What The Difference Between Philodendron Selloum and Philodendron Xanadu?

You’re thinking of the addition of a big green leaf to your home and aren’t certain which one to choose?

Philodendrons are a well-loved family of plants: they’re easy to care for and bring a tropical feel to your house.

If you’re deciding between a Philodendron Selloum or the Philodendron Xanadu, then you’ve found the right site.

The Philodendrons originate from South America, where they expand to huge dimensions in the humid jungles.

Imagine they are growing tall in partially shade beneath larger plants, with high humidity, with their roots partly in the fertile soil, and the other part out in the open seeking the support they need to climb toward the sun.

The primary difference is that Philodendron selloum’s spear-shaped leaves that grow in a straight upward direction, as if trees. On the other hand, Philodendron Xanadu tends to have softer leaves, with less wavy ones. Xanadu has more width to showcase her smooth lobed leaves.

Both will bring an intriguing artistic look to your garden or home and will grow to a huge extent when you provide them with enough space and love. Find out how to distinguish these huge guys from each other.

Differences Between Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu

The most straightforward way to distinguish between the Philodendron Selloum from Xanadu from one another is through their dimensions. The Selloum can reach as high as twelve inches (3.6m) tall, and has leaves that can reach five inches (1.5m) in height.

This is why it’s called Tree Selloum. The Xanadu variation grows in more of a plantation and has smaller leaves that are much more deeply lobed.

Xanadu in grey pot

Philodendron Selloum Has Bigger Leaves

Both the Philodendron Selloum and the Xanadu have leaves with deep lobed that extend out like fingers. The leaves typically droop downwards.

Philodendron Selloum has the largest leaves of this plant family. They can reach five feet (1.5m) in length and are anchored to the trunk with long straight stems.

While the Selloum has gone for the size and the Philodendron Xanadu is a beauty plant. The leaves are glossy and are symmetrical with lobes that can be that can reach 16 inches (40 centimeters) in length and twelve inches (30 cm) large.

It is easy to tell the difference between these plants by the arrangement of their leaves: Philodendron Selloum develops it leaves spirally in manner and adds new leaves on its branches as it expands. Philodendron Xanadu is a different arrangement that appears more random.

Height and Structure

It is believed that the Philodendron Selloum will grow BIG when given fertilizer, water and plenty of indirect sunlight. It can grow as high as 12 feet (3.6 meters) high and up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) wide. Philodendron Selloum could the height of an actual tree and has earned it the name the Tree Philodendron. But don’t fret, it’s unlikely to grow into an indoor tree.

Philodendron Xanadu is smaller , and can grow in clumps that can reach 5 feet (1.5m) tall and 7 feet (2m) broad. If the clump becomes too large for your house it is easy to cut it down. Wear gloves and clean your equipment following.


In the case of Philodendron Xanadu the soil must be well-drained. crucial. Mixing the pots with perlite, peat, and compost is the best.

Philodendron Selloum however prefers a deep slightly alkaline soil that retains water.

Similarities Between Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu

Since they are part belonging to the same family, they are more similar than they are distinct. Here are the most fascinating similarities, and additional information about taking good care of them.

Leaf Coloring

Both plants produce leaves that remain green throughout the throughout the year. The intensity of the color varies depending on the light conditions. Certain, however, not all Philodendron Xanadu leaves have a red Marrow.

No Flowers

Unfortunately, neither is likely to bloom inside. There are plenty of lush green leaves.

To reproduce, the older (15-20 15 to 20 years) Philodendron Selloum and Xanadu are able to produce what is commonly called a flower, however according to botanists, it isn’t one: A protective spathe that surrounds the shape of a phallic spadix. The spathe of the Xanadu has a red color.

The ‘flower’ will be open for two days, during which, hopefully, an Cyclocephala beetle will pollinate it. To make sure that the ‘flower’ is heated enough to keep it free of dirt and attract insects of the correct species The plant is burning fat tissue stored in the same rate of metabolism like a cat.

Growth Habit

Both species can become excessively tall when they are placed away from light sources. The plant should be rotated every 3 weeks to ensure it is growing equally on all sides.

There may be the aerial roots trying to get out of from the pot. Selloum and Xanadu make use of them in nature to climb upwards towards the light and to anchor themselves when they seek sunlight.

Not Too Bright

The Philodendron Selloum nor the Xanadu will be content in the sun. Lights that are direct will scorch their gorgeous leaves.

Like many other plants that thrive in sunny and indirect areas. Philodendron Xanadu is a favorite because it’s quite content in a shaded spot, something that is not the case for the majority of tropical plants.

They will both grow towards sunlight if they’re placed in a place that is slightly dark. This can result in a’stemmy plants, with its leaves resembling hands reaching out for light.

If you don’t have a more sunny area, you could turn the pot each months or more to ensure that the plant doesn’t become in a lopsided way.

If they are located in an area that is too much sunlight the two types of Philodendron look like they have lightened, lighter leaves.

If you want a bush that has lush green foliage, play around with it and move it once a months or until you have the ideal spot for it within your house!

Heat and Humidity

Think jungle and Both Selloum as well as Xanadu thrive in temperatures that range between 65oF (18oC) to 85oF (29oC).

Both prefer humid conditions Ideally, at or above 40 percent. If you live in a room that have heaters or air conditioning Consider the use of a humidifier


Philodendrons are actually quite simple to maintain so long you remember their natural habitats. They are a great choice for horticulturalists. Philodendron Xanadu is especially sensitive to root rot, so be sure that your pots are drained.

They should be watered once a week during summer and every two weeks during winter. When the ground is not moist, then water extensively until the water drains out of the drainage hole.


In spring and summer the plant is into dormancy in winter and does not require as much nutrients.

Powder and liquid fertilizers are fine however, you must ensure that you don’t feed them too much. The leaves usually change to lighter shades of green when your plant requires more fertilizer.

Pest and Diseases

Both species are not particularly susceptible to pests. Be on the lookout for aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs.

Philodendron Selloum as well as Xanadu are susceptible to bacterial blightthat causes tiny dark green spots in their leaf. Xanadu is prone to root rot.


Both species can be harmful to humans and animals which can cause stomach discomfort and breathing difficulties. Contact with sap can cause irritation.

If you are trimming or repotting or both Selloum or Xanadu ensure that you wear gloves that are protective and clean the equipment you employed.

Consuming them can lead to a unpleasant experience, so ensure that children and pets aren’t able to reach them.

What’s in the name?

There are Selloum and Xanadu were previously Philodendrons which are belonging to the Araceae family’s subgenus Meconostigma which is the third subgenera in the Genus Philodendron.

In 2018 the two species were classified within their own Genus Thaumatophyllum which roughly translates into Miracle Leaf’.

This is a great fit for them! Since they’re both often referred to as Philodendrons I’ve referred to them by their name.

However, there’s more. The Xanadu was named by a farmer in Australia. I’m guessing they were big admirers of Australian singer Olivia Newton-John.

However it was trademarked as “Winterbourne” a few years afterward. The patent issued in 1988 is expired and it’s not trademarked anymore. You’re permitted to reproduce.

There are some who claim that it wasn’t an actual plant that was it was simply seeds taken from an uncultivated plant in Brazil and was claimed to be a brand new invention in 1983.

The Philodendron selloum has also an illustrative naming history. Its real term can be described as Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum and not selloum.

When botanists discovered that Selloum and Bipinnatifidum were the same plant They adopted the name which was first published in the literature first. There are many nicknames for it such as Hope Selloum and Tree Selloum.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)