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New This Week

October 5, 2022

Plant of the Week: Rhaphodapora tetrasperma

Why we love this vining and climbing houseplant

Often called Monstera Ginny, Monstera Minima, or Mini Monstera for its fenestrated leaves and resemblance to Monstera deliciosa, this houseplant is in an entirely different family and comes from a separate part of the world. What it does have in common with Monstera deliciosa is that it is low-maintenance, a great starter plant that can make a HUGE impact when it matures, and adapts well to life indoors as a houseplant.

Rhaphidophora testrasperma
A Rhaphidophora testrasperma can make a big impact!

This is a member of the Rhaphidophora family which also includes other common houseplants such as Rhaphidophora decursiva and Rhaphidohora Hayi. As their common name implies, this unique fenestrated plant is a great option if you are looking for a small vining plant to add to your collection. Indoors, the mini monstera normally tops out at about 6 to 8 feet tall, with leaves that are about 6 to 8 inches long. In its native environment, the mini monstera is a climbing plant, so it will thrive if provided with a support to climb indoors such as a moss pole or trellis.

A Rhaphidophora testrasperma

If you have any experience growing other aroids such as monsteras, alocasias, or philodendrons, you will have no problem keeping this mini climber happy.

Scientific Name: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Common Names: Mini Monstera, Monstera "Ginny", Monstera minima

Family: Araceae

Mature Size: 6-8 ft. tall (indoors), 15-20 ft. tall (outdoors)

Light: Bright, indirect light

Soil Type: Moist but well-draining

A Rhaphidophora testrasperma

Lighting: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma requires bright, indirect light. The more light it receives the better and faster it will grow. Avoid direct light on the leaves as they can burn. A spot near an eastern-facing window, or slightly set back from a western or southern-facing window is ideal. If new leaves are smaller or have fewer fenestrations (cut-outs), consider moving your plant to a location with more light.

Water: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, like most aroids, likes the top 1-2" of soil to dry out between waterings. Using the finger test- insert your finger into the top 1-2" of soil. Remove your finger and wave it around, do you feel the wind on it or does it feel cooler? Wait to water if it feels cooler/slightly damp. It can be sensitive to frequent over or underwatering.

Humidity & temperature: This plant can tolerate standard household humidity (typically around 30-40%) and temperatures (above 68 degrees), though it will absolutely thrive with added humidity! Consider placing it near a humidifier, using a pebble tray, or grouping it with other plants (especially in winter).

Soil: A standard aroid mix is great. For home use, we typically recommend a mix of two-part potting soil to one part perlite and one part orchid bark. The additions of perlite and orchid bark keep the soil chunky, well-draining, and aerated.

Fertilizer: Fertilize regularly throughout the growing season. Cut back fertilizing in the winter, but if your plant is still putting off new growth don't stop completely. For plants that go dormant in winter, we still recommend using a plant food like super thrive occasionally.

Training: This plant is born to climb! It does best if you provide it with a trellis, moss pole, or wall to climb up! Leaving them to hang can cause them to become leggy and their new leaves to be smaller.

Common Problems: This plant is not particularly prone to pests but can still be affected by the likes of spider mites, mealy bugs, and more. Preventative treatments like wiping down the leaves with neem oil occasionally and proper watering can go a long way in preventing pests.

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