Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Care: The Plant of Many Names

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care

The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant care is quite easy, but you may not even know you own one since it goes by so many names:

  • Mini Monstera
  • Philodendron “Ginny”
  • Amydrium tetrasperma
  • Amydrium ‘Ginnie’
  • Epipremnum “Ginny”
  • mini Philodendron
  • and many more!

It is probably most often referred to as the Mini Monstera, since its leaves look so similar to the Monstera deliciosa, but these are all incorrect. The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is neither a Philodendron, Monstera, Epipremnum, or Amydrium. Unlike Monsteras and Philodendrons, Rhaphidophora is native to the forests of Southeast Asia and is not naturally found in the Americas.

In this plant care guide, you will learn everything you need to know in order to give your Rhaphidophora the best care possible. We will cover propagation, watering, light, soil, pests, and more. There is also a great FAQ at the bottom of this post.

Toxicity

If you have read some of our other plant care articles, then you know we like to start with toxicity. It’s so important as a pet owner that you are aware of which plants are and are not toxic. The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is part of the Araceae family and contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Meaning that if your dog or cat consumes this plant, they are likely to experience irritation of the mouth, gums, and intestines and if they consume large amounts, even death. Make sure you are not placing this plant where your furry friend might get into it.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care guide

Growth

The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a climber. It readily produces aerial roots and will quickly take to a moss pole and is a quick grower. In fact, this has been one of the easiest plants we have found to grow on a moss pole. Ours had roots deep into the Sphagnum moss within a week! In the wild, it reaches upwards of 16 feet and, as a houseplant, it will quickly reach the ceiling. Once you have mastered the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care, you will find that this plant grows like a weed.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Light Requirements

Like many houseplants from tropical forests, the R. tetrasperma thrives in bright indirect light. It does not have very thick waxy leaves, so it will lose water more easily if placed in direct sunlight. If placed in low light conditions, R. tetrasperma will grow very leggy with fewer fenestrations. A couple of hours of morning sun would be perfect for this plant. However, if you notice it is developing dry brown tips, it may be getting too much light. In that case, you can try adding a sheer curtain to your window or moving your plant back from the window by about a foot.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care

Humidity & Temperature

R. tetrasperma thrives in moderate to high humidity. To increase the humidity, you can add a Sphagnum moss pole for it to climb – you just have to keep it moist. Alternatively, you can add a humidifier. This is an easy, affordable option for increasing the humidity around your plants.

Keep your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma between 85ºF and 60ºF. They are sensitive to cold, so if you live somewhere that frequently freezes, protect your plant from the cold by moving it away from cold and drafty windows.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Soil & Watering

Soil

This plant will thrive in an Aroid potting mix. An Aroid mix will allow the roots to breathe and help prevent root rot. Our Aroid potting soil comprises 40% Coco Coir, 30% Coco Chips, 10% Biochar chips, 10% Worm Castings, 10% Peat Moss. With this mix, our R. tetrasperma requires watering about every week. When using an Aroid mix with this plant, you don’t want to let your plant dry out completely. The goal is to always keep it slightly moist, never soggy.

However, when using a traditional potting soil, it is important to allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out in between waterings. This is because regular potting soil comprises finer particles which do not allow for adequate airflow in the soil and can make the plant more prone to over-watering and root rot.

Watering

As we have mentioned before, you don’t want to water on a schedule or follow someone else’s watering schedule for your plant. Every plant is different and is in a unique environment, so will therefore have different water needs. It’s important to pay attention to your plant and check it regularly so that you are only watering it when it needs water.

As with most houseplant care, there is an adjustment period. The plant must adjust to its new surroundings and you need to learn what your new plant wants. Don’t worry though, we have found that Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care is extremely easy and it is a great plant for beginners.

Repotting R. tetrasperma

Since this plant is a fast grower, it will need repotting about every year. However, if you have it growing on a moss pole that you keep moist and fertilized, then it may not need repotting as frequently since it is getting water and nutrients from all the adventitious roots going into the pole.

If your plant is rootbound, then you should repot it as soon as possible. When repotting, it’s important to use a pot that has a drainage hole. This allows excess water and salt buildup from fertilizers to run out of the soil. This will improve growth and decrease your chances of dealing with root rot. If you have a bunch of pots without drainage holes and you don’t know what to do with them, check out our post on the easiest way to use pots without drainage holes.

Fertilizing your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

The R. tetrasperma is a fast grower and the faster a plant grows, the more nutrients it needs. Proper Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care requires regular fertilizing. We fertilize ours with an organic fertilizer every time we water during the growing season (spring through fall). During the winter, we cut our fertilizer and watering back to about once a month.

The more light your plant is getting, the faster it’s going to grow, and the more nutrients it’s going to need. If using a synthetic fertilizer, always dilute it by half.

Propagating aka Multiplying Your Plants!

Propagation is a fun and easy way to increase your plant collection, or even make money by selling your plant props online. If you have never experimented with propagating, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is excellent to start with.

You can easily propagate it by cutting a piece of the stem just below a node or where you can see the adventitious roots emerging. We like to make sure our cuttings have at least two leaves. This allows the plant to continue photosynthesizing and getting nutrients despite being separating from the parent plant. We start ours in water and wait for at least two or more roots to develop to over an inch long before planting in our Aroid mix. Roots typically take about three weeks to reach the desired length. After planting, keep the soil moist and keep the plant out of direct sun.

Once you master the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care, propagating them is a piece of cake!

Pests

This plant can be prone to spider mite and thrip infestations. However, we have had very few issues with pests on this plant. At one point, ours had an infestation of spider mites but responded well to treatment with Neem oil and had minor damage from the mites. Increasing the humidity around your plants can help prevent spider mite infestations. Cleaning the leaves regularly will help you spot any pest problems before they become an issue. Since the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma has smaller leaves and many fenestrations, wiping the leaves can be quite a chore. So, we like to place ours in the shower and spray it thoroughly to remove dust and pests about one a month.


Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Care
FAQ

How often should I water Rhaphidophora?

How often you water will depend on the type of soil you are using, the amount of light it receives, the relative humidity, and the temperature. We have ours planted in an Aroid mix and water it about every week during the growing season and once a month during the winter.

Do Rhaphidophora tetrasperma like to dry out?

R. tetrasperma does not like to dry out completely. Keep the soil slightly moist, never soggy.

Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma easy to care for?

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care is very easy and perfect for beginners!

How can I make my Rhaphidophora tetrasperma bushy?

If you would like a bushier plant, you can pinch off the fresh growth ends which will make it branch resulting in a bushier plant.

Does Rhaphidophora tetrasperma need a moss pole?

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma will benefit greatly from a moss pole. In their natural habitat, they grow up large trees.

Why are my Rhaphidophora tetrasperma leaves curling?

Your leaves are most likely curling due to lack of water. Use your finger to check the soil; if it is dry, give it a good soaking. They could also be curling from lack of relative humidity. Rhaphidophora appreciate moderate to high humidity.

Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma easy to propagate?

Yes! This is one of the easiest plants to propagate.

Do Rhaphidophora tetrasperma like direct light?

They can tolerate and even appreciate a couple of hours of morning sun through a window, but protect it from the scorching sun of the afternoon.

Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma toxic?

Yes, it is toxic to both cats and dogs.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma yellow leaves. What does it mean?

Yellow leaves can have many causes. Here are some of the most common causes of yellow leaves:
– too much water
– too much light
– nutrient deficiency
– too much synthetic fertilizer

For more plant care tips, check out our post on how to keep houseplants thriving.

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