To this genus belong about ten species of plants or shrubs, originating from Polynesia, Asia, Africa and Australia; in nature the Pandano reaches even eight meters in height, while grown in container is kept below three meters. It has a thorny stem, thick and vigorous, erect, which tends, with the time, to ramify in a fairly regular way; on the apex of each branch, develops a group of leaves, spirally placed.
The long leaves of the pandan can reach up to two meters, are linear, very sharp, light green in color, have thorns on the central ribs. The pandans produce numerous aerial roots, thick, along the whole stem; in the wild, they produce also white inflorescences and big, edible, globular fruits. In the places of origin, these plants are utilized for the alimentation, the leaves are intertwined for making baskets and carpets, the roots are utilized in herbalist shops.
The Pandanus veitchii need to be placed in a very bright place, but they fear a little direct sunlight during the hottest months of the year. In winter they should be placed indoors or in a warm greenhouse, with temperatures of not less than 15-18°C. If desired, during the summer months it is possible to place the plant outside, protecting it from the sun during the months of July and August.
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From March to October, water the Pandano plants abundantly and regularly, always letting the soil dry between one watering and the other to prevent the formation of water stagnations that can cause dangerous root rot in a short time; during the cold months, water sporadically, only when the soil is well dry.
These plants are native to tropical areas, to simulate the wet environment that they can find in nature is good to remember to vaporize the foliage often, throughout the year, preferably using demineralized water. During the vegetative period, it is advisable to provide fertilizer for green plants, every 20-30 days.
Cultivate Pandanus veitchii plants in containers filled with leaf, humus and peat soil, mixed with a little sand and crushed bark, so as to obtain a fertile substrate rich in organic matter, well drained and retaining a little moisture but without allowing the formation of water stagnations. The pandans develop quite slowly, but it is good to repot them often, at least every two years, in order to furnish a fresh soil, rich of organic substances, which allow the best development.
It is possible to propagate the specimens of Pandano using the seeds, which are difficult to find, however, the plant sometimes produces the suckers at the base, which can be detached and rooted easily, in spring and summer you can make leaf cuttings, to be placed in special containers with a mixture of soil and sand, to be kept in a sheltered area and with a constant temperature and pleasant.
Pandano – Pandanus veitchii: Parasites and diseases
Pandanus veitchii plants are often affected by cochineal and root rot. To eliminate the cochineals you can intervene directly with a pad soaked in alcohol to pass on the affected areas, but if the attack is widespread, it is better to provide a treatment with special insecticide products. For root rot, check that the soil allows good drainage and reduce the frequency of watering or, provide less water.