(image credits, IG: valurcons)
Would you love to decorate your space with plants but have a brown thumb? Well, Philodendron Xanadu is one of the most forgiving plants.
It can thrive in different areas of your home, without requiring too much. It can be grown in a potting medium consisting of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite or any other medium that is well-draining but can hold moisture at the same time. Put the Philodendron Xanadu in a spot with bright indirect light for the best growth. Water generously once the potting mix is about to dry out and keep this Philodendron in temperatures between 65ºF (18ºC) and 85ºF (29ºC). Fertilize once a month in Spring and Summer using a well-balanced liquid fertilizer. You can either foliar feed your plant or fertilizer when watering.
The best part is, it has an enormous spread (up to 6 feet wide), making you look like a pro gardener, even if you often forget to water it.
Here is a practical guide on how to care for a Philodendron Xanadu.
- 1 Philodendron Xanadu Care Guide
- 2 Common Problems with Philodendron Xanadu
- 3 Tips to Keep Philodendron Xanadu Problem-Free
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Xanadu
- 5 Conclusion
Philodendron Xanadu Care Guide
One of the things that attracted me to the Xanadu is its capability to grow in any soil mix. As long as the growing medium is loose and well-draining, you can expect this plant to thrive.
I like to grow my Xanadu in a potting mix containing sphagnum peat moss. Its capability to retain moisture and only release it when it’s needed is a key benefit for plants like this.
It’s also good at holding on to nutrients- an aspect that prevents them from being rinsed out when you’re watering.
If you prefer to use a different substrate, consider soilless mixtures, such as peat/perlite or peat/vermiculite.
Incorporating ingredients, such as vermiculite and perlite improves aeration and drainage of the soil.
Unlike other Philodendrons, the Xanadu has a very compact structure. As a result, it requires adequate amounts of light to maintain this structure.
In that regard, the best spot for growing this plant is one exposed to bright or medium, indirect light.
Too much light and your Xanadu’s leaves will get scorched. Too little, and it will deviate from its compact structure and become leggy.
You can also expose your plant to a little natural light every once in a while to boost its growth. Morning sun is the most recommended for this.
Philodendrons fare best in a potting mix that is moist, but not wet, and the Xanadu is no exception. If the growing medium is too wet, the roots may end up rotting.
To avoid this, always perform a moisture test before watering. Simply dip your finger into the top few inches of the potting mix and assess the moisture levels.
If the soil feels wet, wait a few more days before carrying on with your watering routine. But if it feels dry to the touch, it means you can proceed with watering it.
One question that many gardeners ask is, “How often should I water my Philodendron Xanadu?” Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. It all depends on the length of time it takes for your potting mix to dry.
When it comes to technique, give your Xanadu a generous watering. You should water until you see excess water draining from your pot’s drainage holes.
Be sure to get rid of the drained water though, to prevent the plant from sitting in soggy soil.
Here are a few more pointers to help you get the watering right:
- Keep in mind that your plant’s water intake will depend on several factors, such as the current season, and the amount of light it’s receiving. As a rule of thumb, you should water less often during winter.
- If you’ve placed your Xanadu in a pot that is too large, the potting mix will take slightly longer to dry; so ensure you give it ample time.
- Increasing the light intensity that you expose your Xanadu to, can enable it to use water faster
- If your potting mixture is dense and heavy, avoid flushing it with excess water. But, if it’s not too dense, you can flush it with excess water to get rid of toxins.
Another factor you should consider when growing the Philodendron Xanadu indoors is temperature.
You want to maintain a relatively warm temperature as this is the condition it’s used to when growing in the wild. More specifically, keep the temperatures between 65ºF (18ºC) and 85ºF (29ºC).
For most homeowners, maintaining the temperature at this range is a breeze. But what if you live in an area with a cold climate? Or, how can you keep your house warm enough for your Xanadu during winter? Here are a couple of tips:
- Set your thermostat above 60°F (16°C). If you don’t have a thermostat, then consider taking your plant to the warmest space in your home.
- If you go on vacation, request a friend/neighbor to monitor your plant from time to time. While at it, they should ensure that your thermostat is functioning effectively
- Don’t place your Xanadu on a windowsill once temperatures take a dive. This particularly applies to homes, which aren’t equipped with double-glazed windows. Alternatively, create a barrier between the window and plants. For instance, you can place a cardboard or Bubble Wrap.
- Avoid taking your Philodendron outdoors in winter, even if it’s for a brief moment. Wait until the first day of your spring frost-free date to increase its chances of survival. Even if it’s not exposed to too much cold, the act of thrusting it back to a setting with low light levels is not good. The plant may struggle to readjust to these conditions.
Now, if subjected to a very cold environment, this plant is likely to die back. But it’s a hardy plant, and may withstand this setting. If it doesn’t freeze, it will recover once the tide turns.
Philodendron Xanadu will thrive in an area with moderate to high humidity. It means that it will do well in regular household humidity.
However, if you live in an area that is a little dry, consider other ways to raise moisture levels. You can mist it regularly. Or, you can place it relatively close to other houseplants.
Doing so increases humidity in that area as water will evaporate from the plants through transpiration.
While it’s not mandatory, I like to apply fertilizer to my Xanadu to boost its growth. Besides, a fertilizer makes up for any missing nutrients, which is particularly important when using a soilless mix.
For this plant, you’ll want to go for a well-balanced liquid fertilizer. Put the fertilizer in a spray bottle for ease of application.
Spray the fertilizer once a month, during spring and summer. Reduce frequency to once every two months during fall and winter.
So how do you know whether you’re applying enough fertilizer to your plant? Well, you should monitor the growth of your leaves.
If the size of the leaves is still small despite applying fertilizer for a month, it could be because the plant is not receiving enough of it.
You can also check the leaves’ coloration. If they appear to be pale, there’s a high probability that your Xanadu is not getting enough nutrients, specifically, calcium and magnesium.
The Xanadu can be propagated in two ways: stem and root cuttings. In my experience, both techniques work just as effectively, though I prefer a stem cutting.
I find that the plant develops faster this way. Follow these steps:
- Remove the whole plant from its pot. Using a small shovel, partition its root cluster into sections
- Transfer each section to its own container, which should contain a well-draining potting mixture
- If you’d like to get several plants, then repot each of their root cuttings into its own container
- Using a small garden knife, cut a piece of stem from your current Xanadu. It should be about 3 inches long. Also, ensure you cut above one of the leaves
- Remove leaves, if any, from the stem cutting. Leave only two to three leaves at the top
- Prepare your pot, by filling it with a soilless mixture or organic soil and place your stem
Your plant should start rooting within two to three weeks. After rooting, you’ll notice the leaves starting to form as well.
The Philodendron Xanadu is a fast-grower. This makes it an excellent choice for homeowners looking to fill their garden with plants within a short amount of time.
When it comes to size, this plant is a little wider than it is tall. It can grow 3 to 5 ft. (0.9 m to 1.5 m) in width but only 2 to 4 ft. (0.6 m to 1.2 m) in height.
Once your Xanadu fills its current pot with roots, it’s advisable to repot it. This way, you can provide more room for continued growth.
When choosing a container for repotting, pick one that is just 2 to 3 inches bigger. This will give your plant a larger growing space.
$However, space won’t be so big that it results in inefficient drainage. Speaking of, ensure that the new container also has drainage holes at the bottom.
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Common Problems with Philodendron Xanadu
Despite the Xanadu being a low-maintenance plant, it’s highly susceptible to bacterial diseases, such as:
This disease is characterized by brown, black, or yellow spots appearing on the Philodendron’s foliage. It’s caused by a fungus, which thrives in damp conditions.
To treat leaf spot, start by isolating the infected plant to prevent other plants from suffering the same fate.
Next, cut back on your watering. You might also want to stop spritzing if this is something you’ve been doing.
This disease attacks your Xanadu at or below the soil line, and can even spread to its leaves. Erwinia blight thrives in a damp environment.
So to prevent it, avoid overwatering. Also, pay attention to your watering technique. You want to leave the potting mix evenly moist but not saturated.
Apart from diseases, this plant can also get infested with pests like mealybugs and aphids. Luckily, these are easy to get rid of using homemade insecticidal soap.
Tips to Keep Philodendron Xanadu Problem-Free
The Philodendron Xanadu doesn’t need much in the way of maintenance. Here are the main points to keep in mind:
- Place your plant in a spot exposed to bright, indirect light. If growing outdoors, you’ll want to look for a shady area, advisably one of the zones 10b to 11
- Plant your Xanadu in a quality potting mix; needs to be rich and well-draining
- Water only when the top few inches of your potting mix are dry
- Start feeding your plant at least 4 weeks after planting
- Prune if the plant grows too long/wide to give it a compact and neat look
Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Xanadu
Why are my Xanadu’s leaves turning yellow?
The Philodendron Xanadu is a foliage plant, which means it’s grown primarily for its attractive foliage. So when the leaves begin turning yellow, you may feel frustrated. There are a few reasons why this plant’s foliage can discolor, such as:
- Too much light – consider moving your plant to an area exposed to less light. If growing outdoors, move it to a shaded area. Or, grow bigger plants near your Xanadu to provide the much-needed shade.
- Overwatering- another common culprit is overly moist soil. If your potting mix is soggy, it compromises your plant’s capability to take in oxygen through the roots. This can, in turn, cause its foliage to yellow, and eventually, wilt.
Is Philodendron Xanadu poisonous?
It’s hard to believe that the Xanadu is poisonous, given its beautiful foliage. But it is, which is why it should be kept away from children, and pets like dogs and cats.
All sections of this plant contain calcium oxalate crystals. If the plant is handled improperly, the crystals can cause a burning sensation, pain, or swelling of the throat, lips, mouth, and tongue. The inflammation can lead to other complications, such as:
- Heavy breathing
- Difficulties when speaking or swallowing
- Copious salivation
If the plant’s sap comes into contact with your skin, this may cause dermatitis or irritation. Seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
If you don’t have a green thumb but would still love to decorate your home with some greenery, the Philodendron Xanadu plant is your best bet.
The only factors you’ll need to pay attention to are its warmth, lighting, and moisture levels. In return, the Xanadu will reward you with air-purifying perks while also gracing your living space with jungle-like splendor.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.