Philodendron Xanadu Care – Pruning, Propagation & Repotting

Philodendron Xanadu

The Philodendron Xanadu is also known as the Philodendron Winterbourn. But, unlike most of the plants in its genus, this is not a vining plant. As such, you don’t need to install a pole or give it something to climb onto.

The plant is known for its dense, clumping lobed leaves. It will also grow wider than tall, reaching about 2 to 4 feet high but covering a space of about 4 to 6 feet wide. As such, it is great for filling up blank spaces in certain parts of your home or patio.

It is native to Brazil. Thus, it is used to tropical and subtropical climate.

Here in the U.S., you’ll often see it grown as a landscape plant as well as in containers.

Philodendron Xanadu Plant Care

Philodendron Xanadu Light

Philodendron Xanadu needs a very specific balance of light in order to grow properly.

That is, it needs more light than most philodendrons. So, you want to give it bright, indirect sunlight. It will actually appreciate some direct morning sun. But, it cannot tolerate direct sunlight for long periods of time especially that from the afternoon sun.

When it doesn’t get enough light, it will start to reach out towards the light source becoming long and leggy, with leaves that are distanced farther away from each other.  This will cause it to look sickly and thin, not to mention unbalanced.

When you see hints of this happening, you want to immediately move it to a bright location. Pruning the leggy parts likewise allow them to make fresh starts.

On the other hand, allowing it to get too much light will turn its foliage yellow green. If you leave it there longer, its foliage will become bleached causing them to look pale.

As such, this makes light a very important feature when growing the plant indoors. It is more difficult to get sufficient light indoors because light only enters from the windows.

 

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Philodendron Xanadu Temperature

Your philodendron Xanadu does best when temperatures stay relatively steady between 65 to 85 degrees. Keeping the day time temperature in the higher end of the range while maintaining nighttime temps in the lower 10 degrees of the range.

This makes it perfect for most homes since humans enjoy the same living climates.

It is hardy to USDA zones 8 to 11. As such, you can keep it outdoors all year round in these regions with little maintenance.

If you keep it outdoors in zone 9 or below, make sure to move it inside once the temperature goes below 50 degrees.

Being a native of Brazil, it is used to tropical and subtropical climates. This means it likes warm weather and cannot tolerate frost. As such, leaving it out over the winter in freezing temperatures will kill the plant.

 

Philodendron Xanadu Humidity

Similarly, its native habitat is humid. As such, like other philodendron, it enjoys higher levels of humidity in order to grow optimally.

However, the good news is, it can tolerate the lower humidity that most homes have. So, you don’t need to do anything extra to keep it alive.

That said, if your home has low humidity or you experience very dry air in the wintertime, you want to increase air moisture. You can do so by doing any one of the following.

Move it to the bathroom. The bathroom is the most humid place int the home. As long as there is enough light there, it will be happy.

  • Mist the plant every few days. Spraying with water helps keeps the air moist, albeit temporarily. As such, you need to do this a few times a week consistently. Also, don’t wet the leaves too much when you spray as it can increase the risk of fungal infection.
  • Plants transpire which then evaporate into the air. Individually, a plant cannot transpire enough to increase humidity. But as a group, they can. However, leave enough space between them so air can flow through easily to help dry any leaves quickly.
  • Water tray. Placing the plant on top of a water tray causes the same effect. As the water evaporates in increases air moisture. But, keep the plant and its pot above the water with the use of a platform or stones.
  • Humidifier. This lets you set the device and forget it. It is precise as the machine regulates the humidity to your desired levels.

philodendron xanadu

source: wikimedia commons

 

Watering Philodendron Xanadu

Your philodendron Xanadu appreciates regular water as it enjoys moist soil. However, it cannot tolerate wet or soggy soil. You also don not want to leave it sitting in water because this will cause root rot, which if not discovered and treated quickly can destroy the plant.

As such, you want to find that balance between too dry and too wet. To do so, you want to allow the top layer of soil to dry between waterings. Anywhere from that point until it about half the soil is dried up is fine. Beyond that, the soil will begin to get too dry.

On the other hand, if the top layer is still even slightly moist, you don’t want to water yet. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwatering.

Thus, the best way to know when to water is to dip your index finger into the soil down 1 to 2 inches. If it feels moist down there, you want to wait 1 to 2 days before testing again. If it feels dry, then water now.

You can likewise use a moisture meter, which is an inexpensive device that tells you how much moisture there is in the soil. All you need to do is to stick it into the soil and check the digital reading.

When watering, make sure to water thoroughly. That is, water it until the liquid starts to drip from the pot’s holes. Then allow the excess moisture to completely drain before returning it to its spot.

This ensures moisture reaches the roots. But, the plant doesn’t sit in water.

 

Philodendron Xanadu Soil

From its watering habit, you can already guess that the plant enjoys moist, well-draining soil. This means the soil is able to retain enough water to stay moist (and keep the plant hydrated). But, not hold the moisture for too long such that that it stays wet.

Thus, you want to choose high quality potting mix that’s loose and airy. Similarly, one that’s high in organic matter lets the plant grow optimally.

Here, you have a few options.

You can use a combination of peat and perlite or vermiculite. Or, you can go with 100% sphagnum peat moss. You can also go with potting soil, then add some perlite to improve drainage.

 

Fertilizing Philodendron Xanadu

Philodendron Xanadu needs regular fertilizer during its growing season which runs between spring and summer and a bit into the fall. During this time, you’ll want to feed it monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to 50% strength.

You want to use a product that contains bothe macro and micronutrients. Philodendrons need certain micronutrients it order to grow optimally. This includes calcium and magnesium. When it doesn’t get enough, its leaves will turn pale.

If under bright light or during the summer, you can up the dose to once every two weeks. Plants grow faster with more light. As such, it may need more food to sustain this growth.

But, do observe the plant if you decide to increase feeding frequency. You don’t want to overfeed it.

On the other hand, few leaves, small leaves and slower than normal growth means it needs more fertilizer.

 

Pruning

Philodendron Xanadu is low maintenance when it comes to pruning. The only time it will need to be pruned is it is growing too big for your liking or the space in which is stays at in your room.

You can trim the plant to maintain its size and shape.

Since it is a slow to moderate grower, regular pruning isn’t really necessary except for removing damaged, dead or yellow leaves. Doing so makes it look good. More importantly, this lets it focus its resources of fresh, healthy leaves instead of deteriorating or dead ones.

 

Philodendron Xanadu Propagation

One of the cool things about philodendron Xanadu is that it looks better with age. However, as it gets older, it also comes closer to the end of its lifespan.

This means you’ll want to grow new plants before than happens. And, the best way to propagate your Xanadu is via division.

Here, you separate parts of the mother plant and grow them individually. How many you decide to split it into will depend on how big the mother plant is and how many new plants you want.

How to Propagate Philodendron Xanadu through Division

You only want to divide a bigger philodendron Xanadu. Smaller plants are harder because you won’t have much left for both plants. Similarly, this is a good way to reducing the size of an overgrown mother plant that’s taking up too much space in your home.

  • Start by carefully taking the plant out of its container. Watering the plant 24 hours ahead allows it to withstand the stress better. It also makes the soil easier to handle.
  • Check the root ball. Look for any damaged roots or signs of root rot. Trim them if you see them. Also, dust off any excess soil.
  • Pick out stems that look big enough to grow on its own. You want to choose healthy stems as well.
  • Trace the stems down the root ball. Then trace downward to see where their roots are.
  • Separate the section keeping the stem and root together. You can use your hands or a sterilize knife.
  • Plant each portion your separate into its own pot with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
  • Replace the mother plant’s soil with fresh mix as well. Then, replant it there.
  • Water the pots.

 

Transplanting & Repotting

Once your philodendron Xanadu becomes rootbound, it is time to repot it. The plant doesn’t like to stay too long in these conditions. So, you want to move it as soon as spring or summer comes around.

These are the best times to do so as the plant is actively growing. This allows it to quickly overcome being moved.

When moving to a new container, make sure the pot has holes in the bottom to allow water to drain.

 

Toxicity

The plant is fairly toxic to cats and dogs, less so to humans but nevertheless still poisonous. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which are released when ingested. As such, it can cause swelling and irritation in the mouth, throat and digestive tract.

These can also irritate skin. So, it is a good idea to wear gloves when you work on the plant.

 

Pests and Diseases

Philodendron Xanadu is vulnerable to some pests and diseases.

Aphids, spider mites and mealybugs are common attackers. As such, you want to watch out for them because they will damage your plant’s stem and leaves.

These bothersome critters can be treated by spraying with insecticidal soap. You can also use neem oil which helps prevent them.

When it comes to disease, leaf spot can be a problem. This is often caused by fungal infection which arises when the plant’s leaves get too wet or don’t dry quickly enough.

As sch, avoid watering the plant from overhead which will wet its leaves. Similarly good air circulation will allow moisture to dry faster.

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