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House Plant Index

Pandanus species

Flowers Rarely in the house
Potting or re-potting time January or February
Position in garden during summer Semi-shade
Potting Mixture 3

Pandanus is a large genus of shrubs or trees (growing to over 60 feet), chiefly natives of Indo-Malaya. As house plants they maintain a dwarf stature, with leaves about 3 feet long, and less than 3 inches wide. The leaves are edged with spines and often banded with white in the species commonly grown. The popular name is derived from the spiral manner in which leaves are arranged around the trunk or stem. Strong-growing roots often push the plant out of the soil, yet the stilt-like position is quite natural, and you need have no fear that the condition is indicative of too small a pot. Leave the plant alone; it enjoys being propped up.

Pandanus veitchi the common screw pine. 2 to 3 foot leaves, with white bands.

Pandanus utilis less commonly grown as a house plant, yet very desirable. The leaves are blue green, 1 to 3 feet long with red mar ginal spines.

Both species bloom and fruit in their native habitat, and occasionally under greenhouse culture, but rarely, if ever, in the house. The flower clusters consist of blossoms lacking both petals and sepals; pistils and stamens are bare.

Healthy plants freely sucker around the base. These may be removed when large enough (3 inches) and planted in small pots. February usually finds the new growths about right for removal. This is the usual and easiest method of propagation.

Pandanus is susceptible to attack by the tiny red spider. Frequent showering of the foliage will usually discourage the pest.