Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is also known as mini Monstera and is a vining plant. It can be grown indoors and outdoors in pots or directly in an outdoor garden.
If you like to grow it indoors in containers then use big size Terracotta flower pots. Ceramic and plastic can also be used to grow it. But the plant needs consistently damp soil all the time.
Like all tropical plants, it needs a high humid environment. But it does not mean that it cannot handle the low humidity indoors.
Growing mini Monstera is quick and easy. In this post, we provide all the necessary information and growing tips that you need to know to grow it.
Preparing to Grow:
You Need 1 bottle of Neem Spray
Quick Care Guide
|Common Name||Mini Monstera|
|Scientific Name||Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma|
|Best Growing Zone||9b to 12, best to grow in Zone 11|
|Height||5 to 6 feet in pot and 10 to 12 feet outdoor|
|Humidity||50 to 60 %|
|Water||Keep the soil moist for 365 days|
|Cold Weather tolerance||Not tolerant to frost and cold winds|
|Pests||Spider mites, Mealybug|
|Diseases||Fungal Root Rot|
What is the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plant?
It is an evergreen vining plant means it stay healthy year-round. It has sharp green leaves that look like someone cut them to give a curvy shape. Normally the leaf size of the plant is 10 to 12 inches. But if you grow it in the container as a houseplant. Then the leaf size stays closer to 6 to 7 inches. Because indoor plants do not get enough light to grow. Also, they have smaller roots that absorb nutrients.
Less absorption of nutrients means slow growth.
This plant is native to tropical areas of Thailand and Malaysia. Because both the countries have warm weather. The plant also needs warm humid weather to grow to its full size.
It uses its tendrils to climb and to hold the support. Tendrils are the small roots that come out of the vines. These roots look like tiny threads that hold the wall or any other support.
Those living in cooler parts of the country can put the container outside in the sunshine in the summer months. But when the temperature drops below 18 Degrees C. You have to move it inside to give it a warm environment. It cannot handle the cold weather because it is native to warm-weather countries.
There is no hybrid version of the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plant that is easy to grow in the United States.
In its native place, the plant grows up to 12.5 feet in height. But if grown as a houseplant in pots. It only grows up to 3 to 5 feet in height.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is easy to care for in simple steps.
Caring Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Plant
The plant cannot handle direct sunlight for more than 2 hours. If you like to grow it outdoor in the garden. Then locate the place where it can get morning sunlight for 2 hours. The indirect bright light for rest of the day will work best.
You can grow it with other tall plants that give it shade between 11 am to 4 pm. When the Sun rays are sharp and hot.
Or you can cover the area with a cloth to block the extremely hot sun rays.
Indoor growing Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plants also need bright light but not direct light. They need a good amount of indirect light to make their food from photosynthesis.
Do not put the plant container on the sunny window. It is best if you put it in a place where it receives daytime light but not direct sun rays. Morning sunlight from sunrise to 2 hours later is good for the plant.
Some growers use Grow lights to full fill the light requirement of plants. For this particular plant, your LED ceiling light is enough. If you have good brightness in the room. Otherwise, if the pot is in a dark corner. You need to buy a grow light for it. Any LED 50 to 100 watts grow light is best to grow it.
Avoid low light conditions because such an environment put a direct effect on plant growth. The plant grows slowly and does not produce bright large size leaves.
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It is another important factor that affects the plant life cycle. AS this is a tropical warm weather plant. It needs warm conditions to grow and stay healthy. You cannot leave it outside in cold weather. Because the plant cannot tolerate the frost.
It will die if the temperature drops below 55 Degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this plant is 55 to 86 degrees F.
It can be grown with little extra care in zone 9b to 12. But it is best suitable for the zone 11 growing areas.
Water & Humidity
You need to keep the even moisture level thorough out the entire life cycle of a plant. From even moisture, we mean consistent damp soil 365 days. Before watering does the fingertip test. If the soil feels dry give a little bit of water to keep it moist. Do not pour an entire jug of water.
Spring and summer are the months when the plant gets active and grow. At this time, it needs more water than in the cooler months. In winters all plants stop growing and need fewer nutrients and water.
50 to 60% humidity in the air is perfect for the plant to grow healthy and to produce bright green leaves. We all do not have the same level of humidity indoor for 365 days. To maintain the right humidity level, you can use a humidifier.
If increased humidity creates trouble for you and you feel sick. Then you should stop the use of a humidifier. Instead of it use a tray of pebbles and water. Put the pot on the tray filled with water and pebbles.
The evaporation of water from the tray increases the humidity around the plant.
Before using soil in the pots check the soil pH. It should be in between 6 to 6.6 pH. The soil should be well-draining that can hold a good amount of moisture. The use of Waterlogged and sandy soil is deadly for plants.
The soil should be loose and if you are going to use the garden soil. then before putting it into the pots add some perlite in it. Perlite makes the soil loose and helps it to hold the moisture for a long time. The tiny pores in the perlite hold the water by draining the excess of it.
70 % should be your garden soil and 30% should be perlite.
Generally, we do not recommend the use of garden soil for container plants. Because such soil contains many pests and diseases.
They will easily transfer to the pot and then affect the growing plants.
It best if you buy a special container potting mix from the local garden store.
For outdoor growing Rhaphidophora plants you should use powdered fertilizer rich in nitrogen. If possible, add organic compost to your garden soil. But just a little bit because you need little acidic soil to grow Rhaphidophora plants.
For indoor growing Rhaphidophora use organic liquid fertilizer. Organic fertilizers release nutrients at a slower rate. This results in a continuous supply of nutrients. Plants that get a small number of nutrients consistently grow well and healthy.
Always follow the instructions written on the nutrient bottle. Follow each step of dilution.
For repotting you need to use the 2 inches wider and at least 10 inches deep pot. The roots grow quickly and long in size. They make round circles at the bottom of the pot.
While repotting gently remove the plant from its old pot. Remove the dead part of the root and also dust the older soil. Do not wash the roots with water or soap. This can be deadly for healthy plants. To cut any part that you feel is affected by something uses sterile shear.
Plant it in the pot at the same depth it was in the previous pot. Do not add extra soil to cover the pot to its edges. Leave the 1 to 2 inches from the top edges of the pot.
To control the growth of the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma pruning on time is a must. You should use sharp shears to cut the affected parts of the plants. It can be leaves or a stem. Moreover, you also need to assist the aerial roots of the plants. They use them to hold the support and climb on it.
If your plant develops excess aerial roots then remove them by cutting with a sharp knife.
Winter is the best time for pruning the Rhaphidophora plant. Because at this time the plant stops growing. When you prune the plant, it grows very well in spring and summer.
Take the soft cutting from the plant. The cutting should have few leaf nodes on it. Put the cutting into the water then dip into the rooting hormone and plant in the moist potting mix.
If you want to use water for developing roots. You need to dip the cutting into the freshwater for few days. Change the water after every 48 hours. Roots will develop in 7 days. Wait until they grow 2 inches long. Once they achieve the desired length then transfer the cutting to the pot.
Problems in Growing Rhaphidophora
Overwatering is the main problem that most of the new growers face while growing R. Tetrasperma. New growers think that by giving more water to the plant. They can keep the plant-soil moist for long hours. But this is not true. Such habits will make the soil waterlogged and heavy.
The result is your plant will die in few days or do not grow as you expect.
By changing the soil’s nature, you can make it moist for a long time ever after watering once a week. Organic materials like perlite can be added to the soil to make it suitable for holding water for more days.
Spider mites are the common pests that attack the R. Tetrasperma plant. They stick themselves to the leaves of it and suck all the nutrients.
Your plant shows the signs of the nutrient deficiency by turning into yellow color. Leaves show this in the first place and then stem and roots.
To kill and protect your plant from mites use neem spray. This the most common and natural way to get rid of pests without harming plants.
These bugs are common in a warm environment. And are more common in outside growing Rhaphidophora. These pests also suck the nutrients the way spider mites. The only difference is spider mites can kill your leaves. But mealybugs only cause yellow wilting leaves. They do not have the potential to kill the plants.
The good news is it is easy to get rid of them. Take a cotton cloth dip it in rubbing alcohol and wipe all the bugs.
If you want you can use pesticides that have a normal range (means not extremely strong ones).
Fungal root rot is the main disease that can affect your plant. It only happens when you give over water to your plants. If you have a pot that has a draining hole then it can save your plant excess water. But in case you do not use a pot with a draining hole. You get affected by fungus diseases.
The excess water settles down at the bottom and the plant roots suffer from over moisture.