Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) is an ornamental, aromatic, Asian medicinal herb plant. This is the only Pandanus species with fragrant leaves belonging to the Pandanus (screwpine) family. It is a shrub that grows up to 1 to 1.5 m height with spirally arranged blade-like leaves and woody aerial roots. Matured leaves are about 40 to 50cm long and 3 to 6cm wide with rather abruptly rounded or acute tip. The plant is sterile, with flowers only growing very rarely. The leaves impart a pleasant aroma which can act as a natural air freshener. These fragrant young leaves are cooked and eaten. The leaves are utilized as a flavoring agent in various curries, desserts, and sweets.
Scientific Name: Pandanus amaryllifolius
Synonyms: Pandanus hasskarlii, Pandanus latifolius, Pandanus odorus
Common Name: Pandan, Fragrant pandan, Fragrant screwpine.
How to grow and maintain Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius):
It thrives well in full morning sun and partial sun in the afternoon.
It grows best in a rich organic mix, moist but well-drained soil. Try to stay away from wet, mucky or dry, sandy soils.
It grows well in warm climates above 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait until there are no longer any signs of frost before you begin planting.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but never allow your plant to sit in water. During the winter season, reduce watering and you can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering.
Fertilize with a weak liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season. Be sure that do not fertilize your plant during the winter season.
It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings or by suckers. Stem cuttings should be inserted obliquely in the planting medium. Suckers removed from the leaf axils can be planted straight away or rooted first in a sandy medium.
Harvesting of fragrant pandan may begin about 6 months after planting and may continue for several years. To harvest the leaves for cooking, simply trim them from the plant base.
Re-pot your plant every year in spring. As the plant grows, you should move it to a wider pot so the new stems and roots have enough space to grow.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease issues. But Look for mealybugs and spider mites.
Advantages of Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius):
Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves contain essential natural oils such as glycosides, alkaloids, traces of tannin and isoprene esters. These can work wonders in boosting your overall health.
Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves have been traditionally used for pain relief. Stomach cramps can be effectively treated with Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves owing to their laxative properties. Applying pandan leaves soaked in heated coconut oil can provide relief to arthritis patients.
Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves when soaked in water and used as a spray can act as a natural and safe cockroach repellent.
Extracts of the leaves can be added to bath water for skin problems and relief from sunburn.
Pandanus amaryllifolius leaf consumption can reduce fever, improve skin, and speed up the recuperation of women who have just given birth.
Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves are anti-cancer. It can counteract the effect of toxins and inhibits cancer cell development. It said that pandan leaf tea can also heal some type of cancer. Chewing these leaves is an easy way to get rid of gum pain.