Ten species of plants or shrubs belong to this genus, originating in Polynesia, Asia, Africa and Australia; in nature the Pandano reaches even eight meters in height, while cultivated in a container it remains below three meters. It has a thorny stem, thick and vigorous, erect, which tends to branch out fairly regularly over time; on the apex of each branch develops a group of leaves, arranged in a spiral. The long leaves of the pandanus they can even reach two meters, they are linear, very sharp; light green in color, with thorns on the central ribs. Pandans produce numerous aerial roots, thick, all along the stem; in nature they also produce white inflorescences and large globose, edible fruits. In places of origin these plants are used for food, the leaves are intertwined to make baskets and carpets, the roots are used in herbal medicine.
The specimens of Pandanus veitchii need to be located in a very bright place, but they fear the direct rays of the sun slightly during the hottest months of the year. In winter they must be placed at home or in a warm greenhouse, with a temperature not lower than 15-18 ° C. If desired in the summer months it is possible to place the plant outside, protecting it suitably from the sun in the months of July and August.
From March to October water the Pandanos abundantly and regularly, always letting the soil dry between one watering and another to prevent water stagnation from forming which can soon cause dangerous radical rot; during the cold months water sporadically, only when the soil is well dry.
These plants are native to tropical areas, to simulate the humid environment that they can find in nature it is good to remember to vaporize the foliage often, throughout the year, preferably using demineralized water. In the vegetative period it is advisable to supply fertilizer for green plants every 20-30 days.
Cultivate Pandanus veitchii plants in containers filled with soil, humus and peat moss, mixed with little sand and shredded bark, so as to obtain a fertile substrate rich in organic matter, well drained and which retains a little moisture but without allow the formation of water stagnation. Pandans grow quite slowly, but they should be repotted often, at least every two years to provide a fresh soil rich in organic substances that allow the best development.
It is possible to propagate Pandano specimens using seeds, which are difficult to find; the plant sometimes produces suckers at the base, which can be detached and easily rooted; in spring and summer it is possible to practice leaf cuttings, to be placed in special containers with a mixture of soil and sand, to be kept in a sheltered area with a constant and pleasant temperature.
Pandanus - Pandanus veitchii: Pests and diseases
Pandanus veitchii plants are often affected by cochineal and root rot. To eliminate scale insects, it is possible to intervene directly with a wad soaked in alcohol to pass on the affected areas, but if the attack is widespread, it is better to provide treatment with special insecticide products. For radical rots, check that the soil allows good drainage and reduce the frequency of watering or supply less water.