cordyline charlie boy leaf detail bordeaux and pink

Cordyline australis Charlie Boy

Cordyline australis 'Charlie Boy' is a must have plant for your garden. The extremely colourful bright pink and deep purple burgundy or bordeaux foliage will brighten your garden year round.

Although it looks like like it shouldn't be left out in the winter cold it can actually stand the winter snow and frosts taking temperatures as low as -9°c according to the extensive Irish Cordyline trials making it one of the hardiest if not the hardiest Cordyline for British gardens.

tropical looking cordylines

It's eventual height is 2.5 metres forming a sturdy trunk. It foliage spreads to about a metre and other than the pink foliage colouring will look the same as the standard Cordyline Cabbage Palm you see growing in Devon and Cornwall.

Take a look at our Cordyline page which includes details on individual forms hardiness.

Why buy Cordyline Charlie Boy

The Charlie Boy Cordyline will brighten up your garden and being frost hardy and evergreen will provide year round colour. It is a good alternative or addition to the colourful Phormiums as it tends to handle low temperatures and cold winds better.

Cordyline Charlie Boy UK

Charlie Boy is available in the UK but it does look very similar to Cordyline Pink Passion. Although the similarities are striking It is worth seeking out Charlie Boy as it is far more cold hardy then Pink Passion.

Cordylines and extreme cold

charlie boy adds to the tropical jungle effect

The winter of 2017 to 2018 saw my Phormiums suffer some damage from the cold easterly winds where as my Cordylines were fine.

One of the issues with growing Cordylines in the UK are the occasional very cold winters and bitterly cold strong winds we get from Europe. In The winter of 2010 to 2011 parts of the country experienced very low temperatures that wiped out many of the larger more established specimens.

pink striped charlie boy cordyline

As I have mentioned C. australis 'Charlie Boy' is as hardy as they come. You can however provide protection such as fleecing and mulching in the rare extremes of weather. Planting in a dry raised area of your garden will avoid the cold damp ground many evergreens dislike. A sheltered position will also offer protection from cold easterly winds.

Low maintenance

charlie boy pink in april

It is a low maintenance plant. You can leave it and be completely hands off. However they do look better when you remove the lower older leaves as it forms a trunk making it look more tidy.

Brightly coloured foliage is also a good alternative to flowers that tend to be short lived and off course require far less maintenance and watering.

The Brief History of Charlie Boy

charlie boy and cordyline red star

It was discovered in the late nineties amongst a batch of standard green Cordylines as a seedling by John Richards. Pat Fitzgerald Of Fitzgerald Nurseries then brought the plant into production. The plant is named after John's father Charles George Richards who was known as Charlie Boy. The name was also chosen to differentiate it from other pink forms of Cordyline australis.

The plant is also winner of the Bronze Medal Plantarium 2009.