Philodendron Xanadu, Thaumatophyllum xanadu: plant, cultivate, multiply

The xanadu is a small terrestrial philodendron with magnificent shiny leaves. Particularly tough and easy to grow, it makes a wonderful houseplant, resistant to watering oversights, graphic and exotic.

Philodendron Xanadu, Thaumatophyllum xanadu


Scientific N. Thaumatophyllum xanadu

Synonyms Philidendron xanadu, Philodendron ‘Winterbourn’

Origin South America

Flowering spring t

Flowers narrow dark red spathes

Typehouseplant, tropical plant


Foliage persistent



Plant and cultivate

Hardiness not very hardy, up to -6C minimum

Exposition deep or light shade, partial shade

Solsandy, clayey or loamy, but rich

Acidity very neutral acid

Humidity always fresh

Useplante d’intrieur


Multiplicationcutting, separation of suckers

Philodendron Xanadu, Thaumatophyllum xanadu

Philodendron xanadu or now Thaumatophyllum xanadu, called the philodendron xanadu or the xanadu, is a subtropical plant grown as a houseplant, belonging to the family Araceae, like les arums. The xanadu is native to South America, it’s a species terrestrial forest of Brazil. It is also a perfect houseplant for beginners, as she forgives the vagaries of culture.

More resistant than other philodendrons, it is sometimes also cultivated in the open air, during the summer in the patios or on a shaded balcony, or even possibly all year round, in climates with mild winters. It is therefore also a landscape plant for climate tropical to warm temperate.

Description du philodendron xanadu

Thaumatophyllum xanadu is a terrestrial, non-climbing plant. It expands by multiplying its number of shoots, carried by very short stems, and eventually becomes wider than it is tall. It is a plant of slow growth which becomes more and more beautiful with age. A very old plant can reach 1.60 m in height and bear leaves with a blade and petiole exceed 1 meter.

His leaves are long stalked, with a blade of 15 to 40 cm, deep cut into 15 to 20 narrow lobes and fairly regular, perpendicular to the rib central. This blade is shiny, dark green, with excellent texture.

The inflorescences are typical of Araceae, narrow dark red husks, but they are not very common in culture; xanadu is cultivated for its magnificent foliage and its firm habit, wider than it is tall.

Varieties of philodendron xanadu

Although present only occasionally in points of sale, here are some very interesting varieties of xanadu:

  • Philodendron xanadu ‘Gold’, a shape whose leaves are entirely yellow.
  • Philodendron xanadu ‘Yellow variegated’, a very beautiful plant with broad leaves a little less divided and variegated with yellow.
  • Philodendron xanadu ‘White variegated’, the same sheet in shape as above, but variegated with white.
  • Philodendron xanadu ‘Dwarf Form’, a compact form whose leaves are no longer cut. It exists in plume de blanc ‘Dwarf variegated form’, et en jaune ‘Yellow Compacted Variegated’.
  • Philodendron xanadu ‘Yellow Variegated Narrow’, with very elongated, fairly irregular leaves variegated with yellow.

How to grow the xanadu philodendron?

Le xanadu grows between 13 and 27 ° C. It therefore lends itself to indoor pot culture all year round, or in the open air, in a patio or a courtyard during the summer months. It is also resistant to some frosts (around -6 ° C) and can therefore be acclimatized in the ground in a warm temperate climate.

It is grown in a pot containing a good potting soil humus. The philodendron does not particularly require a humid atmosphere, and on the contrary, although subtropical, it is quite resistant to dry atmospheres or to watering oversights, which makes it a very easy to store houseplant many years, even when you are a beginner in cultivation.

Xanadu is grown in a luminous shadow, sheltered from direct sunlight. It is watered once a week, during its growing season with a possible addition offertilizer for green plant once a month, from spring to autumn, but not in winter.

The top half of the pot (approximately) should be dry before watering again.

Some culture defects in the xanadu:

  • the xanadu lacks thickness: give it more light. In addition, a spring, repot, otherwise give it fertilizer.

  • the leaves take on a yellowish color, too pale green: too much light. Avoid direct sunlight.

  • gray spots appear on the leaves: it is an excess of watering: a fungal disease which results in leaf spots. The problem can be solved by correcting the watering and putting the xanadu in a better ventilated area. If necessary, remove the ugly leaves.

  • leaves, no longer yellowish green, but which turn yellow and die: really too much watering! the feet are soaked in water: the plant loses its roots and suffocates. Try to re-root the plant in new, non-damp potting soil and water less.

  • the soil is sticky around the xanadu pot: there are certainly mealybugs under the leaves. Brown or mealy mealybugs (white cottony mass): their honeydew falls to the ground. Unfortunately, it is difficult to eradicate. It should be taken outside in the shade during summer if possible. Then when it is brought in in the fall, remove the mealybugs as soon as they appear with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol, before being too infested. Where .. for extreme cases: discard the plant, possibly having taken cuttings which will be completely soaked in bleach for one hour.

The xanadu: a story and a somewhat complicated name

Philodendron xanadu was formerly sold under a name of variety as philodendron ‘Winterbourn’, a seedling, considered an excellent hybrid spontaneous appeared in an Australian garden, therefore patented. Once found in natura in Brazil, this plant recovered its species status, under the Latin name of Philodendron xanadu.

But today the xanadu belongs to the genre Thaumatophyllum, only a few floral characteristics separate it from the genus Philodendron.

However, in commerce, xanadu is still often considered a philodendron, which he is also close to.

How to multiply xanadu?

If your xanadu philodendron is making small new basal shoots (small, round, immature leaves), these small divisions, already rooted, are easy to separate with a knife.

If there is a problem of asphyxiation of the roots or if you want it on a thick plant, pieces of stems can be choked cuttings, removing the leaves which are too bulky, but leaving the terminal bud.

Did you know ?

Be careful, philodendrons are toxic, do not let your dogs or cats chew them.

Species and varieties of Thaumatophyllum

  • Thaumatophyllum stenolobum, with beautiful elongated leaves
  • Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, philodendron with bipinnatifid leaves
  • Thaumatophyllum spruceanum, with astonishing composed and rolled leaves

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by

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