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How to Grow Pandanus

Spiral leaves of Pandanus

Pandanus is an easy-to-grow tropical foliage plant with sharp, spear-like leaves. It typically grows to about 3 feet tall.

As Pandanus matures, it develops a wood trunk with a thatch prickly-edged, dark green leaves. The edges of the leaves are so sharp they can cut human hands.

With age, Pandanus’ trunk sprouts thick, stiltlike aerial roots that apparently help to prop it up. They extend outward and downward to the soil.

Pandanus’ spiral leaves give it the common name screw plant.

Get to Know Pandanus

  • Plant type: Tropical perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 10-12
  • Hardiness: Tender grows best between 60° to 75°F (16° to 24°C)
  • Height and width: commonly grow to 3 feet(91cm) tall; can grow 5 to 8 feet (1.5-2.4m) tall
  • Foliage: Spearlike leaves 3 inches (10cm) wide and 3 feet (.9m) long have sharp, prickly edges.
  • Flowers: No significant flowers
  • Uses: Houseplant
  • Botanical name: Pandanus veitchii
  • Common name: Screw pine
  • Origin: South Pacific
Pandanus, screw plant

Where to Plant Pandanus

  • Grow Pandanus in bright light, with 3 hours of direct sun daily form an eastern or western exposure.
  • Grow Pandanus in standard indoor potting soil.

How to Water and Feed Pandanus

  • Keep the soil evenly moist. Mist twice daily. Humidity best at 45 to 55 percent.
  • Fertilize Pandanus every 2 weeks during the growing season with a mild liquid fertilizer.

Pandanus Care

  • Be careful handling the leaves; they have sharp edges and can cut.
  • Pandanus prefers to be potbound. Repot when roots occupy ¾ of the pot space.
  • Trim growing ends of tall plants.
  • Clean the foliage monthly and remove dried leaves.
  • The plant will rest during winter; keep the temperature at about 65°F (18°C). Reduce water giving the plant just enough to keep the soil from drying out; withhold fertilizer.
  • Pandanus is susceptible to attack by aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

Pandanus Propagation

  • Propagate Pandanus by division or offsets.

Pandanus Varieties to Grow

  • Pandanus veitchii ‘Compacta’ grows smaller than Pandanus veitchii.

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