I have received a very interesting email from a reader (Mr/Ms H. M.L.) with questions as per captioned and whether I add Epsom salt &/or coffee to my soil.
In reply: I have never tried forcing “baby roots” to grow but you have actually triggered my curiosity with that question. I think it’s time for a new experiment. No, I have not added Epsom salt and yes, I do add used ground coffee to my soil.
However, IF you have 2 very matured plants and are willing to try getting “babies” out of them, you have 2 options.*
Land-babies sprouting from a chopped off “old” stalk which has had its trunk and aerial roots buried about 1 ft in rich composted manure and then mulched to retain moisture,
or Aqua-babies, which are growing from a stalk being rooted in water. These small plants were just green spots when the stalk was submerged and to me that indicated potential growth.
These will grow in (yes, under) water until they are tall enough to be exposed above soil when I bury all the water cultivated (white-hair like) roots in soil.
We have just had the Summer Solstice and I think the Pandan plants are feeling the Moon’s magnetic charge. See some of the parent plants with their “babies”.
So, Mr/Ms H. M.L., I can’t answer your main question about forced growth of baby roots yet but … that will be my experiment for 2018.
Thank you for igniting that flame of curiosity. 😉
*Forewarning: If your plants die because of poor handling, bad soil, infertility, etc … don’t blame me. Try at your own risk.
My routine of cultivating the Pandan plant (Pandanus Amaryllifolius) from matured ones is to carefully clip off the babies which have strong aerial roots and (as in an earlier post) develop more roots in water.
Of late I have been receiving inquiries about what happens thereafter, what containers would be best to use and how to know when the roots are matured enough to be repotted or planted into the ground. This is not professional advice or what nurseries might do ~ it’s strictly my method, OK? (So no finger pointing and lawsuits please, try at your own plant’s risk.)
After sufficient roots have developed in water (in about 3 weeks) I plant them in potting soil with a pinch of epsom salt. I use disposal drinking cups as I find them deep, thin, pliable, light and reusable. I make a small hole in the base for drainage using a hot skewer.
The depth allows roots to grow with gravity ~ downwards.
And these soft cups allow me to wet the soil, gently press their sides and slide the “baby” plants out to monitor their root growth.
Nice long matured roots …
When the roots reach the cup’s base and grows in shape of its circumference, then I know it’s ready to leave its nursery-cup to go into a pot.
As the Spring weather warms, Pandan plants will grow staggeringly fast, like in the tropics. As I went around checking what I call the big bunches, like the one below, I realized the “children” were just as big as their mother plants.
Overcrowding stuns growth.
The young adult plants had matured aerial roots so it was time for them to leave home so that Mama-Pandan can build strength to produce more.
Those are big & strong aerial roots!
1 even had its own soil roots already, screaming to be repotted.
This one has matured soil roots …
Potted right away.
I hope to get 12-15 young adult Pandan plants “harvested” in the next 2 days & they will be left in pots of water to develop roots as per my usual method. Then, into soil pots for about a month to be stabilized and after that my new project begins ~ a Pandan & Lemongrass hedge along the backyard boundary to hopefully repel those (darn) wild rabbits and raccoons in the area. It will also hopefully be my perennial supply of aromatic kitchen needs.
13 days ago, I cut off several off-shoots or ‘babies’ of my Pandan plants (Pandanus Amaryllifolius) to prepare them for planting in soil. My intent, I repeat, was/is not to convert them to hydroponic plants but to stimulate root growth so that they can be planted in soil, grown normally and fed with (preferably) organic fertilizers.
The matured cut-offs, as expected, presented no problems and are developing nice strong roots.
New strong root growth.
The smaller ones I usually watch carefully to make sure the water level is always high enough, covering their root area. The result …
Nice strong roots!
It’s so easy… isn’t it?
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.
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.
Parent plant with offshoots