Houseplant of the Week: Xanadu Philodendron

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We know what you are thinking – how could nature make a philodendron even better? It’s already an amazingly easy plant to grow, with lots of variations like split leaf, Swiss Cheese and Brasil.

But the Xanadu, also known as the “Winterbourn” philodendron might just exceed your expectations. It’s doesn’t require support as it isn’t a vining philodendron. It’s compact while visually striking. And, like most of us, it gets better as it gets older.

Originally, the leaves of a Xanadu start out like most philodendron (see picture above). As you plant gets older, however, these leaves start to create separate lobes, ultimately becoming more spikey and exotic in appearance, like this:

When mature, each shiny leaf will have about 15 or so lobes, and those leaves can grow to 16 inches long and 12 inches wide!

One note of caution, however: make sure these plants are someplace where your pets can get to them, as they can be toxic to dogs and cats.

Caring for your Xanadu Philodendron

Light: This plant prefers a little more light than most philodendrons in order to maintain its compact growth habit. Too little sun and the stems will elongate as it tries to reach more light. Too much direct sun will burn the leaves. Bright, indirect light is your best bet.

Water: Water thoroughly with good drainage and then allow about half of the soil to dry out before watering again. The leaves will yellow if it is too wet.

Humidity: A native of Brazil, this plant likes it’s humidity, but it’s tolerant of average indoor humidity.

Fertilizing: Use a well-balanced plant food (one that includes all the major macro- and micro-nutrients) monthly during the spring and fall and every other week in the summer. Do not feed in the winter.