Xanthosoma - Expert tips

How to Care for Xanthosoma: Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

Xanthosoma is known for its striking, arrow-shaped leaves that come in various shades of green. Some varieties may have variegated leaves with white or cream-colored patterns. Xanthosoma plants are native to tropical regions of Central and South America, including countries like Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. They thrive in the warm and humid climates of these areas.

Fun fact! There are over 70 species of Xanthosoma, but only a few have made it to being a houseplant.

These green friends will be a rewarding addition to your indoor plant collection, offering a touch of the tropics to your home.

Xanthosoma leaves close up

Xanthosoma Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Xanthosoma typically thrive in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon, as it can harm their leaves.
  2. To encourage even growth, rotate the plant's pot by a quarter turn weekly. This helps prevent the plant from leaning toward the light source.
  3. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season (spring and summer), water 2-3 times a week. In winter, reduce to once a week or every two weeks.
  4. Feed your Xanthosoma every 2-3 weeks with an organic fertilizer during the growing season to support healthy leaf development.
  5. Maintain a temperature range of 15°C to 27°C, similar to typical indoor conditions.
  6. Use a well-draining potting mix that is moist and rich. Avoid heavy clay soils and extremely loose sandy soils.
  7. Repot your Xanthosoma every 1-2 years or when it becomes root-bound. Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the previous one to prevent over-potting.
  8. Regularly inspect your plant for common pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, and fungus gnats. Address any infestations promptly with appropriate treatments.
  9. Xanthosoma houseplants can be propagated by division, offshoots, stem cuttings and in some cases leaf cuttings. Plenty of choice to propagate this plant by cuttings!
  10. Keep a close eye on your Xanthosoma houseplant and adjust care as needed. Regular monitoring and timely action are essential for its health and vitality.
Xanthosoma leaves variegated

Xanthosoma Care Tips

Light & placement

Like most aroids, Xanthosoma usually do well with lots of bright, indirect sunlight. While a few types can handle some shade, they don't usually thrive in direct afternoon sun because it can harm their beautiful leaves.

Expert tip! To help them grow evenly, it's a good idea to turn their pot around once a week.


To maintain the lush and healthy appearance of your Xanthosoma's leaves, it's important to water it regularly. During the warm growing season, this might mean watering two or three times a week, and once a week or every two weeks during the winter.

These plants don't appreciate having their roots soaked, so it's a good idea to let the top centimeters of soil dry out a bit between watering sessions, especially if the weather is cooler. The key is to maintain consistently moist soil without it becoming excessively wet to prevent root rot. If you’re uncertain, you can use a water meter to check if your plant needs a sip of water.

Expert tip! If you occasionally forget to water your Xanthosoma, it's usually not a cause for concern. Even if the leaves start to wither, the corms (small, thick stems storing nutrients) will continue to grow. However, prolonged dryness should be avoided!


Xanthosoma plants, known for their big, sturdy leaves, have big appetites. To keep them happy, feed them every two to three weeks when they're actively growing, using an organic fertilizer. This helps them grow and keeps their mature leaves healthy for a longer time. In the winter, you can reduce the frequency to just a couple of feedings.

Xanthosoma houseplant

Temperature & humidity

The ideal conditions for tropical Xanthosoma typically include temperatures ranging from 15 to 27 degrees Celsius: just like we have in our homes! To ensure lush foliage, aim for humidity levels of 60% or higher. While they can tolerate drier air, especially when the soil is consistently moist, you can improve humidity by using a humidifier, placing a tray of water with pebbles nearby, and keeping the plants away from air conditioning and heating vents.

Soil & repotting

To help your Xanthosoma plants grow their beautiful leaves, they typically require a soil or potting mix that is well-draining, moist, and rich. Avoid heavy clay soils (they don't like to be soaked), extremely loose and dry sands, as well as alkaline soils.

If you're mixing your own soil, a good recipe could be two parts sphagnum moss, two parts coarse sand or perlite, and one part general-purpose potting soil. Adding some decomposed garden leaves can be beneficial too. Don't forget to ensure your pot has proper drainage holes.

Xanthosoma propagation

Xanthosoma houseplants can be propagated through division, offsets, stem cuttings, and in some cases, leaf cuttings.

  • Division involves separating mature plants into sections with roots and stems.
  • Offsets, or pups, are baby plants that grow near the base of the parent plant and can be separated and potted individually.
  • Stem cuttings are used for specific Xanthosoma species and involve rooting a section of the stem.
  • Leaf cuttings can be used for some varieties and involve planting leaf sections to encourage new growth.

Regardless of the method, it's important to provide the new plants with proper care, including suitable light, humidity, and watering conditions. Not all propagation methods are suitable for every Xanthosoma variety, so research your plant's specific requirements before attempting propagation.

Xanthosoma houseplant Mickey Mouse

Most common pests & diseases on Xanthosoma

Xanthosoma houseplants, like many indoor plants, can be prone to common pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, and fungus gnats. They can also be affected by diseases like root rot and powdery mildew.

Preventive measures include regular inspection, isolation of new plants, and maintaining cleanliness. Natural remedies like neem oil can help control pests, while proper watering practices and pruning can mitigate diseases. In severe cases, fungicides and bactericides may be necessary. Managing humidity and promoting air circulation are key for disease prevention. Vigilant monitoring and timely action are crucial for the health of Xanthosoma houseplants.

Are Xanthosoma poisonous for your pets or children?

The plant is toxic when ingested, for both humans and animals. We advise you to keep Xanthosoma plants out of reach of pets and children.

Buy your new Xanthosoma online at PLNTS.com

Is this easy to care for, pretty plant something for you? At PLNTS.com you can buy Xanthosoma online, like the Xanthosoma Sagittifolium Variegata. Buy Xanthosoma online at PLNTS.com.