I recently purchased a ti (Cordyline minalis) plant last year over the summer and it was growing fine. Unfortunately it became infested with spider mites and quickly began to die.

I got rid of the mites, changed the soil from miracle grow indoor mix to miracle grow succulent mix and pruned the plant. I changed the soil because even before the mites when watered my plant wouldn't drain properly and would remain wet.

I also only placed enough soil to cover the roots. However my plant hasn't been able to recover, do you have any advice on what I should do to help my plant I'm willing to continue to try to save it. I included pictures of my plant before and now

Healthy Cordyline

Cordyline with leaf loss

1 Answer 1


I would not put it in water; I suggest you get some new potting soil asap, a pot with drainage holes that is big enough to house what roots there are on the bottom of the one stem that appears to still have life in it without cramping or bending the roots, and pot it up properly, making sure the roots are all buried properly, and planting it no deeper than it was originally,as it was before you did this with it. Water in thoroughly, letting excess water drain away freely, then stand somewhere with bright light or sunlight. Water again only if it starts growing and if/when the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch, and always empty any outer pot or tray afterwards so the plant is not left sitting in water.

You don't say where you are in the world, but when the weather warms up, if the plant survives, it will benefit from being outdoors as long as temperatures are reasonably high, particularly at night. It's impossible to tell from the first image whether spider mites or something else were present or not; some evidence of something is visible, but the colour of the picture makes it impossible to tell what - what precisely did you do to get rid of the 'spider mites'? Regardless, spider mites are common on indoor plants because of overly dry and warm/hot air, so monitor the plant ongoing if it recovers to make sure they aren't a problem again. If you have other houseplants, check that they do not have spider mites too

  • I did some research on placing the plant in water and saw that it allowed the roots to regrow again. Alot of the roots have decayed on the plant and have become brittle. Also when the soil is watered it constantly remain wet. I have attempted to create air pockets within the soil by poking holes within the soil and titlting the pot to one side and gently tapping the pot so the roots can breathe. What potting soil do you recommend? I'm afraid to cover all the roots with soil due to the soil not draining. I'm scared it will be too much soil for tiny roots. Also what inch pot do you suggest?
    – Michelle
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 17:27
  • Yes in the picture it is hard to tell but I recorded a video of my plant and saw it was infected with spider mites. A while back my croton became infected so I am familiar with the signs of spider mites and their appearance. To get rid of the spider mites I used a mixture of dawn soap, distilled water, and apple cider vinegar. I only spray the mixture on the leaves and I am careful not allow the mixture to be consumed by the plant by covering the soil with a fabric prior to and wiping the plant clear of the mixture once I am done. My croton plant is growing well & free of mites.
    – Michelle
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 17:37
  • Perfectly ordinary potting soil should be fine - the critical thing is having a pot with drainage holes and not watering until it needs it and never leaving it sitting in water. What room temperature are you keeping it in - is it a heated room? As for size of pot, hard to say since I can't see the roots, but probably 13-15cm.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 21:48
  • Yes the room is heated and I have a humidifier placed next to the plant as well
    – Michelle
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 22:41
  • I only asked in case the room was cold, which would have kept the soil moist for longer.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 0:11

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