When and How to Water Ti Plants (Cordyline fruticosa)

Ti plants are tropical plants that add bright foliage and a touch of luck to homes and offices. While taking care of these plants is relatively easy, providing the proper amount of water is essential to helping them thrive. Keep reading to learn more about the role of water in plants and how to properly water your ti plant.

When and How to Water Ti Plants (Cordyline fruticosa)

When and How to Water Ti Plants (Cordyline fruticosa) – The Essentials

You should water ti plants when the top two inches of soil are dry. Depending on the temperature, humidity, and time of year, you can expect to water once every one to two weeks. Use rainwater or tap water and apply until the soil is fully saturated.

About Ti Plants

About Ti Plants

The ti plant is also known as the good luck plant, palm lily, cabbage palm, or cordyline plant. It’s a member of the asparagus family and has the scientific name Cordyline fruticosa.

Outdoors, the plant grows as a large shrub or small tree with multiple thin, long trucks. At the end of the trunks are fan-shaped clusters of elongated leaves. Depending on the type of plant, the leaves may be a combination of green and pink, purple or yellow.

If conditions are right, it will produce long clusters of flowers that eventually turn into red berries.

The plants are thought to be native to regions in the South Pacific, including New Guinea, Bangladesh, and South China. They have since spread to other tropical areas, including Hawaii and New Zealand. 

When grown in containers indoors, it typically maxes out at about six feet tall.

The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development

The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development

Like all living organisms, you probably know that plants need water to survive and grow. But have you ever thought about why they need water?

Plants use water for hundreds of different processes, so we won’t cover them all. However, we will highlight a few important ones.

Water is crucial for photosynthesis—the process plants use to convert energy from the sun into sugars. During this process, plants use the sun’s energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, oxygen, and water.

Plants also need water to complete transpiration. During this process, plants release water through leaf pores called stomata which in turn cools the plant. As plants transpire, they also draw more water up through their roots.

Water is also essential for the movement of nutrients and sugars throughout the plant. If there is not enough water present, a plant may develop signs of nutrient deficiencies.

What Type of Water is Best for Ti Plants?

Ti plants can be sensitive to fluoride and other compounds found in tap water. Therefore, it’s best to water them with rainwater or filtered water.

When to Water Ti Plants

When to Water Ti Plants

How Do You Know When a Ti Plant Needs Watering?

Ti plants like soil that is moist but not saturated. Therefore, you should water them when the top few inches of soil is dry.

While drooping and yellowing leaves may indicate that your plant needs to be watered, they can also mean the soil is too wet. Therefore, the soil moisture level is the best way to determine whether or not your plant needs water. 

How to Check When to Water Ti Plants

As mentioned above, you can check the soil moisture level to determine if your ti plant needs water.

An easy way to do this is by sticking your finger into the soil near the base of your plant. If the top two inches are dry, it’s time to water. If they are still moist, you should wait to water them.

Another way to check if you need to water is by feeling the weight of your pot. However, this is best for smaller plants and pots. 

This method involves picking up a pot that was just watered and taking note of its weight. When the planter feels noticeably lighter, it’s time to water.

How Often Do Ti Plants Typically Need Watering?

In general, indoor ti plants need to be watered every one to two weeks. As we’ll discuss below, the exact timing depends on various factors.

Environmental Considerations That May Impact Watering Cycles

The environment can greatly impact how often you’ll need to water your ti plant. Keep the following in mind when you are determining a proper watering schedule.


A higher temperature (or plants exposed to bright light) leads to higher rates of transpiration. This means that a plant is losing water at a higher rate and will need to be watered more often.


Higher humidity decreases transpiration. Therefore, you’ll need to water your plants less often when the humidity is high.

Size of Plant

Larger plants will release more water than smaller plants, so they will need more water. However, larger plants are also often in larger pots that hold more water. So, you may not need to water large plants more frequently than you would smaller plants.

Seasonal Considerations That May Affect Watering Cycles

Changing seasons can also impact how often you’ll need to water your ti plant. Plants tend to grow more slowly in the winter, so you’ll need to water your plants less often.

However, if your house is very warm and dry in the winter, you may need to water more often.

How to Water Ti Plants

How to Water Ti Plants

You can choose to top water or bottom water your ti plant.

If you choose to top water, slowly add water to the soil while avoiding pouring water on the plant’s trunks or foliage. Stop when you see water spilling out of the bottom of the pot. Empty any water that has settled in a catch dish.

Bottom watering involves filling a dish with water and then sitting your pot in the water. For this to work, the pot’s drainage holes must be sitting in the water. Once you see the top of the soil is moist, you can remove the pot from the water-filled dish.

Signs You Might be Overwatering Your Ti Plants

Yellowing leaves, constantly wet soil, drooping leaves, rotten roots, and soft stems are all signs that you may be overwatering. Since various factors can cause discolored leaves, it’s best to check soil moisture levels before you assume you are overwatering.

Signs You Might be Underwatering Your Ti Plants

Signs You Might be Underwatering Your Ti Plants

If you aren’t watering your ti plant enough, you may notice drooping leaves, yellowing leaves, or leaves with brown tips. Constantly dry soil can also indicate that you are not watering enough.

Watering Ti Plants FAQs: 

Should You Consider Misting Ti Plants In Between Watering Cycles?

While misting can temporarily increase the humidity around your ti plant, it can also lead to disease issues. Therefore, you do not need to mist your plant between waterings.

Will Ti Plants Benefit From Sitting On a Humidity Tray?

What are the most common signs Ti Plants need watering?

What is the best way to water Ti Plants?

How much water do Ti Plants need? 

What do I do if I overwater my Ti Plants?

Can I water my Ti Plants with tap water? 

Watering Ti Plants – Wrapping Up

Aim to keep your ti plant’s soil moist but not saturated. Plan to water your plant every one to two weeks, depending on environmental factors. Take note of the soil moisture level and how it changes with the seasons. Until you get a good feel for how often your plant needs to be watered, you should check the soil moisture every few days.

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