If you want a more unique philodendron plant in your home, pick a Philodendron Xanadu (also known as Philodendron Winterbourn). It thrives particularly well indoors and doesn’t grow too high — about 1.2 metres. Its dark green leaves have an intriguing ‘feathered’ look, and it adds a touch of sophistication to any room.
The Xanadu Philodendron is a low maintenance plant. You can propagate this philodendron via a cutting, or get a starter plant from a nursery. Philodendron Xanadu should be placed somewhere in medium to bright indirect light, which means it’s a great indoor plant. Let the soil drain between waterings, since they like to dry slightly before getting a drink. And don’t worry about humidity — your philodendron can take it!
Want to get a Xanadu Philodendron, or already have one? Here’s how to grow and care for a Xanadu plant.
About Philodendron Xanadu
The Xanadu is a species of philodendron plant and is a tropical evergreen. It’s actually a cousin of the monstera deliciosa, and originates from South America. It’s also known as a Philodendron Winterbourn, but House Plants of Australia renamed it to Xanadu in 1988.
The Xanadu plant stands out with its dark green, leathery leaves that have a ‘feathered’ or ‘toothed’ appearance. It’s not a climber, but instead spreads out wide from the base.
If you prefer a brighter colour, go for the Golden Philodendron Xanadu — its vivid yellow-green leaves make for a striking ornamental plant.
Growing Xanadu Philodendron Plants
If you’re potting your Xanadu plant, loosely packed potting mix will work just fine, as long as your pot drains well. Peat moss is also good — just make sure not to overwater. The important thing is to choose a good-sized planter, and don’t compact the potting mix so the roots can grow and spread.
Xanadu plants do not light full sun, but they won’t thrive in too little light either. Like Goldilocks, they need just enough sun. They’ll do best in medium to bright indirect light, so place them near a window with a sheer curtain, or just out of the sunlight. If you have a bright living room, that’s good too! Too much light could sunburn the leaves and cause them to discolour.
Giving a Xanadu enough light is key to help maintain its compact appearance. Too much light and the philodendron will spread to search for a light source, making it look elongated and unbalanced. If the gap between leaves reaches several centimetres, that means your plant needs more light! If its green leaves start bleaching, though, that means too much sun.
Xanadu plants are tropical, so they prefer warmer climates and will not tolerate cold or frost. A good temperature range is between 18°–30°, but they can grow in hotter climates as long as they’re misted often. Just don’t go lower than 13°!
Like most philodendrons, the Xanadu is an indoor plant that likes humidity. (It mimics a tropical environment.) If your home isn’t too humid, don’t worry — you can mist your philodendron every so often, or group it with other plants to increase the humidity around it. If not, they’ll tolerate the average indoor humidity well enough.
Sorry, fur friends — the Xanadu plant is toxic to animals! Philodendrons contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can be toxic when consumed. If you do plan to own one, keep it out of your pet’s reach. The plant can also cause some skin irritation when touched, so make sure you wear gloves while pruning and repotting. (Mind your kids if you have any, too!)
Philodendron Xanadu Propagation
To propagate a Xanadu Philodendron, you use the stems or cuttings. Carefully cut off a side stem and remove most of the leaves except a few near the tip. Place in a potting mix for cuttings, and wait a few weeks for it to take root.
You can also propagate a Xanadu through division, while you’re repotting your plant. Separate a ‘clump’ from the main plant after you’ve taken it out of the ground or container. Carefully tease and part the roots, then repot in its own planter.
Growing Xanadu Philodendron In Pots
When growing Xanadu in a pot, you can purchase a seedling or starter plant at your local nursery. Prepare your planter beforehand with some potting mix and perlite to ensure good drainage.
Dig a hole in the mix that’s twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Carefully remove the philodendron from its container, then place it into the hole. Backfill with more potting mix and gently firm it down. Water well — but not too much! Then place it somewhere with enough sun and let it grow.
Philodendron Xanadu Care
Like other philodendrons, the Xanadu can suffer from spider mites if its growing environment is too dry. It may also attract aphids or mealy bugs, so check your philodendron’s leaves regularly to make sure there are no infestations.
If your philodendron has pests, you can manually remove the bugs with a damp cloth, or spritz the plant with water. Prune off all affected leaves, then rinse your plant with a gentle insecticide soap.
Philodendrons can suffer from root rot, which is often caused by overwatering, poorly draining earth, too-big pots, or an overly cool environment. These can all lead to too much moisture retained in the soil, which affects the roots.
Wilted and discoloured leaves and stunted growth are signs that your plant is suffering root rot. To treat this, remove your Xanadu from its pot and rinse the roots. Get rid of the soil and replace with a fresh batch of potting mix and perlite. You can prune affected leaves and roots, then replant your philodendron.
You can fertilise your Xanadu every two weeks during the spring and summer. Use a balanced fertiliser, or some organic mulch or compost. If growth is slow or somewhat stunted, you may need more fertiliser!
Philodendron Xanadus need regular watering while they’re growing, but like drying out in between watering sessions. Check if the top layer of soil has drained before giving it another drink. When you do, wet the ground thoroughly; if it’s in a pot, let excess water drain out. If your Xanadu’s leaves are looking a little yellow and wilted, and they’re not near the base, that might be a sign that you’re overwatering your plant.
(If you’re worried about overwatering, you can always let a garden maintenance service take care of your plants for you!)
Yellow leaves are a natural part of a Xanadu’s cycle as new growth comes in, or it adjusts to its environment. Prune dying leaves regularly by snapping them off where the stem touches the base. This promotes good plant health.
You need to frequently repot a Xanadu, since it outgrows its existing pot fairly quickly. Once every year or two years is a good repotting routine, or when water pools on the pot surface when you water. Another sign is when the root ball starts showing.
When repotting, move your plant to a container that is 5–7cm bigger than the original pot to give it more space. Don’t go too big, though, or you could overwater! After that, you can leave this low maintenance philodendron alone — but check up on it every once in a while to make sure it’s growing well. The key to Philodendron Xanadu care is to give it a little extra love.