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Variegated Pandanus Veitchii Plant » Indoor Plant Consultant | New York, NY | (917) 887-8601

Variegated Pandanus Veitchii Plant

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Question:

I have been searching on the internet to get some information on caring for this plant.  It appears everyone tells you different ways to take care of it.  That is why I am getting confused.  I had two plants before and they died.  I was lucky enough to get another one from a lady and am not sure where I should place this plant.  Do I keep it at home or take it to work where it will have fluorescent lighting?  She said fluorescent lighting is good for her plants.

I live in the City of Toronto, Canada.  As you know, Canada’s climate is different from the U.S. and Europe.  Therefore, I don’t know how strong the lighting should be for this plant or how much to water it, etc.

Do you know of anyone that raises these plants who would be a good source to go to with respect to asking Question:s or can you help me with any information?  Apparently someone thought my last plant died of a fungus, which I don’t know if they really knew what they were talking about.

Answer:

I am not surprised you have received contradictory information about your variegated Pandanus. Most conventional information comes from professional nursery growers who have no experience caring for plants in less than ideal home environments. Plant retailers tend to downplay certain environmental considerations because they want to sell their plants.

Pandanus, especially the variegated types, requite lots of direct sunlight to thrive and to maintain their variegation. Fluorescent office lights are fine for many plants but inadequate for variegated Pandanus. Because the days are shorter in Toronto, providing direct sunlight is even more important. Try to locate yours in a south facing window that is completely uncovered throughout the daylight hours.

People who explain a plant’s problems by citing a fungus are really acknowledging that they have no idea, so they say fungus to make themselves seem knowledgeable. Fungus problems in house plants are rare and can only be determined by lab analysis of the plant tissue.

In addition to providing lots of light, it is important not to over pot or over water a Pandanus. This plant can easily survive drought and neglect. It cannot tolerate soil that stays constantly moist. It does best when kept very potbound and when the soil is allowed to dry a quarter of the way deep into the pot. The combination of too little light, too large a pot and too frequent watering will conspire to kill any Pandanus.

One other note, fertilizer is not medicine and should be reserved for healthy plants that are growing vigorously.