Encyclopedia of Houseplants

How to Grow and Care for a Xanadu Plant

updated Sep 14, 2022
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Xanadu
Credit: Cre8 design/Shutterstock

Anyone with a diverse houseplant collection likely has at least one variety of a philodendron, the most popular being the monstera deliciousaPhilodendron Xanadu is perfect for a smaller space that can’t lend much space to a large-growing plant like a monstera or a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="philodendron%20selloum.</p>%0A%0A%0A%0A<p>%E2%80%9CThe%20hybrid%20cultivar%20%E2%80%98Xanadu%E2%80%99%20is%20a%20perfect%20compact%20solution%20for%20someone%20who%20wants%20the%20<a%20href=" https:>look of a philodendron but lacks the space to accommodate large houseplants,” says Marc Hachadourian, Director of Glasshouse Horticulture and Senior Curator of Orchids at the New York Botanical Garden. “The bright green-toothed and textured foliage is an easy way to add a tropical accent to a small home or apartment.”

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About Philodendron Xanadu

The philodendron Xanadu is a member of the plant family Araceae. It originated in Brazil as the Winterbourn Philodendron, but was renamed the Philodendron Xanadu by House Plants of Australia in 1988.  

A Xanadu plant can be grown indoors or outdoors. It tends to spread its “toothed” foliage wider instead of growing vertically, sometimes reaching widths of 5 feet; if kept indoors, it will not spread as much.

Sorry, animal owners: according to ASPCA, this plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

How to Care For a Philodendron Xanadu

Since the Xanadu is a tropical plant, it prefers medium to bright indirect light.  If your Xanadu is indoors, this means it might do best by a window with a sheer curtain or something that’s filtering the sunlight. That way, the light is not shining directly on the plant, but it is still getting a good amount of sun time.  For outdoor growth, an area with light shade is best.

Watering

Regarding your watering routine, these plants like to dry slightly in between waterings, so always check the soil by sticking your finger about one inch down to ensure you’re not overwatering. If the soil is moist to the touch, wait a little bit before watering again.

The Xanadu can take a higher humidity area, but it has also adapted to more normal house conditions, so humidity is not as much of a concern as fertilizing. The plant appreciates regular fertilization.

How to Deal With Pests on Your Philodendron Xanadu

This type of philodendron has a high resistance to pests but still might be plagued by the occasional mealybug. If you find one, wipe it off using insecticide detergent or neem oil. Regular spritzing and washing of the leaves can help prevent pests from attaching to your plant.

How to Propagate a Xanadu

You can propagate a Xanadu through division or cutting.  

To propagate through division, when you are repotting your plant, separate a portion of the plant by gently pulling apart one “clump” of the plant and carefully separating the roots, then repotting it in a separate container.

To propagate through a cutting, carefully cut off a side shoot and remove most of the leaves; leave two or three in place near the top. Place the cutting in soil; it should root in two to three weeks.

The next time you’re looking for a fun tropical plant that doesn’t take up as much space as your monster monstera, consider the beautiful and interesting leaves of the philodendron Xanadu plant.