Philodendron Xanadu: Winterbourn Plant Care

What is a Philodendron Xanadu?

Philodendron Xanadu, commonly referred to as Philodendron Winterbourn, is a tropical plant native to the rainforests of South America.

It is known for its large evergreens that have deep green dissected leaf fenestrations, making it a great landscaping plant in many tropical areas, such as Florida.

In fact, it grows well in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. Because it can thrive with indirect light and room temperatures, it can also be grown indoors and makes a perfect addition to any home decor.



The Philodendron Xanadu was originally discovered in Western Australia in 1983 as a chance seedling, meaning it was discovered accidentally when hybridizing or cultivating new plant species.

It was ultimately patented in the US as the Philodendron ‘Winterbourn’. During this time, it was also marketed by plant nurseries under the name of Philodendron ‘Showboat’.

But, in 1998, the nursery and plant breeder, House Plants of Australia, ultimately changed the name to ‘Xanadu.’ It was so popular that it was named their plant of the year and the name stuck.

Today, it is just as popular as there are more than a million Xanadu plants being marketed around the world.

There is a twist, however; ever since the US patent expired, there are now credible claims that this plant is neither a hybrid nor a nursery-grown cultivar; rather, it originated from seed collected from the forests of Brazil.

Currently, the plant’s botanical name is Thaumatophyllum Xanadu. However, it is really classified under the Thaumatophyllum genus. After molecular genetic analyses and research, particularly those conducted after the year 2008, it was discovered that the Xanadu did not share enough DNA to be part of the Philodendron genus when it was first classified. [1]

So within this article, even though it should be called Thaumatophyllum Xanadu, we will still refer to it as a Philodendron because, in general, most people still call it Philodendron Xanadu.

Growth Pattern

Philodendron plants either grow as climbers or creepers.

Unlike most philodendrons, the Philodendron Xanadu does not necessarily climb or creep; rather, the Xanadu philodendron has a compact appearance and is an upright plant.

Its large, split, and lobed leaves grow like a bush into dense clumps. This results in a compact growth habit.

Philodendrons can be either climbing or crawling plants. For beginner gardeners, “crawling” or “creeping” just means that the plant’s stems grow horizontally along the ground. Climbers, on the other hand, have aerial roots (spikes on their stems) that can grasp any upright structures (such as a trellis or moss pole) in order to “climb” or grow upwards.

You do have to be careful to take note that the Philodendron Xanadu can get quite large. Grown outdoors, the tree-like Philodendron can grow up to 3 feet tall and as wide as 6 feet!

In contrast, as an indoor plant, growth is limited to the size of the pot. As for how fast it grows, it grows slowly, unlike other fast-growing Philodendron plants.

How to Care for Philodendron Xanadu

While many people keep the Xanadu plant outside, it can also thrive indoors in the home or office because it loves room temperatures and indirect light.

Xanadu philodendron houseplant is a relatively easy-to-care-for plant, but there are some things that you should know about it in order to keep it healthy.

Temperature and Climate

As a tropical plant, the Philodendron Xanaduprefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and can handle temperatures down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

This plant, which is native to regions of South America, prefers warm weather and is not cold-hardy, so it will not do well in cold weather and frost.

So, in milder climates, such as areas in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11, the plant can be kept outside year-round, but if temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will have a very difficult time growing.


Philodendron Xanadu plant prefers high humidity but can acclimate to humidity levels generally found in most homes.

However, for it to really thrive, you should really increase the relative humidity.

So, if you live in a dry climate, try increasing the humidity by using a humidifier, misting daily, or placing a pebble tray underneath the pot.

Another method to increase humidity that most people don’t realize is to bunch several plants together to create a microclimate of humid air.

Be sure to keep your plant away from cooling and heating vents, as these plants can be sensitive to the change in temperature and also cause the plant to dry out.



Philodendron Xanadu prefers bright indirect light.

It can handle a few hours of direct sunlight, especially in the morning sun, but too much direct sunlight and your plant may start turning brown.

When you notice your plant’s leaves starting to turn brown, they are probably getting sunburned. Move your plant to another location where there is indirect light.

If the plant is in a low light area and doesn’t get enough indirect light, you may notice its leaves turning a yellowish-green color.

This can be a sign of too much water or root rot because the leaves are unable to process the water fast enough without sufficient indirect light. Another symptom of too little light is that your plant’s growth will be stunted.


Philodendron Xanadu needs to be watered regularly; an ideal watering schedule for this is one to two times per week.

You’ll need to water your plant until you see the excess water draining out of the drainage hole. Then be patient and allow the soil surface to dry out before watering again.

One quick tip: check the soil with your fingertip to see if your plant is ready to be watered. If your finger is still wet, wait another day or two. If it is dry or nearly dry, you can go ahead and water your philodendron plant.

If you’re looking for a pot with drainage holes, take a look at this self-watering container. It is what we use for our indoor plants as there’s no need to worry about overwatering.

Unique 10" Self-Watering, Aerating, High Drainage Plant Pot with Deep Saucer (10 Inch,...
  • SELF-WATERING, 2-WEEKS+ DEEP RESERVOIR: No more troublesome wicks that clog...
  • WATER FROM THE BOTTOM + NO MORE OVERFLOW: Each planter comes with a clip-on...


Philodendron Xanadu thrives in well-draining soil that is high in organic matter such as compost or peat moss.

You can buy a premixed houseplant potting mix or make your own DIY soil mix.

If you choose to make your own, mix 2 parts general potting soil with 1 part perlite and 1 part peat moss.

The soil amendments will help enhance your potting soil. The perlite will help aerate and drain water, while the peat moss will help retain some moisture.

If you’re looking for general potting soil for your philodendron plants, we recommend this particular brand of houseplant potting soil. It’s nothing special, but it works for all our indoor plants.

Miracle-Gro Houseplant Potting Mix: Fertilized, Perlite Soil for Indoor Gardening,...
  • Growing indoors is easy under the right conditions; Miracle-Gro Houseplant...
  • Recommended for growing beautiful indoor houseplant varieties like Pothos,...
  • This indoor plant soil is less prone to gnats, thanks to the combination of...


Fertilize your Philodendron Xanadu during the growing season, which is spring through summer.

As the plant ages, you’ll want to feed your philodendron once a month, using a balanced fertilizer and following the directions closely.

In fact, you may want to dilute the fertilizer to ensure that you don’t overfertilize your plant.



You will want to repot your philodendron when you see roots coming out of the bottom of the drainage hole.

The root ball of this plant does not like to have too much room or to be too crowded, so choosing a pot that is several inches in diameter larger than your existing pot is ideal.

Be careful to wear gloves when repotting, as the sap from the plant can cause skin irritation.



Philodendron Xanadu’s lobed leaves can be propagated like most other philodendrons by root division or by leaf and stem cutting.

It is best to propagate your plant during the growing season, which begins in the spring, so that it has the entire growing season to produce new growth.

If you live in a warm region, with a lengthy growing season, you can even propagate in the summer.

First, cut a stem, preferably with a leaf node. Next, place the cutting in a small container like a vase and wait a few weeks (around 2 to 3 weeks) for it to sprout roots.

If you want to increase your chances of sprouting roots, try using rooting hormones (rooting powder).

Rooting hormones contain a compound called indolebutyric acid (IBA). IBA is a precursor to a plant hormone called auxin, which is a stimulant that helps plants grow roots.

Once rooted, plant them in their own pots with fresh potting mix for the new plants.

If you’re looking at rooting hormones for the first time, we suggest this particular rooting hormone. It is great for first-timers. We’ve used it in the past and it simply works and roots sprout every time we propagate.

Hormex Rooting Powder #1 - for Easy to Root Plants - 0.1 IBA Rooting Hormone for Plant...
  • NO BAD STUFF: Our root hormone for cuttings is an excellent powder to use...
  • EASY TO USE: Cut a 3" - 6" stem below a node at a 45-degree angle from a...


Philodendron Xanadu is very hardy and relatively disease-resistant, but it is possible to be infested by spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.

Monitor your plants regularly to ward off any pests.

If you do see pests on your plant, immediately wipe them off with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. If pests keep coming back, spray them with an insecticide like Neem oil.

If you are looking for a Neem oil spray, may we suggest this particular Neem oil spray? It’s nothing fancy, but we’ve used it on our pest infestations and it simply works.

BioAdvanced Organics Brand Neem Oil, Ready-to-Use, 24 oz
  • INSECT KILLER: Controls Aphids, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Fruit Flies,...
  • DISEASE CONTROL: Fungicide controls Blackspot, Rust, Powdery Mildew, and...
  • USE ON: For use on Roses, Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables and Shrubs


There are some destructive diseases that impact your Xanadu Philodendron. Different species of fungi or bacteria cause plant illnesses, which are always difficult to diagnose.

You can avoid or treat philodendron diseases, but it is essential to first identify the problem. Illnesses such as Erwinia blight and leaf spot are some of the most prevalent.

Erwinia blight can kill in a matter of days by rotting stems and leaves from the inside out. The leaf spot will manifest as sores on the leaves and eventually cause the leaves to decay and fall off.

Isolate your plant immediately if you observe any indication of plant disease. You can attempt to rescue your plant by cutting off any diseased leaves.

Be sure to clean your pruning instrument between each cut because plant disease can easily spread to other parts of the plant.

The bad news is that if the disease has spread, you won’t be able to save the plant even if you keep it try to nurse it back to health.

Lastly, the most effective method for preventing plant diseases is to not overwater the plant.

Try watering philodendrons from the bottom up. Additionally, many diseases prefer warm temperatures, so maintain a temperature of between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit if possible.


Is a Philodendron Xanadu Plant Rare?

Xanadu Philodendron is a fairly common houseplant. You can find them at most big box stores and garden centers. However, there is a Xanadu variety called the Golden Philodendron Xanadu, which is actually quite scarce and highly coveted among plant enthusiasts.

Can Philodendron Xanadu plants be in full sun?

Yes, Xanadu philodendron plants can be in full sun for a few hours, in particular, few hours of direct sun in the morning. However, too much light can cause the leaves of plants to burn. The first appearance of yellow leaves can be a sign that your plant is not getting enough sunlight.

Is a Philodendron Xanadu an indoor plant?

Yes, Xanadu philodendron is an indoor plant. However, it can also grow outdoors as a landscape plant. Since it is not a crawling plant, rather it grows like a bush, it can be a great front yard plant. As with any other Philodendron, this easy-to-grow plant needs regular watering, bright indirect light, and fertilizer in the growing season to thrive as an indoor houseplant. When grown indoors, this plant needs more indirect light than it usually requires outside.


If you are looking for a low-maintenance houseplant, the Philodendron Xanadu is a good option. In Xanadu philodendron care, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

This plant does well in indirect light and should be kept out of direct sunlight. It also prefers moist soil, but should not be waterlogged.

Finally, the Xanadu Philodendron plant is toxic if ingested, so keep it away from pets and children.

Other Philodendron Plants to Consider

If you decide to grow a Philodendron plant, you have many choices; the Xanadu Philodendron is just one of many. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them a popular houseplant choice for indoors and some that are better suited for outdoor growing as a landscape plant.

Here is a small sample of other Philodendron plants to consider for your home, office, or outdoor garden.

Philodendron Birkin: The Philodendron Birkin is recognized for its luxuriant heart-shaped green leaves with white-yellow wave-like striping. Because it is a cross-bred hybrid, the White Wave Philodendron is difficult to locate at local nurseries and cannot be found in the wild.

Philodendron Hederaceum: Also known botanically as Philodendron scandens but most well known as the heart leaf philodendron, it is a climbing philodendron that may reach a height of more than 10 feet in height. One thing to note is that the Philodendron hederaceum contains varieties that are unusual enough to have their own names. For example, philodendron micans, philodendron brasil, philodendron kirkbride, and philodendron lemon-lime are all varieties of the heart-leaf philodendron.

Philodendron Erubescens: The Pink Princess Philodendron is a climbing houseplant with pink-variegated green leaves and a dark green background. It is a unique plant due to its dark green and bright pink variegated leaves, which no other plant has. Due to a genetic abnormality, the plant exhibits pink variegation. The hue of the veins, which appear to vanish upon closer scrutiny, is even more brilliant. Given the rarity of this plant, consider yourself fortunate if you acquire one.


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