Xanadu Philodendron Care & Replant - Knowledgebase Question

Rochester, NY
Question by bbarcomb2004
November 15, 2005
I have been researching a particular plant we've been caring for in our office now for two years. When I started, this plant was unattended and had only three stems and the same leaves. I decided to see what I could do, not having much of a green thumb. I placed it in our common area, on my desk, next to the phone and directly under the flourescent lighting (none which was taken into consideration when I placed it there). The plant flourished! We watched as it began to sprout baby stems and more leaves. Soon we had to put it into a larger pot...then into a larger, floor pot! This plant was incredible and just beautiful. We had no idea what it was. The past week I have been trying to research it because I would like to see how I could try starting another plant from it. After hours of online searching, I finally discovered it to be the Xanadu Philodendron. Needless to say...I am thrilled. The plant is once again growing out of its large pot and we may have to invest in yet another...but just the same, it's beautiful and we'd like to see it continue to grow. Now..as for my question...could you please tell me how, if possible, would we go about starting a new plant from this current one. If we cut a stem off, do we place it in water and wait for it to grow roots? I would appreciate any information you can give me as I am sure my coworkers would all like to know as well. Also, because its gotten so large, is it alright to gently tie up the stems with a potting stake? AT one time, we used pencils and dental floss...and it still seemed to continue to thrive. Once again, I appreciate any help you can give on the continued care and further development of this gorgeous plant and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

Answer from NGA
November 15, 2005


Assuming you have the patented form Xanadu, the plant should mature to about three feet high by three or four feet wide, although it might get a little bigger than that. It should also be self supporting (although arching and spreading outward and downward somewhat so it conceals the rim of the container is normal) as long as it is in bright enough light. Staking will interfere with the natural shape and the plant's exposure to the light, so it probably would not be a good thing to do. If it seems to be growing leggy and loose, try either gradually increasing the light it receives and/or reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer you are giving it. (The lower the light, the less fertilizer it needs. The brighter the light, the more compact the plant.) Commercially, it is propagated by tissue culture. You should be able to divide it (taking a section of root and its corresponding stems) or if you prefer, gently dig out one of the offsets at the base of the plant without overly disturbing the parent. Here is some additional information from the Monrovia web site you may find interesting.

This patented hybrid philodendron is a smaller, more adaptable sized form of P. selloum. The genus falls into the same family as the calla lilies and contains about 400 species mostly native to tropical American including a number of epiphytes. It was classified by Austrian botanist Heinrich Schott, 1764-1865 who chose the name from the Greek for tree-loving, to describe the many liana species. This species has formerly been synonymous with P. bipinnatifidum, and P. sellowianum, and often confused with a different species P. imbe. These plants are very similar in appearance to species in two other closely related genera: Monstera and Epipremnum, all of which produce leaves that are markedly different in from their mature leaves. It is indigenous to southern Brazil and Paraguay and is the most cold hardy species of the entire genus.

Enjoy your plant!

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