The aromatic quality of pandan is due to the presence of essential oils and aromatic compounds within the plant. One key component responsible for the characteristic fragrance of pandan leaves is a compound called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2-AP).
The production of 2-AP and other aromatic compounds in pandan leaves is influenced by various factors, including environmental conditions and soil nutrition.
Consequently, if the conditions in your location differ significantly from where the saplings were originally grown, this could affect their development and aromatic qualities.
For instance, less sunlight or lower temperatures (perhaps because of shading) could affect a plant’s ability to produce the compounds responsible for its fragrance.
Soil quality and nutrition also play a significant role. Even though your friend might not actively care for his pandan patch, the soil in his garden could be naturally rich in certain nutrients essential for the plant’s aromatic properties.
It is worth testing your soil and comparing it with that of your friend’s garden.
The balance of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with trace minerals, can influence plant health and characteristics.
Both overwatering and underwatering can induce stress in plants, potentially affecting their ability to produce aromatic compounds.
Pandan prefers consistently moist soil, but does not tolerate waterlogged conditions.
A very common error among gardeners is to err on the side of overwatering rather than underwatering.
Additionally, signs of pests or diseases should be checked. Stress from these factors can divert the plant’s energy from the production of aromatic compounds to defense mechanisms.