How To Take Care Of Your Xanthosoma

How To Take Care Of Your Xanthosoma

Found across South America, Xanthosoma is a member of the Arum or Araceae family (‘Elephant Ears’) which includes other Aroids like Philodendron, Alocasia and Colocasia. It is an elegant, lush, large-leafed, herbaceous perennial with prominent patterning veins. 

They look quite stunning and can create that really tropical jungle look in your home. The Green Grower particularly recommends the ‘Lime Zinger,’ with its unusual chartreuse to lime green foliage, which looks very showy and grows to a manageable 3 feet in a container.

In some tropical countries, the starchy tubers of the Xanthosoma are harvested as a food source.

How much light does your Xanthosoma need?

They like bright, indirect light, but in winter, could be exposed on warmer days to more sunlight if placed outside in their container. Partial or shaded light is however best and the pot should be rotated regularly to ensure all round growth.

If you prefer, and once they are hardy enough, they can be transferred outside in warmer parts of the country sheltered from winds, frosts and in Summer, direct sunlight.

What type of soil does your Xanthosoma need?

A moist, well-drained acidic neutral soil is best. Add coarse sand or perlite to assist drainage and some light garden compost can even be included.

What temperature is best for your Xanthosoma?

10-30C range, but if outside, not in areas that fall below 12C or have sudden frosts. Reasonable humidity will be appreciated too.

How much water does your Xanthosoma need?

Allow the top few inches to dry out in between waterings, but not so much that the leaves start to droop. Xanthosoma like water, especially in the warmer growing months and the point to remember is moist, NOT wet! They are ideal in the bathroom and the leaves can be washed down even with a light showering or hosing to help keep them dust and pest free.

What is the best fertilizer for your Xanthosoma?

A general purpose liquid soluble or granule fertiliser in Spring/Summer every 2-3 weeks while your houseplant is growing is best.

General Care Tips for your Xanthosoma.

Can be re-potted every 2-3 years, perhaps with a small grit layering on the bottom of the pot before the fresh potting mix goes in to assist those drainage and over-watering problems.

Somewhat susceptible to pests, scrape off any unwanted insects (spider mites, mealy bugs, thrip) especially underneath the leaves and any mould/fungus (mainly on upper leaf surfaces) before hosing gently and then using an organic based pesticide (Neem oil is ideal)

Check your Xanthosoma regularly for any leaf spot, browning of the leaf tips, rust or mildew. The above treatments should suffice. Use sharp pruners to cut off any unhealthy leaves to direct the energy to the healthy foliage.

The Green Grower’s rating of Xanthosoma?

With due care and attention, your Xanthosoma specimens will really reward you with that jungle look. Be careful though, as all uncooked parts of the plant are toxic to children and pets.

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