Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is one of the most unique plants and comes in different names.
This plant is attracting huge attention thanks to social media even though it is relatively new to home gardening and plant enthusiasts. This tropical plant is simple and easy to grow making it an excellent plant for beginners who want to try their hand at cultivating plants.
In this article, we’ll dive into the details of this rare plant including the facts, uses, and techniques on how to take care of this house plant.
Facts About Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma comes from the Araceae family and is a native in Thailand and Malaysia. It is also sometimes called Ginny Philodendron or Philodendron Piccolo.
This evergreen vine plant is also referred to as mini or dwarf monstera with its physical characteristics appearing similar to the Monstera Deliciosa but with smaller leaves and minus the edible fruit. However, both plants come from different species.
The leaves of this plant contain small six-inch split lobes while it uses its aerial roots to crawl and climb trees. These roots tend to latch itself to whatever surface they find which helps stabilize itself as it grows. This indoor plant thrives well in bright sunlight, moist soil, and decent air circulation.
On the other hand, it does not develop well in a low light environment. In this case, expect the leaves to remain small while the plant itself grows very slowly.
Here are some of the facts:
- Botanical Name: Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- Common Name: Dwarf Monstera, Mini Monstera, Philodendron Ginny
- Plant Family: Araceae
- Size: 4 to 5 feet in length but can reach up to 12 feet
- Sun Exposure: Bright to filtered light
- Soil Type: Moist but well-draining
- Soil PH: Slightly acid or neutral
- Flower: Inconspicuous
- Water: Mesic
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Suitable location: Houseplant
Taking Care of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
When it comes to taking care of this houseplant, you’ll be happy to know that it’s very easy to maintain. Even those without a green thumb will be able to handle this plant without getting frustrated.
Here are some of the essentials when taking care of this plant. Make sure to follow each segment to achieve success.
For starters, you can easily use an all-purpose potting mix and plant it on a ceramic or plastic pot.
Make sure your pot has added weight to be able to support the plant as it grows and climbs higher.
This vining plant grows well in well-drained loamy soil. Consider adding a bit of activated charcoal and orchid potting mix to your potting soil or s bit of peat moss. These ingredients help drain the water while maintaining the moisture.
Avoid soils that are dry, sandy or can clog water. Keep the potting mix constantly damp and not wet. The important thing is to not let this plant go dry. Maintain a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5.
Best soil mix
An all-purpose potting mix works best for rhaphidophora tetrasperma as it thrives in rich soil. Make sure that the soil is moist and contains high levels of organic matter. Avoid wet, dry, sandy soil.
Use high-quality and well-balanced fertilizer that doesn’t contain urea and harsh chemicals. Slow-release organic fertilizer reduces the risk of burning. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma are known to have sensitive roots and prone to fertilizer burn.
Apply regular fertilizing throughout it’s growing phase. If you are using a liquid organic fertilizer, do this monthly. Meanwhile, for diluted chemical liquid fertilizers, follow a biweekly plan. On the other hand, if you are using a slow-release fertilizer, make sure to follow the directions.
In terms of sunlight, keep this plant away from direct exposure to the sun. Direct sunlight can turn its leaves into yellow. Hence, rhaphidophora tetrasperma thrives in bright and indirect light replicating the way plants receive natural light.
You can place it against a shaded cloth to filter the sunlight that comes through the window. Place it in the eastern area to get a good amount of lighting. However, avoid low lit environment because it will only slow down the growth of the plant.
The most ideal temperature for rhaphidophora tetrasperma is between 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit. It can endure a slightly cooler temperature but not a freezing environment.
Once the temperature hits below 55 degrees, this plant should be placed indoors. Nonetheless, make sure you position it in a spot that receives bright and indirect sunlight.
Water and humidity
One of the most efficient ways to ensure proper growth of your plant is consistently balanced moisture. A damp soil works best for this type of plant. Avoid soggy soil.
To check if the soil is appropriate, use your fingertip to see if the soil is moist before you water the plant. If it is still moist, delay watering it. When needed, water it lightly to maintain an even moisture level.
During its active growth phase, rhaphidophora tetrasperma will require more water. However, it doesn’t require frequent watering during the cooler months.
In terms of humidity, this tropical plant needs at least around 50% to 60%. This makes the environment ideal for growth and prevents the development of microorganisms.
The best way to maintain the ideal level of humidity indoors is to use a humidifier or dehumidifier. Place the plant near the humidifier to increase or decrease the moisture level.
A humidifier works best during the winter season when the air is dry. Meanwhile, a dehumidifier is more suitable during the summer months when the air has more moisture.
With the rapid growth of rhaphidophora tetrasperma, it’s best to re-pot this vining plant yearly. However, you can opt to re-pot it twice a year or as soon as it outgrows the pot. Add support where the vines can climb such as a moss pole or trellis.
Use a pot that is one inch bigger than your existing pot. Make sure that the pot has drainage holes in it. Avoid using hanging baskets. When repotting, fill the pot with equal parts of potting soil and activated charcoal.
The only reason you need to trim this plant is to maintain its size as it climbs off its support. Use a sharp knife, scissor or pruning shears to cut it. Cut the stem at the soil level where the stem starts to meet the main part of the plant.
Always use a clean knife, scissor or shears to prevent the risk of fungal and bacterial diseases. Do not cut sections of yellowed tissue because it may only further damage your plant and promote the spread of diseases.
When it comes to cutting, keep your trimmings clean. Damaged cuts can cause the plant to weaken. Do not remove aerial roots because it can also add stress to the plant.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma problems
Here are some of the most common concerns you may encounter when it comes to taking care of your rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
How to prevent brown spots from forming?
When watering the plants, do it the earliest as possible in the morning. This allows the plant to become dry before nighttime. However, keep the leaves dry to prevent brown spots from forming.
Why do the leaves turn yellow?
The leaves of the rhaphidophora tetrasperma tend to become yellowish when it is overwatered. Before watering the plant, check if the soil is dry enough.
What causes the leaves to turn black?
Overexposure to direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn black. Hence, its best to place the plant underneath a shade to protect it from the harsh rays of the sun. Also, make sure to trim any damaged leaves as soon as it forms.
What causes the top leaves to fall?
While it’s normal for the old leaves of a plant to turn yellow and fall off, if you notice that most of the leaves start to fall off at once, it may be due to cold draughts. Another culprit may be overwatering for long periods.
What if it doesn’t have fenestrations?
Fenestrations are the splits in the leaves which give character to a plant. In the case of rhaphidophora tetrasperma, it’s normal for younger plants not to have splits. As it grows older, the leaves will start to split as long as you take proper care of the plant.
Lack of sunlight is often the primary reason why the leaves don’t split as it should. If it does not receive the right amount of sunlight, the development of the slits in the leaves may be delayed.
If you notice a stunt in the splitting, you can consider relocating your plant in an area where it can absorb better lighting without direct sun exposure.
What should I do with damaged leaves from the transit of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma?
One thing you can do if the leaves of your plant become damaged is to cut those parts and pot it. Use a combination of sphagnum moss and control potting soil.
Why do the leaves start to curl?
Once you notice the leaves start to curl and become crisp, it can either be due to low humidity or it has too much fertilizer.
To avoid this, apply fertilizer every four months and follow the instructions in your fertilizer. Another way is to place your plant near a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep the humidity at sufficient levels.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Diseases
You may run into different types of problems when caring for your rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Here are the most common issues:
One common problem is root rot that can be caused when the plant sits in waterlogged soil for a long time. Some of the symptoms that your plant’s root is starting to rot include brown and mushy roots, rapid yellowing of the leaves, and stunted growth.
This plant disease is caused by fungi which can damage your plant. The key is prevention because once this issue develops, it will be very hard to treat as you cannot reverse it.
To avoid this, maintain a damp soil but make sure it is not soggy. If it previously has rotten roots, consider switching to a higher quality draining soil.
Spider mites are tiny critters that appear almost transparent making it a bit difficult to detect. They are often found under the leaves on the midrib section. Check for small webs. These insects suck out the chlorophyll from the leaves and damages the leaves.
Spider mite infestation is one of the major issues of this plant. What you can do to get rid of spider mites naturally is to spray the plant with Neem oil. It will kill these pests in just a few minutes.
When your plant starts to show signs of mold, remove it immediately. Remove the topsoil and replace it with at least two inches of houseplant compost. Mold can be caused by either overwatering or too little sunlight.
To prevent this from occurring, improve your lighting conditions but do not put the plant under direct sun exposure. You can also lessen the frequency of watering your plant. If the mold comes with yellowing of the lower leaves, this may be a sign of root rot.
How to Propagate Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
The rhaphidophora tetrasperma is one of the easiest plants to propagate compared to other plants from the same variety. The simplest way to propagate this plant is by cutting the stems.
Cut the area with at least two nodes then put it in water or moist potting soil. The lowest leaf node should be placed beneath the surface.
The area you cut must have an aerial root and node. The node makes the plant more stable as you plant it and will grow a root. After a few weeks, you’ll start to notice roots developing. If you are using water, always change it daily.
After one to two months or when the roots grow into one or two inches, put it in a pot with a well-draining potting mix and see how your plant grows in the next coming weeks. Once the roots have formed, you can start caring for it as a new plant.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Tissue Culture
Another way to grow this plant is through tissue culture. Tissue culture is a technique of creating new plants by cutting a small part of the plant’s cells and growing it in a controlled environment. The explant or the plant extracted is placed in a gel to induce its growth.
The gel or whatever medium you are using enables the explant to produce more plantlets. Hormones are also used to speed up root growth. Tissue culture serves as a method of micropropagation. People use it to control the plant’s structure including the shape and texture of the leaves which you cannot do with just cutting the plant.
Where do you buy Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma?
With the growing demand for rhaphidophora tetrasperma, you won’t find it hard to find as many gardening shops and online sellers are already selling this houseplant.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Usage
This lovely houseplant is ideal for all types of homes but is more suitable in areas with a huge indoor space. It can also be placed outside by the front door or on the patio.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma vs Pertusa
Many people confuse rhaphidophora tetrasperma with pertusa as they look similar to each other. However, the major noticeable difference is in the leaves. The pertusa has tiny holes along the section of the midrib.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma vs Monstera Deliciosa
The rhaphidophora tetrasperma and monstera deliciosa also appear similar to one another. However, the monstera deliciosa is larger. Hence, the rhaphidophora tetrasperma is nicknamed mini monstera. Monstera Deliciosa also has bigger leaves.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma vs Juvenile Monstera
The appearance of a rhaphidophora tetrasperma and juvenile monstera is also confusing. However, if you look more closely, the leaves of the juvenile monstera have shorter petioles.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma vs Epipremnum
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma and epipremnum come from the same Araceae family. However, the difference is the cultivation process. Epipremnum thrives well in greenhouses or shaded areas. It is also harder to find.
Now that we’ve discussed what rhaphidophora tetrasperma is and how easy it is to grow, propagate, and maintain, are you ready to add this beautiful plant to your home? This mini monstera is an excellent way to spruce up any indoor area whether you have a small or big space.
While it may be a rare plant, in the past years, rhaphidophora tetrasperma has grown in popularity and has been featured in plenty of blogs, vlogs, and is all over social media. With the growing demand, many sellers are making it easily available to buy online.
Even if you’re new to house planting, the rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a great way to start your journey. It is easy to maintain and fuss-free. Unlike other plants that require more attention and special care, you won’t stress overgrowing this evergreen vining plant. This attractive plant will make any living space more pleasant and relaxing to the eyes.