The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, or R. tetrasperma plant (also known as a mini monstera), has gained high popularity over time as an easy-to-indoor vining plant.
Even better, is this indoor plant doesn’t require too much sun.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma are indoor plants that are native plants from southeast Asia in Malaysia and parts of southern Thailand.
Although the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma looks like the monstera deliciosa, you may think it’s a philodendron or monstera species.
R. tetrasperma is not the same plant and is not even in the same family of Araceae plants – which philodendron or monstera plants belong to.
They belong to a completely independent genus known as the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
Considering the reputation of these small-sized trees, along with other plants, make for great house plants.
If you take care of a few things that help this plant stay healthy, such as bright indirect light (or diffused bright light), among other things.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview on Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Plant
- 2 How to Grow a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- 3 Common Problems with Growing Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- 4 FAQ
- 5 Other Monstera Plants to Consider
- 6 Conclusions
- 7 References
An Overview on Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Plant
R. Tetrasperma plants are a genus that contains nearly 100 species that are native to southeast Asia – especially in Thailand and Malaysia.
- The Rhaphidophora plants are considered to be exotic plants. But it can also be found in dry climate regions and tropical rainforests.
- Which makes it convenient and practical to grow. However, this might result in smaller leaves without any splits.
- R. tetrasperma is not the same as monstera deliciosa plants.
- Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a unique tropical aroid and one of the rare tropical plants. It has small and elegant ornamental leaves, which commonly have a 6 inch (approx 15cm) split lobe.
- This species is completely different from its other parent species and bears no edible fruits.
- Depending on the environmental conditions, it can grow pretty tall. But in houses, it doesn’t reach its maximum height.
- Their aerial roots climb trees or a moss pole, or anything good for them to stabilize as they grow.
How to Grow a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Keep the potting soil moist for active growth. You can do this by using tepid water.
Water lightly and aerate the soil so that you have healthy aerial roots.
It will help you avoid problems such as root rot and moist sphagnum moss and promote new growth in the mother plant.
Related post: How Often Should You Water Monstera Plants?
The best and most simple way to mitigate overwatering your plants is to get a self-watering planter. We particularly like these self-watering planters. They are economical and very easy to use.
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Amount of Sunlight Needed
Ideally bright indirect light is good for your rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
Keep it out of range from direct sun. The plants’ growth slows down due to the harsh morning sun.
It can affect the growth of rhaphidophora tetrasperma and its sensitive roots. Add extra ambient lighting for an active growing phase.
Best Humidity Levels
Timely misting and moderate humidity is beneficial for rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
A good level of humidity will lead to root growth, larger leaves and ensure the health of the lowest leaf node.
What Temperature is Best?
Temperature is another important factor in rhaphidophora tetrasperma care.
An ideal temperature for it would be between 55°F to 80°F (12°C to 27°C). Try avoiding sudden changes in the temperature as that might affect its health.
What Kind of Soil to Plant In?
A free-draining potting medium or potting mix that is breathable for the roots is ideal.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma grows extraordinarily well in orchid bark potting soil.
Looking for potting soil? We always rely on is this potting soil. It’s nothing special, but it works for all our indoor plants – plus, it’s inexpensive.
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Do You Need to Fertilize the Plant?
It is advisable to fertilize the rhaphidophora tetrasperma twice a month during its growing season (spring and summer).
Not diluting the fertilizer before feeding it to your rhaphidophora tetrasperma can make the plant dry.
Too much fertilizer and insecticides might make your rhaphidophora tetrasperma toxic.
We suggest using a slow-release fertilizer. This particular slow-release fertilizer is the one we use the most. It’s super simple to use, and you don’t need to worry about it once you set it in the soil.
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Do You Need to Prune the Mini Monstera?
Pruning particularly of long stems, is necessary. Use a sterile blade and trim a few centimeters below the lowest leaf nodes.
A good pair of sharp scissors will do, but if you want to get a pair of real plant pruning shears, we recommend these gardening pruning shears. They are super sharp and easy on your hands.
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How to Repot the Plant
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care can be tricky at times as it grows quickly and might need repotting from time to time.
Roots circling the bottom of your terra cotta pot or plastic pot are a sign that means repotting is required.
Using a good potting mix for repotting is important.
How to Propagate Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
You will have 2 options for this. In both methods, you start with the cuttings of the plant.
You can either:
- Place the cutting in the water to root for some time, or
- Put the cutting it directly into coco chips (for extensive aeration). Be sure to water regularly.
Common Problems with Growing Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Yellowing leaves on the Plant:
Leaves eventually turning yellow in about a month is a natural part of the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant’s life cycle and growth season.
Yellow leaves are the older leaves that will drop. The yellow leaf is usually replaced with a new leaf in a few weeks.
However, if leaves are dropping too frequently, it might be due to inconsistent watering, harsh sun, or leggy growth.
These could be causing your leaves to wade, turn yellow and drop.
Improper care, too little light, lack of fresh soil or potting soil, and humidity may be the prime reasons why the pests like spider mites and aphids appear on the leaf nodes.
These pests can also cause root rot in your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
It might start with the chewing of one leaf when you start to notice that your tetrasperma has pests in it.
Keeping up the humidity is important to drive them away.
But if the pests are persistent, you might want to treat them with fertilizer and insecticides but beware as this might cause an insecticide or fertilizer burn.
Try using neem oil instead to get rid of the pests.
This neem oil is the one we rely on the most. We like it because it’s very pre-mixed and ready to use. There is no extra step in mixing the neem oil concentrate with water. Plus, it’s effective against virtually all insects and pests.
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Small New Plant Leaves
As rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a vining plant, you might need to trim the vines when they get too long to keep them healthy.
If the leaves are always small, your rhaphidophora tetrasperma might not be getting enough “grow light” or bright shade.
Try placing it near a bright window, preferably a west-facing window or a south-facing window, so that your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma gets new plant growth and enough light.
Brown Spots or Patches on the Plant
This may happen for a variety of reasons, including over-watering, insufficient light, and dry air. However, dark brown patches on mini monstera leaves mean that the plant is receiving too much water.
So, if you detect dark brown patches on your mini monstera leaves, this means that the plant roots could be decaying. Stop watering and check the roots. Also, you can remove the damaged leaves by pruning the plant.
Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma a Monstera?
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma appears to be a Monstera deliciosa at first glance, and it is occasionally misidentified as a Philodendron species. This plant, however, is neither a Monstera nor a Philodendron, despite the fact that they are all members of the aroid family of plants.
What is the difference between Rhaphidophora tetrasperma and Monstera deliciosa?
Monstera deliciosa is a much bigger plant, and Rhaphidophora tetrasperma looks a lot like a baby version of it (which is why it’s often referred to as “little monstera”), but they grow in quite different ways and have distinct growth habits. Their maintenance is quite similar, and they both grow to be lovely plants to behold. Rhaphidophora, on the other hand, has smaller leaves and does not produce edible fruit.
How fast does Rhaphidophora tetrasperma grow?
If you can provide favorable growth conditions and give it the utmost care, the mini monstera plants can grow quite quickly. These plants have been known to grow more than 4-6 feet in a single year – growing up to almost 12 feet tall!
Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma toxic to Pets?
Yes, they are toxic to pets. They also contain calcium oxalate crystals. The mini monstera plant is a member of the Araceae family of plants—the same one Monsteras and Philodendrons belong to. So, keep this plant, and all other Araceae plants, out of the reach of children and dogs.
Other Monstera Plants to Consider
There are many varieties of Monstera houseplants. If you are looking for another type of Monstera plant, check out our other related posts:
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma species are beautiful plants that are loved by nature enthusiasts and are great for house decor as they are really simple to grow and care for.
They can be placed anywhere you want. Both inside and outside the house works. This species has very reasonable demands such as organic soil and consistent watering every week, and lots of love and affection!
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a lovely plant and a great alternative as it does not require lots of space to grow and prevail. Remember Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants can grow as tall as 12 feet!
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.