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Classification, origin and description
Common name: Pandano
provenance: tropical areas of Asia, Africa and Oceania.
Genre description: includes about 250 species of plants with a shrubby or arboreal bearing, with aerial roots. Some species are cultivated for textile fibers (P. adoratissimus, P. utilis), others for edible fruits (P. edulis), still others for ornamental purposes (P. baptisii, P. sanderi, P. veitchii).
Pandanus utilis (photo cycadgardencentre.com.au)
Species and varieties
Pandanus baptisii: this species has green-blue leaves with bright yellow longitudinal streaks, which can be so large as to cover the entire leaf blade. The leaf margin is whole and smooth.
Pandanus sanderi: species of small size, it has leaves 80-100 cm long, pale green in color, with white bands or white or red margins and tips.
Pandanus utilis: species used to obtain textile fibers, it has leaves that reach the length of 1.5 m., dark green in color, with the margins characterized by red thorns. Particularly sensitive to temperature variations, it is suitable for spacious environments due to the size it can reach.
Pandanus veitchii: presents leaves, with serrated edges and sharp apex, of bright green color, longitudinally streaked with cream-white, which can reach the length of 60 cm. Close to the basal leaves, aerial roots that penetrate the soil develop in adult specimens (generally four or five years). It is the most known Pandanus as a houseplant.
Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions
Temperature: the recommended minimum winter temperature is around 18-22 ° C, while the minimum summer temperature should not be lower than 20-25 ° C.
Light: very bright exposure, but protected from direct sunlight.
Watering and environmental humidity: water abundantly in spring-summer; thinning doses in autumn-winter. If the temperature rises a lot, spraying of the foliage will be useful. To raise the ambient humidity, it is good to put the pot on a tray containing damp gravel.
Substrate: mixture based on garden soil, with the addition of sand to increase its draining power.
Special fertilizations and tricks: in spring-summer fertilize every 3-4 weeks.
New specimens can be obtained by planting the basal suckers, taken between February and April, in pots of 10 cm in diameter, being careful to keep them in the shade at a temperature of about 24 ° C. After rooting, they can be treated as adult plants. You can also try sowing the pandanus in breeding boxes, filled with a special seed compost and kept in the shade, at a temperature of 27 ° C. Germination usually takes 6-8 weeks. When the seedlings are large enough to be handled without damage, they can be transplanted into individual pots.
Diseases, pests and adversities
- Leaves that wilt and fall: water stagnation or exposure to drafts.