The Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant (Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’) Care Guide


The Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant, otherwise known as the Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ or Cabbage Palm ‘Red Star’, Cabbage Tree ‘Red Star’, New Zealand Cabbage Palm ‘Red Star’, New Zealand Dragon Plant ‘Red Star’, Palm Lily ‘Red Star’, Red Grass Palm, is a rather well known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this tree will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its multicolored colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant are the following:

  • Water: The Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family, the genus Cordyline and the species Australis, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ (kop-ROS-muh).

As with other Cordyline’s, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is a plant native to the New Zeland.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 10 – 11 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a and the ideal climate zone is between 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, how big does the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ can grow up to 10′ – 20′ (3m – 6m) in 10′ – 20′ (3m – 6m) and 5′ – 10′ (150cm – 3m) in 5′ – 10′ (150cm – 3m). 

Water

In terms of watering, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low to average needs in terms of water. 

Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant gardening

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

The Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ in 

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.

Foliage

The leaves from the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant have a beautiful multicolored color during most of the year.

Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant branchy

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant is well known for its tolerance to salt, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ will be fine.

Garden

How should you then organize your garden to include your new Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’ owners agree that this tree will look great in most contemporary and tropical gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of coastal garden, city and courtyard, and in mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a coastal exposure, or a hedge.

Companion Plants

Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Pennisetum, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Cordyline will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Rainbow Surprise Mirror Plant, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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