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How to Grow the Rare Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma

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Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a newcomer on the houseplant scene and it is in huge demand. Excitement for this plant has exploded among houseplant enthusiasts and practically everyone wants this plant! Although it is scarce, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care is actually very easy!

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is sometimes called mini monstera or dwarf monstera because it looks like a miniature version of Monstera deliciosa.

I’ve even seen it advertised as Monstera minima, but to my knowledge, this is incorrect. It is still a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma!

It is native to limited areas in southern Thailand and parts of Malaysia, and was discovered in the late 1800s.

According to the International Aroid Society, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is considered rare in nature. But fortunately for us, the plants grow very rapidly and are easy to grow!

If you like Monstera deliciosa but you don’t have enough room, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a great option. It has a similar flair but on a smaller scale. They are both part of the aroid plant family.

Not only is this plant scarce in nature, but information on Rhaphidophora tetrasperma online is also very scarce!

Fortunately for you, I will summarize what I have done to care for this plant.

And for the limited information out there, I have done some research to point out the most important information to help you grow one (if you can find it!)

Regardless, keep reading so that you will know how to care for this plant when you DO find it! I really believe that they will become widespread one day, similar to Pilea peperomioides. (They used to be scarce and expensive, and now they are much more common and very inexpensive.)

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Care

LIGHT

Give your Rhaphidophora bright indirect light. These plants don’t like a lot of direct sun, but some is fine.

I have mine growing in my sunroom and it front of a northern exposure window, but it is also close to an Eastern exposure window and will get a little morning sun.

Be cautious of too much sun, especially if it is afternoon direct sun which can be too much for this plant.

rhaphidophora tetrasperma

WATER

Try and keep this plant fairly moist, but not waterlogged.

These plants do not like to go completely dry so pay attention to it if you want the best growth out of your Rhaphidophora! More important tips on moisture requirements in the section below.

POTTING MIX & POTS

When I first rooted my cutting of Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, I just used an all-purpose potting mix that I had on hand and planted it in a small terra cotta pot.

This was fine to start, but I will definitely improve from here.

The terra cotta pot was not the ideal pot choice by any means. Sometimes I just use what I have on hand, out of laziness, but I would not recommend using terra cotta pots for this plant.

Perhaps a larger terra cotta pot would have been fine, but small terra cotta pots dry out way too quickly!

These plants hate to dry out too much. I would recommend using either a heavier plastic pot, or a nice glazed ceramic pot.

I’m going to use the latter because I’ll be adding a climbing support as well so I don’t want it to be too top-heavy.

As far as potting mix, I was able to find a useful piece of advice from Exotic Rainforest that pointed out a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma enthusiast that used the following potting mix.

No specific ratios were mentioned, but I’m following that one recommendation. Here is my mixture. It is a very well drained soil and I’m using the following components:

Miracle Gro Potting Soil (I use this for most of my houseplants)

To which I’ve added some orchid potting mix.

And a bit of activated charcoal was added.

The potting mix should be kept constantly damp.

Notice that I said damp and not wet!

Please note that if you add chunky material like the orchid bark, the potting mix will be very aerated and you won’t have to worry nearly as much about overwatering since much more oxygen will be available at the roots.

To be safe though, I would still wait until at least the surface is dry to the touch.

Whatever you do, don’t let this plant go completely dry though because it doesn’t like it!

FERTILIZER

My taste in fertilizer has continued to evolve and I have switched my all-purpose fertilizer to a product called Dyna-Gro Grow.

This is a very high quality fertilizer for a number of reasons.

It is a complete fertilizer and it supplies all the necessary macro and micro nutrients that plants need. Eventually if you use a fertilizer that is not a complete fertilizer, it may eventually suffer from nutrient deficiencies.

Micronutrients, although needed in very small amounts, are still necessary to plant growth.

None of the ingredients in this fertilizer contain Urea, which can harm plants over time. Many cheaper fertilizers use Urea, and some of them in large quantities.

A good fertilizer will make the difference between a mediocre plant and a spectacular plant (provided your other aspects of care are up to par!).

So although Dyna-Gro Grow may cost a bit more than many of the more commonly available fertilizers, my plants and your plants deserve it!

CLIMBING SUPPORT

In order to get the best growth possible out of your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, you must give it a sturdy, climbing support.

I grew mine from a cutting that friend sent me. I will describe how I rooted my Rhaphidophora in the next section.

I initially just supported it with a thin bamboo stake, but it is about time for me to repot it into a bigger pot and also give it a larger post so that the growth can really take off.

I will keep updating this post as my propagated plant keeps growing and will share any further insights.

Rhaphidophora Propagation

It helps to have crazy plant friends to send you cuttings of interesting plants! One of my friends sent me one cutting of Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.

After surviving being mailed to me, the cutting grew roots for me very easily in water. I started out with one cutting that had 3 or 4 leaves on it.

If you are trying to propagate Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, just be sure to include at least one node under the surface of the water in your propagation vessel.

rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma nodes

The nodes are simply the portion where the leaf meets the stem. There are where the roots will grow from. You can see the aerial roots already along the stem in the photo above.

Just cut below one of these nodes, and place at least one of the nodes under water and wait for them to root.

In general, when I water propagate any plant, I wait until the roots are 1-2 inches long and then I will pot them up in soil.

That’s it for now! I will continue to update this post. I plan on putting my Rhaphidophora tetrasperma outside during the warmer months, repot it into a larger pot and give it a nice support.

I already have a vision of how spectacular this plant will be soon!

Have you tried looking for a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma? They seem to be sold out everywhere online! Hopefully in the near future, they will be more abundant, and cheaper as well.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is definitely a fantastic houseplant and is surprisingly easy to grow. And if you follow all the recommendations I’ve made in this post and use an amazing fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow and the potting mixture I described, you will be shocked at quickly these plants grow!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

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Neha Das

Monday 23rd of March 2020

Hi ,

I got a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma two weeks back from a local seller. Before selling to me , the plant was repotted in a new plant. Within 4 days , I lost two bottom leaves - they became yellow . Post that no more leave drops and even I can see a small new leaf coming out. The original potting came with a stick support covered with Brown Jute Hemp Twine String. The soil is most and I water only when I feel the TOP soil is dry by inserting my finger But overall - I find the leaves droopy and curled up. I am not sure if that is fine or is there something wrong with my plant since most pictures I see the leaves are quite erect. Please advise.

PS. I am unable to attach the picture here - if there is a way to email the pictures of the plant - please let me know.

Thank you in advance for all your help.

Raffaele

Thursday 26th of March 2020

Hello there! You can go to the contact form of my blog, and email me that way. Once I reply, you can attach the photos. I'm happy to help.

Brenda

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

Hi there my name is Brenda I'm finally going to get one of my wishlist plants at a local Greenhouse only one that I have found that carries this plant it will be one cutting fully rooted in a 4-6 inch pot with about four leaves on it and I just wanted to ask you if taking cuttings on this plant say like this growing season I will be getting it tomorrow which here is at the end of February and I'm just wondering will I be able to have me a full pot from taking cuttings by the end of the growing season or would it be best to just let it grow out and then next year take my cuttings to fill my pot up and make it a thicker plant I've heard that they grow like weeds so I was thinking that I could be able to like give it a month maybe cut it back give it another month and maybe take a cutting and so on and so forth any advice would be helpful like I said it is a wishlist plan I've never owned one I have many monasteries the big guys and philodendrons so I'm thinking that I can do well with this plant because I was7 told the care for them is a lot like. The others I have been growing for like 30 yrs but just wondering when I get this plant tomorrow I know I need to give it at least a month to acclimate to my home and get used to its new place and I just want to make sure if I take in a month or two if it grows as least as I was told would it be okay to start taking cuttings because it is a fully rooted pot of only one plant and I'm so much wanted a nice full pot but can't afford it and kinda hard to find one like that as of now..I would appreciate any advice you could give and would be very much appreciated...thank you

Raffaele

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

Hi Brenda. I would let your plant be at home for 2-3 months or so before doing anything. Live with the plant, start to get used to the care of the plant, and let it adjust to its new environment and grow a bit. After you feel comfortable with its care, then you can worry about taking cuttings. They are very easy to grow plants, but it is a good idea to get used to the care first, and then I would recommend propagating it. They grow quickly, so you can take multiple cuttings. If you take the cuttings by about May or June, they will root quickly, you can pot them up, and they will get a chance to become established before the winter. Just my two cents...good luck!

Virginia

Thursday 13th of February 2020

Do you have any updates on growing from seed? Method you used and successes? What books can I look into for resources on houseplants?

Raffaele

Sunday 16th of February 2020

Hi Virginia! I don't think the ones I got were viable unfortunately. :-( . What kind of books are you looking for? Houseplant care in general? Or more specific topics?

Joe

Thursday 7th of November 2019

Is this species at risk of over-harvesting due to it's popularity?

Raffaele

Friday 8th of November 2019

I don't believe so. I would think that they are continually propagated in cultivation, versus collecting them in the wild. They are essentially tropical weeds though :-)

Cassie

Wednesday 12th of June 2019

Yes, the node is under water. I did not trim the cutting after I received it in the mail, just stuck it straight in water with Superthrive. The tip has turned black... should I recut it?

Joshua Spendlove

Monday 15th of July 2019

Checkout my videos on water propagation on Instagram @satori.rd I demonstrate step by step