Red Sensation

“Red Sensation”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

I admit it.  I am a plantaholic.  I can’t go near a nursery without buying something.  I should have a bumper sticker that says “I brake for nurseries!”

I have already written about last Saturday when my sister and I went on our garden field trip, so you already know that I bought a Yuletide sasanqua camellia.  I also bought a cordyline ‘Red Sensation’.  The cultivar has the word “red” in its name, but it really doesn’t look “red”.  In fact, it looks more like a milk chocolate or a deep burgundy.


The owner of the small nursery where I purchased this plant said it was hardy in our area.  I have looked it up on several websites and most say it is hardy to zone 7, but a few say only to zone 10.  I am not sure which hardiness zone is correct, so I decided I will plant it in a container until I am definitely sure it will survive the winter.


Since this cordyline reaches about three feet tall, I think it will look good in a dark gray urn planter I have.  I was thinking about adding some ivy or asparagus fern as the spilling plant, and then put in some pink petunias for the winter.  I think the pink will look good next to this bronzy foliage and the dark gray container.  I have the asparagus fern and the ivy, I’ll just need to go get some pale pink petunias and have dear hubby drill some drainage holes in the urn, and this planting will then be complete.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this little project by the weekend and post some photos.

If, after this winter, I find out that this definitely is hardy here, then into the ground it will go, and maybe I’ll get two more to fill in some bare areas in the ‘pink’ garden.  It should look good with the loropetalum.  This would then fit nicely into my plan to have more colorful perennials in the garden.



  1. nancybond said,

    November 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    This should look stunning in your pink garden! I hope it overwinters well for you.

  2. November 4, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I agree, this would really look good in a garden with pink flowers around it. It’s quite an accent.

  3. Jan said,

    November 4, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I think it will, Nancy, but I am keeping it in a container to make sure.

    Thanks, Carol, for the vote of confidence in my choice of colors.

  4. November 4, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Nahhhhhh, you’re not a plant-a-holic at all! 😉


  5. Jean said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Jan, I have the ‘Red Star’ variety of cordyline in a pot and it has survived a couple of winters (in the north part of the state). However, once it starts really staying cold, I overwinter it in a plastic unheated “greenhouse”. I think the combination you’re proposing sounds terrific.

  6. tina said,

    November 4, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    A very nice architectural plant.

  7. Jan said,

    November 5, 2008 at 5:29 am

    I don’t know, Alexandra. Here we are heading into winter, and I am still buying plants that may need to be protected after I said I was going to stop having so many tender plants. Maybe this isn’t an ‘illness’ but therapy, and I need a lot of therapy. LOL.

    Jean, thanks for the heads up on the hardiness of ‘Red Star’. From what I read, ‘Red Sensation’ is a little more hardy, so, I guess it would be fine to plant in the ground come spring. Something for me to think about.

    Tina, it is a nice architectural plant, so it should make a container grouping a little more dramatic.

  8. fairegarden said,

    November 5, 2008 at 5:44 am

    Hi Jan, plantaholics anonymous here! HA They are selling that here in zone 7 right now too. I have one in a pot that was planted in spring, as I have done many times. They have lasted a long time but seem to turn to mush by January and I yank them out then. I love the architectural quality and the color. Maybe next time one should go in the ground. I didn’t realize there were so many varieties of reds with such a difference in hardiness. Must pay closer attention to the tags! ;->

  9. Brenda Kula said,

    November 5, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Oh, I love it! I may have to have one myself. It is very different. Love the color. It will be beautiful as contrast.

  10. Jan said,

    November 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Hey, Frances, I know I am not the only gardener with the problem of buying plants. It is an occupational hazard. I, too, fell in love with the color and would have bought three instead of just one if I could have been assured it was truly hardy. I did read that they will return from the roots, so it might be an idea that they do need to be in the ground. I guess I’ll see by next spring.

    Brenda, I think this will be a great addition to a garden. I can imagine it right off you garden room.

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