Philodendron ‘Xanadu’

Exotic low clumper with long thin leaves holding petite serrated leaves. With great age develops a snaking, handsome patterned white trunk. Twisted aerial roots.
Philodendron 'Xanadu'Philodendron 'Xanadu'Philodendron 'Xanadu'
synonyms Thaumatophyllum xanadu
height 2–5
width 3–6
tolerates Heat, Pots
Philodendrons are more tolerant of drought than their tropical appearance would suggest. Once they’re established, they can even survive in a shady spot without additional water, though the leaves will be fewer and smaller, giving them a little crown instead of a big lush crown. To keep them looking their best, give them water every week or two once established, or more if they are inland or in some sun.

Drooping leaves or a small crown with dwarfed leaves are signs of underwatering.
exposure Full Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Brazil
12–24, H2

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Philodendron leaves will cleanly shed fron the trunk once they are no longer of use to the plant, leaving a textured trunk reminiscent of octopus suction cups.
Many philodendrons have aerial roots that help them attach to structures in nature, and they add an interesting element to the plant, but they can also be removed without disturbing the plant in the least. If you want, you can lean the plant against a plank, tree or wall and watch it attach itself.
Generally philodendrons are thought of as shade plants, but they can also tolerate a surprising amount of direct sunlight, especially if they are near the coast.

Special Interest

This plant has a fascinating story! It burst upon the scene in Australian nurseries in 1983. At the time growers claimed it to be a spontaneous variant of Philodendron selloum. Later, House Plants of Australia named it ‘Xanadu’ and hailed it as their plant of the year for 1988. But then (much later) this species was (re)discovered in Brazil; it seems seeds had made it to Australia, somehow, in the early eighties. Curious, since those who ‘made’ the new plant claimed their production rights the plant breeder rights in Australia, which they would not have been able to do for a naturally occurring species. Was there an ulterior motive? As a tribute to this plants circuitous route to botanical nomenclature the new species was named... Philodendron xanadu! Since then it has been reclassified as Thaumatophyllum xanadu, though we continue to keep the more commonly recognized name here.

More Info

This plant was grown for an outdoor environment, so we do not recommend moving it inside. In general we do not recommend moving plants raised for an outdoor environment indoors.
This plant would make a good houseplant if it had been grown in a controlled greenhouse with houseplant soil. This ‘greenhousing’ ensures that plants who come home with you are well acclimated to indoor life, and also that they don’t have any pests. It is common for outdoor plants to have other passengers as well, such as earthworms or centipides that don’t necessarily hurt the plant, but aren’t welcome indoors.
If you consider yourself an expert gardener, you can of course attempt to transition this plant indoors. In that case you’ll want to strip all the soil from the rootball, wash the roots clean and then spray the entire plant (leaves, undersides of the leaves, all the cracks and roots) with a mix of one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol in a cup of water. Repot the plant in the appropriate sterile soil/pot and take extra care as it transitions to the indoors, especially looking for pests and treating at the first sign of problems. Always consider the risk that any bugs could also affect other houseplants you have nearby.
For some plants, we sell two versions: outdoor-grown and greenhouse-grown. If you’re looking to grow this plant indoors, feel free to ask our staff if we have a greenhouse-grown version in stock.