More on Pandan

In the past week I have received a few inquiries about Pandan or Pandanus Amaryllifolius. For those who have lived in the Tropics and are now in Temperate zones, I can only advise to treat your newly bought/acquired Pandan differently. Do not plant them in the ground in full sun or unsheltered. Where it is low in humidity, the air is thinner and the leaves will get sunburned or freckly.

Part sun, part shade in spring.

Part sun, part shade in spring.

Do not over-water as undrained soil can cause root rot. It is best to plant in a container, move to a conducive spot in summer & bring indoors in winter.

Unfortunately I have a waitlist for the “babies” which I am right now cultivating. Should you have a matured pandan & want more to plant around your house, inspect your plants.

'pregnant' plants,

‘pregnant’ plants’

IF you have a pregnant plant, now is the time to watch and feed them with high nitrogen fertilizers. Type of fertilizer is your choice. Warm weather hastens baby plants’ growth.

IF you have a matured plant already branching out and with aerial roots, now is the time to be brave with cutters.

Keep the parent plant intact and cut off the ‘offshoots’ with as many aerial roots attached as possible. Help them to grow strong roots for their soil planting.

Parent plant with 'branches'

Parent plant with offshoots

Matured and young cutoffs will only need water with pinches of epsom salt (& your patience) to develop lots of beautiful, healthy roots for soil planting.

young plants in water with some stones to support

young plants in water with some stones to support

larger plants in larger water containers

larger plants in larger water containers

And put them all in shaded areas but with sunlight around …

my pandan nursery corner

my pandan nursery corner

Water & pinch of epsom salt, change water every 3 days so as not to breed mosquitoes and there you have it. That’s how I cultivate pandan in zone 9.

I have also been asked: Why keep in water when cultivating but later on not to over-water?
My answer: The water & epsom salt is to help grow more roots, not more leaves, not a larger plant. The plant needs soil, minerals, micro-organisms, etc to allow plant growth and with too much water, especially stagnant & poor run-off, organisms die, soil gets clumpy, moldy, no aeration … & roots rot.
Horti-experts might provide a different answer.

Update:  Just in case readers who are not familiar with the Pandan plant wonder what I do with all those leaves, 1 example is tonight’s dinner.  Pandan leaves adding aroma to Indian Basmati Rice with Sesame Oil.

Sesame Pandan Rice ready for the cooker.

Sesame Pandan Rice ready for the cooker.


3 responses to “More on Pandan

  1. Hi,
    I am from Canada. I have a pandanus plant growing in pot for nearly four years in my garage. My plant has no baby with aerial roots but the do have 3 new growths in between the leaves. Can I cut them with their stems and root them in water with rooting hormone and epsom salt. Thank you.


    • Sorry for late reply. You can try but it would be high risk. The reason I wait for aerial root(s) is because it indicates that baby is almost ready to feed itself. Does your pandan get sufficient sunlight? As this is a plant of the tropics, its growth is slower when in cooler regions. Good luck with your attempt to cut-&-root. I’d love to hear if it works.


      • Hi, I went and cut one stem out and found out that there were 2 small aerial roots. I did it on March 24th, I soaked it in water and will let you know how it goes. My pandanus does not get a lot of sunlight. I grow it in my heated garage. The temperature is kept at 20 degree celsius. Thank you for your reply.


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