pandan
The giant Pandan triffid surveys its domain

Back in March this year, when I naively thought having a garden would be just weeks away, I ordered some plants from Suttons. The Chilean guavas have spent all summer on the windowsill at work, but have now come home and are acclimatising to life outside in the garden. The current plan is for them to make a little hedge in the front garden – I’ll have to see whether they need some friends to help them fill the space. The kaffir lime plants have spent their months on various kitchen windowsills; after an attack of red spider mite they’ve dropped their leaves. I’m still hoping they will recover, but at the moment they look sad.

But there was another plant, and to be honest I had forgotten all about it. It, too, was on the kitchen windowsill and moved with us to the new house. But I had lost track of what it was and why I bought it in the intervening weeks. The penny dropped when we took Ryan’s parents out for a thank you dinner for helping us move – to a local Thai restaurant. They served us their delicious chicken wrapped in pandan leaves, and I thought (as I do every time) that I really ought to try growing my own. I had a pandan plant years ago that I bought at the Eden Project, but it died.

Then I vaguely remembered having ordered a Vanilla plant from Suttons’ Homegrown Revolution range. What had happened to that? And hence I rediscovered the pandan plant (Pandanus amarylifolius) on the kitchen windowsill, looking a little dry and sad.

And so I have taken it to work, where it is guaranteed to be watered at least once a week, and a winter free from frost (although it gets quite cold in the office at the weekends, so I will have to take that into account). Hopefully it will perk up and I will be experimenting with homegrown pandan leaves in no time at all 🙂