Tag Archives: Developing Pandan Roots in Water

Pandan ~ Can baby roots be forced to grow?

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.


Pandan ~ It’s Time to Divide & Spread

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.

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!

Those are big & strong aerial roots!

1 even had its own soil roots already, screaming to be repotted.

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.

Pandan Propagation (again) to keep it regrowing…

The summer heat is subsiding (thank goodness!) but it is still warm and humid ~ almost like in the tropics. What better time to propagate Pandan? (Please note this is Pandan Amaryllifolius and not any other kind of screwpine.)

Grandma Pandan

Grandma Pandan

My Pioneer Pandan which I have called Mama Pandan for a couple of years now will be renamed Grandma Pandan because her “babies” have since produced ample offshoots which I have potted and shared.

Notice that the top is crowded with offshoots and they just keep growing, adding weight to the main stem which is being tied to a pole/trellis for support.

She will be left there comfortably to re-grow more shoots but it is time to cut off a part of her main “trunk” or stem.

Health offshoot with thick aerial root

Healthy offshoot with thick aerial root

There is a healthy offshoot growing there with a thick aerial root close to it. That will be kept on Grandma to form the new plant.

The main stalk which has been cut.

The main stem which has been cut.


And all the others?
They come off.

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Preparing Pandan for Soil Planting

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.

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.

Nice strong roots!

It’s so easy… isn’t it?

Pandan Plants Springing to Life …

Pandan plants, or to use its horticultural name ~ Pandanus Amaryllifolius ~ simply love Florida spring weather. They just come alive!

I got an e-mail enquiring about my Pandan which kind of reminded me to do a close check, which in turn got me “freeing” and repotting some Pandan “babies”. (Suddenly I know what else to grow along the border of my small ongoing Garden Project.)

Babies which are ready to leave home.

Babies which are ready to leave home.

The little plants on the side have developed firm aerial roots and are ready for re-potting.

To ensure strong root growth development, upon cutting off, dip them in root hormone powder and plant in potting mix laced with some coffee-grounds.  From my experience, coffee-grounds, with so much nitrogen, actually gives the young-transplants a growth boost.

Place the pot in some water and allow it to absorb as much as needed then remove excess water after about 2 hours.

Potted in potting mix for root growth.

Potted in potting mix for root growth.

During winter, I leave “babies” untouched on their mother plants no matter how big they grow to, in case of frost and chill fronts.  Today, I see thick aerial roots but they too will be leaving their mothers.

More matured babies with good, strong aerial roots.

More matured babies with good, strong aerial roots.

These matured “babies” are the ones that can be kept in water for about a month to develop nice clean roots (to avoid bugs).  Bug-free roots make them excellent for pots indoors* by a window or door for some mild sunshine.
*Note: You need clean potting mix IF you choose to plant indoors and stay bug-free.

To develop roots in water, do avoid direct sunlight, especially noon sun, or their roots can actually get sunburned, and it is very important to change the water in their container every 3 days to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

Nice clean roots grown in water.

Nice clean roots developed in water from aerial roots … no soil ‘bugs’.

With lots of trimming and cutting, what better time to make some Pandan Pesto?!  Excellent for rice, cakes, puddings and even in green tea.  :mrgreen: