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