How to Care for Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Indoors

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Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Botanical name: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Family: Araceae

Description

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, often incorrectly labelled Mini Monstera, is an evergreen vine which bears leaves with split lobes and easily adapts to indoor growing conditions.

The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is often incorrectly referred to as a Monstera or a Philodendron where it goes by such names as "Mini Monstera", Philodendron "Ginny", Empipremnum pinnatum and Philodendron "Piccolo".

You may find it labelled as a Monstera deliciosa or a Epipremnum pinnatum.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma belongs to the genus Rhaphidophora which comprises of about 100 species.

Size

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a climbing plant which can grow to a height of 12 ft when provided with a sturdy support like a moss pole or a trellis. Regular pruning is necessary to maintain it at a manageable size.

Origin

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is native to Southern Thailand and Malaysia where it grows as an hemiepiphyte and climbs by means of aerial roots to the top of trees in its natural habitat.

Where to Buy

Various sizes of beautiful and healthy Rhaphidophora tetrasperma for your houseplants collection are readily available online at Etsy. Purchase Rhaphidophora tetrasperma from Etsy.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Photo Credit: Crocus

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Care Indoors

Light requirements

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight as it can cause sunscorch on the leaves.

Position the plant next to a sunless window or near a bright window. Inadequate light will result in small leaves and leggy growth.

The plant can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not sufficient. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Rhaphidophora tetrasperma liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

The best temperature for growing Rhaphidophora tetrasperma indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Protect the plant from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in temperature as it can lead to leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Average room humidity is ideal for Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Prolonged periods of low humidity can cause the plant to develop brown leaf tips and edges.

To raise humidity, especially when the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Rhaphidophora tetrasperma with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Rhaphidophora tetrasperma during the growing season when it becomes pot-bound that is when the roots grow through the drainage holes.

Use a pot 1 size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.

Soil

The best soil for Rhaphidophora tetrasperma should be rich in organic matter and well-drained to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most potting mixes designed for aroids are ideal for Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. You can purchase quality Aroids potting soil on Etsy for the plant.

Pruning

Pruning Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is easy. Remove yellow and dead leaves to maintain your plant neat and tidy.

For a more bushy plant and to keep the plant in a manageable size, cutback the vines to the soil level at the beginning of the growing season. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma can be propagated at the beginning of the growing period by use of stem cuttings or by air layering. The stem cuttings can be rooted in soil or in water.

How to propagate Rhaphidophora tetrasperma from stem cuttings in soil

Take a stem cutting from a healthy Rhaphidophora tetrasperma by cutting at a point just below an aerial root.

Ensure the cutting has at least one leaf node and some aerial roots. Insert the cutting in moist free-draining soil while ensuring that the node and the roots are buried under the soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit spot and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Rhaphidophora tetrasperma to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Rhaphidophora tetrasperma from stem cuttings in water

Take a stem cutting from a healthy Rhaphidophora tetrasperma by cutting at a point just below an aerial root.

Ensure the cutting has at least one leaf node and some aerial roots. Place the cutting in a jar containing plain water.

Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every 5-7 days.

Once adequate roots have developed, plant the cutting in soil.

Place the set in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until the new Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant is well established.

How to propagate Rhaphidophora tetrasperma by air layering

There are two methods of air layering Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.

1. One method consists of notching the stem of a healthy Rhaphidophora tetrasperma and coating the notch with a rooting hormone.

Surround the notched area with damp moss and then cover it with a polythene film or clear plastic wrap.

After the roots have formed sever the stem just below the covered part.

Remove the polythene and carefully pot the rooted cutting in moist free-draining soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit spot and maintain the soil moist until the new Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is well established after which you can begin routine care.

2. The second method involves coating the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma stem at a node with a rooting hormone.

Surround the node with damp moss and then cover it with a polythene film or clear plastic wrap.

After the roots have formed sever the stem just below the covered part.

Remove the polythene and carefully pot the rooted cutting in moist free-draining soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until the new Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is well established.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Photo Credit: Logee's Greenhouses

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Problems Indoors

Yellowing leaves

Yellowing leaves in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma are due to overwatering or soggy soil.

Reduce watering and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

If the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma leaves are pale colored and have straw-colored patches the problem is too much sunlight.

Protect the plant from direct sunshine by instaling a light curtain in a sunny window or keep it a few feet away from the window.

Rotting stems

Rotting stems in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is an indication of fungal stem-rot disease which is promoted by high moisture and too little warmth.

You can save the plant by repotting and keeping the soil dry and warm for a period of time before watering again.

Brown papery leaf tips and edges

Brown papery leaf tips and edges in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma are due to two possible reasons.

One possible reason for brown papery leaf tips and edges in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is dry air (low humidity).

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for brown papery leaf tips and edges in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is that the plant may be pot-bound.

Repot the plant into a larger-sized pot to provide adequate room for growth.

Leggy growth and small pale leaves

Leggy growth and small pale leaves in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma are due to too little light. This is an attempt by the plant to reach the light source.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma will not thrive in deep shade. Move the plant to a more brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light or instal a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Diseases

The most common disease in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is leaf spot. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Pests

The common pests in Rhaphidophora tetrasperma are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma toxic?

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is toxic to humans and pets as indicated on Leaf and Paw website.

If ingested it can cause pain and swelling in the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting, excessive drooling and difficulty in swallowing.

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