Philodendron Selloum vs Xanadu: Key Differences Explained

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Philodendron plants are popular houseplants, known for their stunning foliage and adaptability to various growing conditions. Among the many species of Philodendron, two stand out for their unique leaf shapes and growth habits: the Philodendron Selloum and Philodendron Xanadu. Both plants belong to the Araceae family and are native to tropical regions, but they showcase distinct characteristics that make them desirable additions to any indoor plant collection.

Philodendron Selloum, also known as the tree philodendron or the lacy tree philodendron, is famous for its large, spear-like leaves that grow upwards, resembling a tree. These leaves can become quite wavy as the plant matures, adding visual interest to any space. On the other hand, Philodendron Xanadu presents flatter, less wavy leaves with smooth lobes that grow more horizontally, giving the plant a bushier, shrub-like appearance. This difference in leaf shape and growth pattern allows plant enthusiasts to choose the right Philodendron based on the aesthetic they want to achieve in their home or garden.

In this article, we will further explore the similarities and differences between Philodendron Selloum and Philodendron Xanadu, covering factors such as size, care requirements, and ideal growing conditions. By understanding the unique attributes of these popular houseplants, you can make an informed decision on which variety best suits your personal preferences and space requirements.

Philodendron Selloum Overview

Philodendron Selloum

Origin and History

Philodendron Selloum is a tropical plant, native to South America, specifically countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. It has become a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardens due to its stunning appearance and adaptability.

Physical Characteristics

This type of philodendron is characterized by its massive, glossy, split leaves that can grow to impressive sizes. The Selloum plant grows its leaves in a spiral manner, adding new ones to its trunk as it develops. Although many might think it needs deep shade, it actually thrives in full sun or partial shade and looks best in rich, moisture-retentive soil.

Growth Requirements

  • Light: Philodendron Selloum prefers partial shade or full sun, making it adaptable to both indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Soil: It needs rich, moisture-retentive soil to look its best.
  • Water: Regular watering is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of this plant.
  • Humidity: Selloum thrives in high humidity levels, ideally between 70-90%.

In summary, the Philodendron Selloum can create a dramatic statement in gardens and homes with its unique foliage and growth patterns. Proper care, including meeting its light, soil, and humidity needs, will ensure this tropical beauty flourishes in any setting.

Philodendron Xanadu Overview

Philodendron Xanadu

Origin and History

Philodendron Xanadu is a popular tropical plant hailing from Brazil. It is a compact, bushy variety of the Philodendron genus, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer non-climbing plants. This versatile plant can be found in homes, offices, and landscapes as it adapts well to both indoor and outdoor environments.

Physical Characteristics

The Xanadu’s beauty lies in its glossy, symmetrical leaves which can grow up to 16 inches long and 12 inches wide. These leaves exhibit a striking red midrib and lobes that extend in a fan-like pattern. Unlike the climbing Philodendron Selloum, the Xanadu retains a more compact and bushy growth habit, making it an ideal choice for smaller spaces.

  • Height: Usually up to 5 feet
  • Width: 7 feet (in clusters)

Growth Requirements

To ensure that your Philodendron Xanadu thrives, it is essential to provide the appropriate care and environment. Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Light: Xanadu prefers bright, indirect light but can also tolerate lower light conditions.
  • Water: Maintain consistently moist soil, but avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures range between 65°F and 85°F. Avoid temperatures below 50°F.
  • Humidity: Moderate to high humidity levels are preferred. Mist the leaves to maintain humidity or use a humidifier.
  • Soil: A well-draining, peat-based potting mix is recommended.
  • Fertilizer: Feed the plant with a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Pruning: Trim any yellowing or damaged leaves to maintain a healthy, bushy appearance.

Following these guidelines will help to promote optimal growth and ensure your Philodendron Xanadu remains a stunning addition to your space.

Comparing Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu

Size and Shape

Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu are popular houseplants known for their attractive foliage. While they belong to the same genus, there are notable differences in their size and shape. Selloum features spear-like leaves that grow upwards like a tree, whereas Xanadu is characterized by flatter, less wavy leaves. Selloum can reach up to 6 feet high with leaves as long as 5 feet, while Xanadu remains smaller, more like a shrub, growing up to 5 feet tall and 7 feet wide.

Growth Rate

Both Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu have moderate growth rates. However, due to their different growth habits, Selloum tends to have a more tree-like appearance, while Xanadu remains more compact and bushy. This makes Xanadu better suited for smaller indoor spaces or tight corners.

Maintenance and Care

Caring for both Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu is relatively easy since they can tolerate a range of lighting conditions. However, they do have slightly different soil pH preferences. Xanadu thrives in soil with a pH of 5.6-7.5, while Selloum prefers a slightly more acidic environment with a pH of 5.0-6.0.

Indoor vs Outdoor

Both Selloum and Xanadu can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate and space available. Xanadu, with its more compact size and flatter leaves, may be better suited for indoor growth. In contrast, the larger and more tree-like Selloum can create a statement outdoors if provided with adequate space.

Pest and Disease Resistance

Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu share similar pest and disease resistance profiles. Common issues with these plants include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Regularly monitoring the plants and providing appropriate care will help to prevent these pests and maintain healthy growth.

Choosing the Right Philodendron for Your Space

When deciding between a Philodendron Selloum and a Philodendron Xanadu for your home, consider their key differences in size, growth habit, and foliage appearance.

The Philodendron Selloum is a larger plant, capable of growing up to 12 feet tall with leaves that can reach 5 feet in length. It is sometimes referred to as the Tree Selloum because of its vertical growth. This makes it more suitable for larger spaces that can accommodate its height and size. It has light green leaves with shallow lobes, which can make an impressive statement in any room.

Contrastingly, the Philodendron Xanadu is a more compact plant, growing up to 4 feet tall and wide. It grows more like a bush with its much smaller, deeply lobed dark green leaves. This makes it a better choice for smaller spaces, where it can still add a lush, tropical vibe without taking up too much room.

Here are some main factors to consider when choosing between the two plants:

  • Space: Make sure you have enough space for the chosen plant, considering their mature size.
    • Selloum requires larger spaces as it can grow up to 12 feet tall.
    • Xanadu is suitable for smaller spaces, growing up to 4 feet tall and wide.
  • Growth habit: Notice how each plant will grow and spread.
    • Selloum grows vertically, like a tree.
    • Xanadu has a bushy growth habit, spreading outwards.
  • Foliage appearance: Both plants have unique leaf patterns.
    • Selloum has light green leaves with shallow lobes.
    • Xanadu is adorned with smaller, deeply lobed dark green leaves.

It’s also important to know that both Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu have similar care requirements, such as preferring filtered or indirect light, regular watering, and moderate humidity.

Ultimately, assessing your space and preferences while keeping these factors in mind will help you make the best decision on whether to choose a Philodendron Selloum or Xanadu for your home.


In comparing the Philodendron Selloum and Philodendron Xanadu, it’s important to highlight their similarities and differences in order to make an informed decision about which plant might be better suited to your needs.

Philodendron Selloum is known for its large, spear-like leaves, and can grow up to 12 feet in height, resembling a tree. Its leaves grow in a spiral manner around its trunk. On the other hand, Philodendron Xanadu is more focused on beauty, with glossy, symmetrical lobes on the leaves that can measure up to 16 inches long and 12 inches wide.

Both plants have similar requirements when it comes to water, light, temperature, and humidity. However, there are some differences in their preferences for soil. Selloum prefers a rich soil that retains moisture, while Xanadu thrives in well-draining soil. Both plants should be cared for with proper watering to prevent negative effects on their growth.

Propagating these plants is relatively easy, as they can both be propagated through stem cuttings or root division methods during the growing season. It’s important to consider the size of the space you’re planning to grow the plants in, as Xanadu can reach up to 5 feet in height and 7 feet in width, while Selloum can grow to be 12 feet tall.

In summary, both Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu are attractive options for houseplant enthusiasts, with their unique characteristics and relatively low-maintenance care requirements. Choose the plant that best suits your aesthetic preferences, available space, and soil preferences, and enjoy the beauty these Philodendron varieties can bring to your home or office.

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