Author: Ann Cains Date Posted:25 June 2015
A little background info on Duan Pandan
Pandanus amaryllifolius is a low growing (under one meter) plant with long narrow blade like leaves and woody aerial roots. It can be grown as a marginal plant in dams and ponds, used as a bedding plant in tropical landscaping and be used to hold creek banks. However it is most widely cultivated for use in Asian cooking and basket making.
It has a nutty botanical fragrance and is most commonly used in rice dishes or tied in a bundle and cooked with food.
Some of its other uses include as a foliage plant in flower arrangements and the leaves also have a repellent effect on cockroaches. Placing a small bundle in drawers is a great natural deterrent to roaches.
It is also known by many local regional names. In Bangladesh it is called ketaki, it is pandan wangi in Indonesian, soon-mhway in Burmese, bai tooey in Thai, rampe in Sinhala, sleuk toi in Khmer, Daun Pandan in Nonya cooking lá dứa in Vietnamese and "Basmatiyaa tree" in Magahi and Bhojpuri (BIHAR,U.P.) due to its fragrance. It’s amazing it is used in so many cultures in cooking including Indonesian, Singaporean, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Khmer and Burmese foods, especially rice dishes and cakes. There are soooo many recipes for cooking with pandan leaves on the web. Here is a good place to start.
Dragon Boat Festival Dumplings
You can purchase plants pandanus amaryllifolius from us here.
How to keep your Duan Pandan alive
Here in the Wet Tropics Pandanus amaryllifolius grows like a weed. Pandan loves our high rainfall, high humidity and year round warm temperatures. Unfortunately the majority of our customers have to work at recreating a Wet Tropical Microclimate in places like Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. One obvious way is to grow your pandans in a hothouse where you can control humidity, temperature and moisture levels. Probably the most popular way of growing a few pandans for leaves is to keep them in pots. This way you can keep them in a moist part sun microclimate in your garden in the summer (it helps to mist them a few times daily) and then move them to a warm undercover area with bright light for winter, a brightly lit bathroom is perfect. In winter be careful not to overwater, once a week is usually good. If you overwater in winter the roots can rot. Remember they are tropical plants that need good humidity and warmth for active growth. They absolutely need to be protected from temps below 10 to survive. Having said that many people do successfully grow pandans in Sydney Melbourne and Adelaide.
If at all possible avoid heavily chlorinated water or salty bore water when watering your pandan, rainwater is best as it doesn’t like chlorine or salt in the soil.
Pandanus amaryllifolius are not very fussy about the type of fertilizer you use but we do suggest fertilizing regularly in summer. Before your plants are sent to you we dip the leaves and roots in a seaweed solution that keeps it healthy for its trip and promotes growth.
It’s best not to let your plant become too pot bound, better to pot on to the next size pot up so it doesn’t dry out too quickly. Be careful about using too many leaves off of the plant. Plants need leaves for photosynthesis and to grow. If you like to use a lot of pandan leaves or can’t control yourself because you haven’t had the fresh stuff in so long it might be better to buy a pandan value pack. You can put 3 pandans in a 200mm pot for a stunning display that will give you ample leaves to harvest. I also think plants that like high humidity tend to help create their own little microclimate when grown in groups.
The best time to repot pot a plant is summer, use a high quality well draining potting mix. A heavy mix will inhibit root growth and increase the likelihood of your plant rotting in winter.
Wholesale Pandanus Amaryllifolius
While the demand is there, it is very difficult for nurseries outside of a wet tropical climate to grow Pandanus amaryllifolius quickly enough to sell them at an affordable price point. We are currently wholesaling to a number of retail and online nurseries and have recently expanded our numbers of Pandanus amaryllifolius . If you are interested in purchasing wholesale plants please contact us. We can provide them as either potted plants ready to be on sold or as barerooted plants which are much cheaper to freight.