How to Care for Pandan Plant

YisalleDecember 30, 2012

A friend of mine gave me the gift of a pandan plant for Christmas. It's in a small pot, looks root bound and has yellowing and wilting leaves. I'm pretty confident it can recover only this is the first time I've ever seen a pandan so I don't know anything beyond rudimentary information. I know it likes humid environments and shade. I know it's used in cooking but what I really want to know is how to keep it alive and help it recover:

What kind of mix should I repot it into?

How often do I water it?

What ferlizer will it accept?

Information on the net and in books is pretty sparse and my friend admits he doesn't know how to care for it either.

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There's a lot of different Pandanus species, hundreds in fact, but if yours is the one used in cooking it would be Pandanus amarylifolius. I have that one as well. They are easy to grow but in your situation heat could be a problem. I think they really need to be kept warm. Mine is in fairly poor soil and never gets fertiliser but is looking good. So probably wouldn't need any more than an occasional dose of an all purpose balanced fertiliser. Too much fertiliser could produce leaf burn so I wouldn't be tempted to give high dosages. Mine is in shade but I've never heard whether they need more sun or not. Bottom leaves tend to die off and fall but that's common with all Pandanus. Keep it moist. Many pandanus grow in swamps or very wet conditions, however, I don't know what the natural habitat is for this one. So safest is to have it in a free draining soil and just keep damp. I think you'll find it's an easy grower.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 10:50PM
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high ambient moisture, high level of heat, moving air and more sun exposure increases plants transpiration rate and its nutrients uptake; in conjunction with heavy episodic fertilization rate, and dry air alone will cause the tip of the foliage to be burned.
while the lower leaves normally and generally wilt due to old age.
of course, you have to consider this and that particular plant if it's more specialized in this and that culture.
(pandanus amarylifolius, the only pandanus species with aromatic leaves here in the hot, humid tropics can withstand full sun when established, if given weak, episodic solution of fertilizer, and lots of water, and if ventilated well.)

for the medium, a free-draining soil mix is the rule of the thumb for most plants, as it prevents water logging, which can suffocate and kill the plant roots.
you can water the plant when an inch to the soil column is dry to the touch, but do no try to underwater as it can cause undersirable damage to the plant.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Thank you for the advice! Do you think a 5-1-1 mix would suit it? I will try to give it as much sun and mist it as regularly as I can. I wanted to wait until the spring time to repot it, but the pot it's in is so small for the plant that it tipped over during the night.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 12:08PM
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