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Hawaiian ti is a tropical plant that is also known by the name "good luck" plant. It is a rather tall plant, typically growing to heights of 4 to 6 feet (approx. 1 to 2 meters), though in optimum outdoor conditions, it can sometimes grow as tall as 10 feet (3 meters). It is similar to a palm tree, with a tall trunk ending in bunches of long shiny leaves. The Hawaiian ti is believed to be native to areas of Southeast Asia, but is now grown all over the world both as an indoor and outdoor plant. It is considered easy to care for, and due to the beauty of its multicolored leaves, it's a popular choice for many homes and gardens.
The leaves of the Hawaiian ti can be a variety of colors, primarily green and burgundy. The surfaces of the fronds are often a combination of both colors, and may include streaks of beige, gold, and red. When flowering, the aromatic blooms are usually reddish or golden in color, and full-grown plants may produce fruit in the form of small inedible berries.
Regardless of whether the Hawaiian ti is being grown indoors or out, it generally requires a lot of sun. If indoors, the plant should be placed in front of, or in line with, a window. Outdoors, it should generally be planted in an area that received at least a half day of sunlight. Lower light will not kill the plants, but they probably will not grow as tall, nor will they develop full color. The number of blooms and the variation in leaf color is believed to be directly related to the amount of sun the plant receives.
Hawaiian ti should normally be watered before the soil has dried out. Allowing the soil to completely dry can cause scorching and may even kill the plant. The plants thrive in humidity, so misting is good idea, especially during times of low rainfall. It is considered best to use distilled water without fluoride, as fluoride can cause the foliage to wilt and darken.
The plant is quite sensitive to temperature. If planting the Hawaiian ti outdoors, it shouldn't be exposed to temperatures below 54 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). Planting should not be attempted until very warm weather, generally late spring or early summer. In winter, the plants should generally be moved indoors or into a heated green house.
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