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Palm-like tree. Some members of this large genus of over 600 species grow wild along the seashores of the tropical Pacific and can become small trees, while other, shrubbier species lend themselves to garden landscapes. The popular name derives from the fact that the long, prickly leaves emerge in a screw-like arrangement. Perhaps the most decorative species is P. sanderi, with green and yellow striped leaves. Become quite large, 6 to 8 metres in height, and so must be carefully sited in a garden. Pandanus is a very adaptable plant, though it prefers hot, dry conditions. The easiest method of propagation is by cuttings, which root readily when placed directly in the soil. The leaves of these trees are collected by Aboriginal women and are used for weaving clothing material. Dyes can be collected out of the roots and used for rock art painting. Also, the plant is used for treating inflammation by wrapping the leaves around the swollen spot, to create an anti-inflammatory effect.
A large species from Madagascar that produces a robust, stilt-rooted trunk and a thick, densely spiralling crown of mildly spiny, light green or sometimes slightly blue-green leaves with very attractive red margins. Best suited to the tropics and warm subtropics, P. utilis is perhaps the most popular screw pine in cultivation. This tree wants full sun, is not fussy for soil content and is not salt tolerant. Fertilizer is generally not necessary. Trimming a screw pine is tricky because branches don't have dormant buds. If you cut the terminal growing area, the branch will not grow anymore, it will stay a a stump. For this reason, cut the branches you need to cut where they will be the least noticeable.
Pandanus veitchii is a small shrub that grows between 2 and 5 feet tall. It can tolerate full sun to light shade while growing, but is best placed in semi-shade or a bright location indoors. It requires moderate water and is suitable for growing in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9-11. This plant is most admired for its ornamental foliage - the leaves are long and slender, and have a unique palm-like appearance.
When growing Pandanus veitchii in a pot, it is important to choose a container with plenty of drainage holes. Fill it with an airy, well-draining potting mix and water it regularly so that the top two inches of soil stay slightly moist. In colder climates, it is best to keep this plant indoors as it isn't frost tolerant. Provide your Pandanus veitchii with plenty of light and temperatures of between 65-85°F. Keep the humidity high to ensure the best possible growth.
With its stunning evergreen foliage, Pandanus veitchii makes a great ornamental plant for homes, offices and gardens. Its ability to thrive indoors and out makes it a great choice if you're looking for a plant to add a touch of the tropics to your environment.