Philodendron Xanadu Species Profile & Care Guide

The Philodendron Xanadu, popularly known as the Winterbourn or cut-leaf philodendron, is a vibrant, lush, and tropical evergreen plant.

This versatile houseplant boasts of shiny, dense foliage with deeply lobed leaves, presenting a fascinating spectacle for plant enthusiasts.

Philodendron Xanadu

Philodendron Xanadu: Profile Overview

The Philodendron Xanadu is an exotic addition to any indoor or outdoor garden. Here’s a quick profile snapshot of this beautiful species:

  • Common Name: Philodendron Xanadu
  • Scientific Name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Xanadu’
  • Family: Araceae
  • Origin/Native Region: Brazil
  • Growth Habit: This evergreen, low-growing, and compact plant exhibits a dense, clumped habit of growth. It can be classified as an herbaceous houseplant. It grows outward in a neat, mound-like formation as opposed to many vines in the Philodendron family.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now embark on understanding the visual appearance, care needs, and special features of the Philodendron Xanadu.


The Philodendron Xanadu is an elegant plant recognized for its distinct aesthetic qualities. Its beauty rests on the lush, dense foliage which trails down in an attractive manner.

The leaves unfurl to reveal a glossy, deep-green color that adds to its exotic appeal. Each leaf is deeply lobed, creating an intricate network of patterns that are both unusual and captivating.

The plant’s overall shape is relatively compact and bushy, providing an impressive display when cultivated indoors or within a garden landscape.

The combination of these traits make the Philodendron Xanadu a favored choice for botanical enthusiasts and home gardeners seeking an attractive, yet easy-to-care-for plant.

Leaf Size

The Philodendron Xanadu flaunts a distinctive leaf size, which can vary greatly depending on their care and environmental conditions. Typically, the leaves grow to be about 12-15 inches long and wide.

These leaves are spread out in a sophisticated yet slightly wild array spread, offering an aesthetic richness to your space. Their size makes them a rather prominent feature, contributing greatly to the visual appeal of this plant.

It’s usually easy to tell how well you’re taking care of your Xanadu by observing their leaf size; under optimal conditions, you might see them thriving and growing to their full potential.

Leaf Shape

Philodendron Xanadu exhibits a unique leaf shape that significantly contributes to its visual appeal. The leaves are deeply lobed, with sharp, defined points, giving them a serrated appearance.

This intricate shape is often characterized as pinnately lobed, which means the leaf blade has distinct lobes extending from the center vein to the margin.

Each leaf typically has multiple lobes, with the number varying based on its overall size and maturity. These lobes add to the plant’s lush, tropical aesthetic, a key factor in its popularity as a domestic and commercial ornamental plant.

Proper care helps maintain the distinct shape and overall health of the foliage.

Leaf Color

In relation to the Philodendron Xanadu, the leaf color is one of its charming characteristics. This plant features leaves that are a rich green during the growing season.

The foliage retains this dark green hue year-round, adding a consistent, tropical flair to your home or garden.

The undersides of the leaves are a slightly paler shade of green, which beautifully offsets the dark hue of the upper surface.

While sunlight can sometimes cause slight changes in tone, the Xanadu is noted for its ability to maintain its vibrant color even under varying conditions.

Stem Characteristics

Philodendron Xanadu boasts of distinctively spindle-shaped stems that are quite sturdy and rigid. The individual stems rise vertically to support the broad, elegant leaves.

The clustering habit of these stems gives the plant its bushy appearance. Generally, the stem color varies from a light to dark green depending on the maturity of the plant and the prevalent environmental conditions.

Care should be taken as the stems are sensitive and can easily break with rough handling. Regular pruning is recommended to maintain dense growth and avoid legginess.

Always inspect the stems regularly to detect any signs of disease or pest infestations.

Mature Size

The Philodendron Xanadu is a relatively compact plant, but it can still reach impressive sizes. Mature Xanadus often reach a width of 2-4 feet and a similar height. However, in ideal conditions, some can reach up to 5 feet tall.

What’s interesting about the Xanadu is its growth habit – it extends outward more than it does upward. This means it’s more likely to spread wide rather than build great height, making it a fantastic choice for ground coverage or as an underplanting to taller species.

The compact size and dense foliage make it a preferred addition to many homes and gardens.

Care Requirements

Caring for your Philodendron Xanadu involves key factors, including its light needs, watering frequency, temperature range, humidity preferences, and soil type & pH preferences.

Each of these elements contributes to the overall health and growth of this particular houseplant. The Xanadu is reasonably adaptable but providing optimal conditions will contribute to its vitality.

The guidelines within this section will offer you detailed information on how to care for your Philodendron Xanadu so that it stays healthy, lush, and vibrant.

Remember, meeting these requirements is vital for the plant’s longevity and aesthetics.

Light Needs

Philodendron Xanadu generally thrives well in bright, indirect light. Direct exposure to sunlight, especially intense afternoon rays, can bleach the leaves causing them to lose their vibrant green hue.

Too much shade, on the other hand, can lead to leggy growth as the plant stretches towards the light source. Thus, finding a happy medium of bright but indirect sunlight is key for a healthy Xanadu.

East facing windows often provide an ideal balance as they offer morning light which is bright, yet less harsh. Fluorescent light can also work well, making Xanadu great for indoor spaces such as offices.

Watering Frequency

The Philodendron Xanadu thrives well in moderately moist soil. However, it is important not to overwater as this plant can be prone to root rot.

As a general rule of thumb, water your Xanadu when the top inch of the soil feels dry. In the growing season, this usually means watering once a week.

In the dormant season, or in cooler temperatures, watering can be reduced to once every two weeks or when needed.

Always ensure that the pot has good drainage to prevent standing water. Remember, it’s better to under-water than over-water this species.

Humidity Preferences

Philodendron Xanadu thrives in environments with high humidity. Although it can tolerate average indoor humidity, it prefers a more humid atmosphere generally found in its native tropical habitat.

If the air in your home is dry, especially during winter, consider using a humidifier or regularly mist the plant to add moisture to its immediate surroundings.

One simple method to maintain humidity is to place the Xanadu’s container on a tray of water-filled pebbles.

Remember, it’s crucial never to let the plant sit in standing water as this can lead to root rot and other unwanted complications.

Temperature Range

Philodendron Xanadu thrives in moderate to warm temperatures, with an ideal range being between 65°F and 85°F. They are not cold-hardy and should be kept away from frost, as temperatures below 60°F can cause damage to the plant.

This plant also doesn’t like excessive heat, so avoid letting temperatures climb over 90°F. During hot summer days, ensure that your plant is placed in a location where it gets plenty of filtered light but is protected from direct sun.

During cold winter months, they should be brought indoors or provided with a form of heating if temperature drops significantly.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

When it comes to the Philodendron Xanadu, soil type and pH play a crucial role in its thriving. This cultivar prefers a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. You can easily create the ideal soil mix at home by combining two parts peat, one part perlite, and a bit of pine bark. The preferred pH balance for this plant ranges between 6.0 and 7.0. This relatively neutral pH helps with the absorption of nutrients required for the plant’s growth. Maintaining the right soil type and pH is essential for a healthy Philodendron Xanadu.

Growth & Propagation

The Philodendron Xanadu, despite being a slower growing plant, offers a pretty substantial growth rate in optimal conditions. It steadily forms a bushy clump that can reach up to 4 feet in height and 5 feet in width.

Propagation of this plant species is typically carried out using stem cuttings or seedlings, which are easy to root in a mixture of perlite and peat moss.

The Xanadu thrives in its season of active growth, normally spring and summer, where it exhibits a boost in its leaf production, adding to its attractive, dense foliage.

Propagation and growth updates are easier with the appropriate potting and repotting methods.

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Xanadu typically exhibits a moderate growth rate. In optimal conditions, you can expect your plant to grow steadily during its active growth periods.

As an evergreen species, it will retain its luscious green throughout the year, though growth might slow down during colder months.

It’s essential to understand and cater to its needs around lighting, temperature, and humidity in order to optimize its growth rate.

Furthermore, ensuring that the plant isn’t overwatered and that the roots aren’t left soaked can greatly increase the plant’s endurance and maintain a healthy growth rate.

Propagation Methods

While the Philodendron Xanadu can propagate from seeds, the most recommended method for home gardeners is the stem cuttings approach.

All you need to do is take a healthy stem cutting ideally with 2 to 3 leaves already on it, place it in a pot with well-draining soil and keep the soil pretty moist till it starts developing roots.

This process usually takes around 3 to 6 weeks. It’s best done in the early spring at the beginning of the plant’s active growth season.

Seed propagation is typically left to the professionals as it is a much more complex process.

Season of Active Growth

The Philodendron Xanadu shows its most active growth during the warm months of spring and summer. During this time, you’ll notice your Philodendron Xanadu producing new leaves with increased frequency.

This is an excellent time to repot your plant or propagate it further, as it will recover quickly from the process. However, remember that while the plant is in active growth, it will require more water and nutrients, so care adjustments might be necessary to support its luscious growth.

Your Xanadu’s growth might slow down quite a bit in winter months, so adjust care accordingly.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

When it comes to potting your Philodendron Xanadu, opt for a pot size that corresponds to the size of your plant, aiming for one that is shallow but wide.

In terms of potting mix, choose a well-draining, peat-moss-based mix which caters to the humidity-loving nature of this plant. Repotting should ideally be performed every few years, or when the plant begins to outgrow its current pot.

If you notice roots appearing at the surface or through the drainage holes, it is a strong indicator your Philodendron Xanadu requires repotting.

Potential Issues

With Philodendron Xanadu, like any other plant, certain challenges can arise that may cause problems to its health and growth.

Potential issues can range from common pests, such as bugs and insects, to common diseases, which might include fungal, bacterial, or viral infections.

Understanding these problems and how to address them is essential to keep your Xanadu healthy and thriving.

Furthermore, this plant species can show sensitivity towards certain factors like temperature extremes or inappropriate water levels which, if not properly managed, can harm the plant. 

Common Pests

In the context of the Philodendron Xanadu, common pests that can cause harm to the plant include spider mites, scale insects, and mealy bugs.

Spider mites are tiny creatures that can cause spots and color distortions on the leaves. Scale insects feed on the plant sap and leave a sticky substance behind which can attract other pests. Mealy bugs are small, fluffy white insects that can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off.

It’s important to routinely check your Philodendron Xanadu for these pests to ensure optimal health and vitality of your plant.

Common Diseases

Philodendron Xanadu plants are generally resistant to a large number of diseases. However, they may be susceptible to certain issues which arise due to excess moisture and poor ventilation.

Root rot can plague these plants if the soil is kept too wet, and yellow leaves are often an indicator of this disease. Similarly, leaf spot and blight could also affect your Philodendron Xanadu under high humidity or improper watering conditions.

Managing these conditions and maintaining a healthy environment will contribute to a disease-free plant. Additionally, regular inspection of your plant will catch symptoms early, allowing more efficient treatment.

Other Sensitivities

The Philodendron Xanadu is generally quite a hardy plant, but it does have certain sensitivities. First and foremost, it is sensitive to cold temperatures and frost, which can severely damage the plant.

Additionally, Xanadu plants can experience leaf burn if exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Over or under-watering can also cause the plant stress, leading to yellowing leaves or root rot.

Similarly, the plant is sensitive to heavy salts in fertilizers, which can result in leaf burning and poor growth. Keep these sensitivities in mind to ensure your Xanadu thrives.

Special Features & Uses

The Philodendron Xanadu, aside from being an exceptional houseplant, also boasts various unique features and uses.

The plant is noted for its captivating exotic appearance which makes it an excellent choice for indoor or outdoor decorative use. Beyond aesthetic appeal, you should be aware of its toxicity, particularly if you have pets or small children at home.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the details about the unique characteristics that set this plant species apart, the role it can play as a decorative piece, and important notes about its toxicity.

Unique Characteristics

Philodendron Xanadu is not just your average houseplant, it has several unique traits that sets it apart. Its deeply fractured, emerald green leaves form a dense, miniature tropical jungle, creating a dramatic display.

Unlike many other philodendrons, Xanadu is an upright plant not a climber or trailer. Its compact growth habit is more controlled, allowing it to be a stunning centerpiece presence in a room without overtaking the space.

It grows as a single, tidy clump, rather than spreading or running. This, along with its notably resilient nature and easy care requirements, make it a highly desirable ornamental plant.

Decorative Use

The Philodendron Xanadu is widely celebrated for its decorative use. With its lush, large, and dense foliage, it’s an excellent choice for adding a touch of tropical atmosphere to any indoor space.

Thanks to their attractive, deeply lobed leaves, they provide an eye-catching point of interest when showcased as houseplants, and can breathe life into office spaces as well.

Used in landscaping, they can serve as an impressive border plant or ground cover in warmer climates.

Their adaptability to pot culture also makes them a preferred selection for balconies and patios. Overall, their aesthetic appeal lies in their ability to make spaces feel more vibrant and alive.


One crucial point to note about Philodendron Xanadu is that it’s toxic if ingested. Like other members of the Philodendron genus, this plant contains calcium oxalate crystals.

If ingested, these can cause mouth irritation, intense burning and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

It’s necessary to keep this plant out of reach from children and pets who may be drawn to its vibrant, verdant leaves.

However, this toxicity doesn’t affect its status as a popular houseplant – it merely requires responsible placement.

Additional Tips & Tricks

When caring for your Philodendron Xanadu, remember that this plant thrives best in certain conditions. Specific recommendations for fertilizer application, routine pruning and maintenance, as well as the possible need of support structures can greatly enhance your Xanadu’s growth and health.

Starting with the right ingredients, you can naturally boost your plant’s vibrant green foliage and encourage its compact growth habit.

These additional tips and tricks can optimize your care routine, ensuring that your Philodendron Xanadu remains a stand-out addition to your plant collection while minimizing stress and work on your part.

Fertilization Recommendations

To enhance the Philodendron Xanadu’s growth, apply a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the warm season. It is crucial to avoid an excessive fertilization, as it may cause root burn.

Before application, make sure the plant’s soil is damp to avoid fertilizer burn. During winter months, cut back on feeding as the plant’s growth slows down.

Use indoor plant fertilizer, preferably one high in organic matter and with a composition of Nitrogen:Phosphorus:Potassium (NPK) around 20:20:20 for optimal results.

Follow the package instructions for the correct dosage. Always remember, fertilizing is not a solution for poor plant health, as most issues are frequently due to improper watering or lighting conditions.

Pruning & Maintenance

Your Philodendron Xanadu doesn’t need much pruning, but you should remove any yellowing leaves or faded foliage to maintain its attractive aesthetics.

A regular dusting of the large leaves will also help the plant to perform photosynthesis more efficiently. Maintenance tasks also include checking the plant for pests and ensuring it’s growing in suitable conditions.

It’s quite a low-maintenance plant, but periodic upkeep enhances the plant’s health and growth. In terms of growth, the more you take care of your Xanadu, the more it will flourish.

Remember, a healthy plant is less likely to succumb to pest infestation or disease.

Support Structures

In the context of Philodendron Xanadu care, support structures may not be necessary given its bush-like growth habit. However, providing support can promote vertical growth if desired.

This ensures easier maintenance and prevents the plant from taking up too much horizontal space. You may use stakes, cages, or even a trellis, especially for larger Philodendron Xanadus.

The plant will naturally grab onto the support with its aerial roots. Keep in mind, these structures should be installed while repotting to prevent damage to the root structure.

Make sure the material is sturdy enough to support this beautiful, dense, and much-branching tropical plant.

Houseplants   Philodendrons   Updated: November 1, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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