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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
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. You can keep it near Western or Southern exposure windows too, but be sure to diffuse the light, or set them back slightly from the window, as they don’t like being in too much direct sun all day.
This is not a low light plant so please give it good light otherwise you will be disappointed with poor growth and small foliage.
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.
I always recommend watering your plants thoroughly, letting water drain out of the drainage hole, and waiting until the top inch or so of the potting mix is dry before watering again.
These plants do NOT like to go completely dry so try not to let this happen. You will notice that the lower leaves will turn yellow if you let this happen.
My own plant’s growth slowed down quite a bit during the darker winter months, and the soil took longer to dry out, so be aware of this. Always feel the soil to know when to water your plant. Don’t follow a “once a week” watering schedule blindly!
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!
Like I mentioned earlier, 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Of course sometimes I get lazy and let the cuttings go way too long, like the cuttings below that I took all from a single stem of my plant:
This created more work because then I needed to detangle these cuttings before I potted them up. And WOW, the roots were strong and thick!
The cuttings themselves were starting to grow in the water, as you can see from the buds forming in the photo below. Ideally, just wait until the roots are 1-2 inches long and then pot up in soil if you can!
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!
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