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30 Incredible Philodendron Xanadu Care Tips You Should Know

30 Incredible Philodendron Xanadu Care Tips You Should Know

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If you’re trying to grow Philodendron Xanadu, start here! This is a tropical perennial known for its dense, clumping lobed leaves. It grows well with proper lighting and moisture control potting soil.

The Philodendron Xanadu is a unique plant that looks a bit different than some of its Philodendron cousins. In this article, we’re providing options for growing and caring for this wonderful plant indoors.

We also have some great options for buying the Xanadu. So read on for more plant-growing goodness! Happy gardening!

What Is Philodendron Xanadu?

The Philodendron Xanadu is a perennial from the Araceae family. It is characterized by dark green multi-lobed leaves and is prized for its dense, clumping foliage.

Also known as Philodendron Winterbourn, Xanadu, and Xanadu Philodendron, the Philodendron Xanadu grows well near an east or west-facing window as a houseplant.

While most of this article discusses indoor growing requirements, you can keep this Thaumatophyllum plant outdoors in hardiness zones 9-11.

Origin And Family

Philodendron Winterbourn belongs to the Thaumatophyllum genus in the Araceae family. Natively, it’s from the rainforests of Brazil.

First identified in 2002 by Dr. Tom Croat, Dr. Simon Mayo, and Julius Boos, this tropical plant has gained popularity among indoor growers in recent years. In 2018, based on DNA evidence, it was renamed Thaumatophyllum Xanadu, separating this tropical plant from the Philodendron genus. However, the plant is popularly called a Philodendron, so it might take the whole gardening world a while to get used to its correct name.

Where To Buy

Nowadays, there are many available platforms to acquire the perfect plant for your collection, including a Philodendron Xanadu. You can find what you are looking for at local nurseries or on online shopping sites such as Etsy.

Philodendron Xanadu plants are fairly expensive to buy, with expenses ranging from $25 to $100.

Philodendron Xanadu sold in Etsy

Philodendron Xanadu Plant Size

When grown indoors, the Philodendron Xanadu grows to a height of 2-4 feet and spreads to a width of 4-6 feet. It grows at a fast rate and thrives near an east or west-facing window.

Philodendron Xanadu Care Needs

When properly cared for, your Philodendron Xanadu will thrive like any other houseplant. This plant, with its dense, clumping lobed leaves, adores humidity and wants relatively dry soil throughout the year.

For most growers, you’ll want to water your Thaumatophyllum plant when the top inch of the soil is dry. Allow plenty of time for the water to flow through the pot’s drainage hole. This popular plant needs bright indirect light to thrive in terms of lighting.

Read our thorough care guide below for more specific advice.

Care Difficulty

This Xanadu is generally easy to care for. The amount of light and the soil aeration are the most important considerations for this beauty.

Growth Rate

The Xanadu Philodendron grows to a mature height of 2-4 feet as a houseplant. Typically, you will notice faster and bushier growth in the spring and summer.

The majority of Thaumatophyllum species, including the Xanadu, grow at a fast rate.

Potting

Thaumatophyllum plants, in general, prefer a well-draining pot. A medium plastic, terracotta, or clay pot is recommended for your Philodendron Winterbourn.

One of the primary killers of most plants is lack of drainage. Please ensure that your pot has holes at the bottom to get rid of too much water.

Repotting

To keep your plant healthy, it is a good idea to transplant it to a larger pot once it grows to a certain size. When your plant is frequently showing signs of thirst and if the soil dries up quickly despite frequent watering (both indicating that the plant is root-bound), you see it getting root-bound, you’ll know that it’s time to repot.

On average, Philodendron Xanadu grows quickly and needs to be repotted every year. Soil tends to lose its natural nutrient components over time, so it’s better to add some moisture control potting soil when you’re repotting.

Soil

A moisture control potting mix is the most recommended option for the Xanadu. To make your own soil mix:

  1. Use cocopeat, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite components.
  2. Adjust the ratio accordingly so that the final mixture is well-aerated.
  3. Remember that this plant prefers a growing medium that stays relatively dry.

The soil type should always support good drainage to avoid root rot and other diseases. We suggest choosing potting mixes such as the following:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $10.39
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Black Gold 1310102...image Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control $16.45
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix 2 cu. ft. $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $18.49

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pH

pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Your Xanadu should be in soil that’s between 5.6 and 7.5, which is acidic to neutral. If you’re repotting on schedule or adding new soil from time to time, pH level wouldn’t be as much of a concern as if you’re growing this plant outdoors. 

Water

Proper watering is essential for Philodendron Winterbourn. If you water too much, you risk causing diseases such as root rot. If you water too little, your plant’s roots may dry out, especially during warm days. In general, Philodendron Winterbourn should have a growing medium that is relatively dry.

There is a simple way to determine if your plant needs to be watered. You can stick a wooden skewer or a pencil into the pot and see if there’s wet, muddy soil still clinging to it. Or, you can use your finger to feel for moisture. When you notice that the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water your plant.

A porous pot with drainage holes plus an aerated, chunky soil mix can help get rid of excess moisture.

Light

This easy-to-care-for houseplant prefers bright indirect light for approximately 6-10 hours a day. If there’s too much light, its leaves may get scorched. If it’s too far from the light source, its foliage may get discolored, and its stems may get leggy.

If your Philodendron Xanadu isn’t getting enough light, you can move it closer to a window or consider investing in LED grow lights. Here are recommended products for you to choose from:

Fertilizer

Water, sunlight, and soil provide the necessary nourishment for houseplants. Over time, soil can lose its nutrient value and needs to be supplemented with plant food.

If you want a thriving Xanadu, fertilize it once a month during its growing season in the spring and summer. You may opt for a water-soluble fertilizer, but make sure to dilute it first if it’s highly concentrated.

Typically, you don’t need to fertilize at all during the winter.

Propagating Philodendron Xanadu

If your Philodendron Xanadu has grown too tall, you may prune back the stem and set the cuttings aside for propagation! Below, we’ve listed step-by-step guides for different propagation methods.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Stem cuttings directly planted in the soil are a hassle-free way to propagate your Philodendron Winterbourn. It is advisable to propagate this plant when it’s actively growing during spring and summer.

1. Cut. Find a healthy section of your plant with fresh growth. Make a cutting at least 3 inches long with some visible nodes. Make sure you’re using sterilized scissors to avoid bacterial infection.

2. Plant. Place the cutting in damp soil with the nodes buried. Then, compress the dirt around the stem to hold up the cutting in place.

3. Maintain. Frequently moisten the soil to encourage faster rooting. Keep the plant near a window in bright, indirect sunlight.

4. Wait. In about 2-3 weeks, you should see new buds on the top leaves. This means that your cutting is now rooted!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here are the steps in successfully developing Xanadu cuttings in water:

1. Cut. Cut the stem just below a node using a sharp knife. Remove flower stalks and lower leaves so your cutting can focus its energy on growing roots.

2. Submerge. Put the cutting in an old glass bottle and fill it with water. Any part of the stem below the water surface should be free of leaves.

3. Maintain. A well-lit window with good airflow is the ideal location for your new plant. Keep a humidifier nearby to keep the leaves perky. 

4. Refill. Check every 3-5 days to see if the water needs to be replenished with a clean batch.

5. Transplant. When the roots are about an inch or longer, your cutting is ready to be potted in soil. 

Division

Xanadu Philodendron can be propagated through a process called division. While this method is used for vegetables that have distinct bulbs, tubers, stolons, rhizomes, and suckers, it can also be used for houseplants with stems that grow in clumps.

1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its pot. Remember to wear gardening gloves when handling plants and soil.

2. Separate. You should be able to see where the roots and stems spontaneously separated. Gently pull them apart with your fingers. Cut the roots where the sections connect.

3. Repot. Put each section in new pots filled with the same soil that they’re used to.

Humidity And Aeration

This Thaumatophyllum is a popular plant that prefers moderate-to-high humidity between 50%-70%.

If your Philodendron Xanadu has curling or crispy leaves that have brown edges, you may consider getting a humidifier. This device is designed to constantly release steam and significantly raise the humidity in a room.

Temperature

Generally, warm temperatures are best for your Xanadu Philodendron plant, and this can range between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bigger consideration for this plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily damage the Xanadu Philodendron. Protect your plant against cold drafts by closing windows and sealing any opening in cold weather. Keep it away from heat vents that can dry the foliage.

Toxic

Handle this plant responsibly if you have tiny children or pets in your home. The Xanadu contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to animals, including cats, dogs, and people. If eaten, you can expect drooling, pain, and swelling of the tongue, lips, and mouth. It can also cause skin irritation, so it’s best to don gloves when handling the leathery leaves for this compact plant. That said, this plant is usually considered non-life-threatening.

SoilCare Specifics
Botanical NamePhilodendron Xanadu
Common NamePhilodendron Winterbourn, Xanadu, Xanadu Philodendron
Plant FamilyAraceae
OriginBrazil
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapemulti-lobed
Leaf Colordark green
Recommended Home Placementnear an east or west-facing window
Growth Ratefast
Lightbright indirect light
Soilmoisture control potting soil
When To WaterWater when the top inch of the soil is dry.
When To Fertilizeonce a month during growing season
Preferred pH5.6-7.5
Humidity Range50%-70%
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include drooling, pain, and swelling of the tongue, lips, and mouth
Common Pests & Diseasesspider mites, brown tips, fungus gnats, white flies, scale insects, yellow leaves, root rot, aphids, mealybugs, drooping leaves

Common Issues And Diseases

Xanadu is not a particularly disease or pest-resistant plant. Read the following sections for tips on diagnosing common problems and discover ways you can help your plant return to a healthy condition.

Spider Mites

Unfortunately, spider mites are quite widespread, and Xanadu Philodendron is particularly vulnerable. Spider mite damage appears on the plant’s leaves as tiny brown or yellow patches. You might also see fine silk webbing when the infestation is severe.

Start by spraying down your Xanadu Philodendron with water from a sink nozzle or a pressure sprayer. This helps dislodge the spider mites from the plant’s leaves and stem. An organic pyrethrin spray will serve you well if the first method fails.

If you desire a more organic approach, releasing ladybugs in your indoor growing space can reduce spider mite populations. There’s also a beetle known as the “Spider Mite Destroyer,” which may be difficult to acquire, but the name speaks for itself!

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are among the most prevalent pests that infest the Philodendron Winterbourn. Their larvae can attack the roots of your tropical plant, causing wilting and poor growth.

Bottom-watering, which involves placing your plant in a bowl of water, is one method of reducing fungus gnat populations. This will keep the topsoil dry while still nourishing the roots. Alternatively, putting a layer of sand on the topsoil discourages gnats from laying eggs.

Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that kills fungus gnat larvae on contact but is safe for plants. Drench your soil with a four-part water one-part hydrogen peroxide solution to get rid of these bugs.

White Flies

If your plants have mottled, discolored leaves which are deformed or falling off, they might be infested with whiteflies. These bugs are cousins of mealybugs, scales, and aphids.

Yellow glue-based traps can be used to attract and catch Whiteflies and to help monitor their emergence early on.

As a more natural approach, you can release a population of natural predators in your indoor growing space. Ladybugs, lacewings, dragonflies, parasitic wasps, and praying mantises will eat a huge variety of pests without harming your plants.

Scale Insects

Scales are insects that feed on plant sap. What sets them apart from other bugs is that the adult scale will latch onto one part of the plant and stay put. They are called armored scales and may appear as brownish lumps on the stems or petioles of a plant.

As a preventive measure, you can dilute a teaspoon of neem oil in 500 mL of water and spray it on your plant’s leaves to discourage scales from latching onto your Philodendron Xanadu.

You can also release ladybugs or lacewings near your infected plant and let these beneficial bugs take care of the problem for you!

Aphids

Aphids are small insects that will suck the sap of your Xanadu. Some aphids are crawlers, and some are winged. They may come in colors of brown, black, red, green, white, and many others.

Look for aphids on the underside of leaves and on delicate areas of the stem. If you find these insects (usually in a cluster), act quickly before they spread to other houseplants!

First, cover the soil with a plastic bag. Then, give your plant a thorough wash using soap and water. You can even use a sponge to make sure all surfaces are covered. After washing, isolate your plant in a shaded area with good airflow so its leaves won’t burn from the soap.

If the aphids come back, spray your Xanadu with neem oil, horticultural oil, or rubbing alcohol. Remember to dilute these products first. 

Mealybugs

It’s possible that mealybugs will infest your Xanadu Philodendron. If you spot these little parasites with their white fluff, act promptly. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol will kill mealies on contact, turning them brown or orange in color. A spray of diluted Neem oil also works well as a preventive measure.

Brown Leaf Tips

Browning edges on the leaves of your Philodendron Winterbourn can be triggered by many factors. Possible causes are:

  • Lack of humidity
  • Excessive exposure to bright light
  • Salt and mineral build-up from chemically-treated tap water
  • Fertilizer burn

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on your Philodendron Xanadu are typically an indication that your plant is thirsty. In this case, your plant will usually perk back up once it’s watered. It might also help to increase the humidity.

Be careful! Pest-infested plants can have droopy and curling leaves at first, but will eventually develop other signs such as spots, stunted growth, and a general decline in health. Always check on the underside of leaves if you suspect any issues with pests.

Yellow Leaves

If you see yellowing leaves on your Xanadu, you might need to consider several factors to determine the culprit. Are you watering your plant too little or too much? Is your plant getting enough light? Did you fertilize your plant recently? Are there sudden changes in the weather?

Of course, bottom leaves that turn yellow can also be an indication that your plant is growing and the leaf’s energy has been spent. In this case, pluck off the yellowing leaves so the plant can focus on growing new green leaves. 

Root Rot

A typical cause of death for the Xanadu Philodendron is root rot, which occurs when you overwater your plant. Keep in mind that you should use only water when the top inch of the soil is dry to avoid soggy soil.

Poor drainage is another source of root rot, and this Thaumatophyllum needs moisture control potting soil that drains well.

When choosing a pot for your plant, make sure there are drainage holes to allow excess water to flow through. Clay pots and unglazed ceramic planters can also help absorb moisture from the soil and slowly release it into the air.

Similar Plants

Love Winterbourn Philodendron? Did you know that there are many Philodendrons that look great inside a home? Here are some of my favorites:

Philodendron Pedatum – Known for its lush foliage, this plant is increasing in its popularity. Plus, being a low-maintenance plant, growing it yourself is very easy.  

Philodendron Mayoi – Mayoi has spectacular leaves that truly stand out. It is definitely a perfect choice for beginners to care for as it is extremely low maintenance.

Philodendron Mamei: Caring for this plant is very easy. Not only because it requires little maintenance but also because it rewards you with beautiful leaves that will enliven your tropical garden.

Philodendron Goeldii: Known as the Fun Bun in the plant world, this captivating plant lures you in with its spiraling stems with rich deep green foliage.  

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a houseplant with some wow factor, the Philodendron Xanadu is an excellent choice. Just follow the tips we’ve shared above, and you’re on your way to reaching your plant’s full growing potential!

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