Of all philodendron varieties, the philodendron Xanadu stands out because of its peculiar foliage — its leaves are deeply lobed or dissected, giving the plant quite the dramatic look.
So, if the more subdued philodendron varieties are simply not cutting it for you, the Xanadu can prove an interesting choice over the other varieties.
Whether you’re considering one or you’ve already bought one, here’s my quick primer on how to care for the Xanadu philodendron.
Size & Growth
Knowing how large and tall your plant may get will give you an idea of where to put it and how often you’re going to need to repot or do some trimming related maintenance.
Philodendron Xanadu grows relatively tall, at least for a normal-sized apartment. At its maturity, it can reach 4-5 feet in height and up to 6 feet in width.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to grab the pruning shears just yet. This is a slow to moderate growing plant, so it will take a bit until you’re going to need to worry about size.
Even then, you can easily prune it back to get it to a more acceptable size. The plant tolerates pruning well and it’s not sensitive to pest issues either.
For the most part, philodendrons enjoy bright, indirect light. There are philodendrons that have adapted to low light conditions, others will even tolerate direct light, but the philodendron Xanadu is neither of those varieties.
It’s best to keep this variety near a window that gets plenty of sunlight but without exposing it to direct sunlight. So, bright, indirect light is what you should aim for.
You’ll know the Xanadu philodendron gets too much light if its leaves start to yellow and too little light if the leaves grow leggy.
A thorough watering followed by allowing the top inch of the soil to dry out before the next watering is all that the philodendron Xanadu requires.
Overwatering will lead to problems including droopy leaves and root rot, so make sure you check the top inch of the soil each time you want to water your philodendron.
If the soil is moist, wait a few more days, if it’s dry you can go ahead and water your plant.
A good soil type for philodendron Xanadu is nutritious and drains well. You can combine all-purpose potting soil with peat or perlite, but sphagnum moss or mixes or peat with vermiculite or perlite also works fine.
Avoid using just all-purpose potting mix because it retains too much water and it’s prone to compaction, neither of which would turn out favorably for your philodendron.
Temperature & Humidity
A temperature range between 65 – 78°F works best for these plants. If you keep your philodendrons outdoors, you should watch out for sudden temperature drops at night.
If temperatures are nearing 60 F, you need to move your plant inside.
As far as humidity is concerned, philodendrons enjoy high humidity levels. If your home is especially dry, you may need to increase humidity around the plant.
If you don’t want to invest in a humidifier, you can fashion a DIY humidifier instead by adding water and pebbles to a large tray and keeping your philodendron on top of the pebbles.
Stunted growth, small leaves, or pale new leaves are usually signs that your philodendron is lacking nutrients. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer specially designed for foliage plants.
A good feeding regimen involves monthly fertilizing during spring and summer and 6-8 weekly fertilizin during fall and winter.
Use the fertilizer when watering and make sure to heed dosage instructions. Both using too much fertilizer and using it too often can cause fertilizer burn.
Potting & Repotting
If your philodendron has outgrown its pot, you’re going to need to transplant it. Don’t oversize the pot, usually go one size up each time you repot.
Make sure to get a sturdy pot to prevent the plant from tipping over if it grows too high. The plant can get top heavy, so it’s best to go with a pot that won’t easily tip over.
If the plant starts to spread too much or get bigger than what you can comfortably accommodate, don’t be afraid to prune it back.
You can cut back on leggy growths to make your plant look fuller and remove yellow growths to improve its appearance.
It’s best to prune the plant in spring or fall, but yellowing, spindly growths, and dead or dying leaves can be removed anytime.
You can simply pinch off leaves you want to remove or use clean pruning shears. The goal is to get your philodendron to a size that works for you and make it become fuller.
How to Propagate Philodendron Xanadu?
You can propagate philodendrons from leaf cuttings, through division, or by removing and transplanting plantlets the philodendron shoots.
Stem cuttings can be rooted in water or potting medium. To divide the plant, you must remove it from its pot and divide the root into sections that form a new philodendron plant.
Use a well-draining potting mix that’s nutritious. Keep the stem cuttings, divisions or shoots in a warm location out of direct sunlight. Make sure to also water the soil.
Depending on the method of propagation, you should see the plant starting to form roots (in case of rooting a stem cutting in water) and shooting out new growths.
A self-heading philodendron variety, the Xanadu is a warmth and humidity loving plant that can easily be kept as a houseplant.
During the warm seasons, you can even keep it outdoors until the weather starts to turn when you’re going to need to move it back inside.
Other than making sure it gets enough light, well-draining soil and that you follow a good watering regimen that doesn’t involve overwatering, you can successfully grow this plant yourself.
Don’t be afraid to prune back the plant when it grows too tall or extends too much. Repot when the plant outgrows its current container and aim for a sturdier pot.