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