Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) Guide: How to Grow, Care & Maintain

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Mini Monstera’s (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) split leaves suggest a Monstera Deliciosa or one of its cousins – say  Philodendron; but, no way! This, it is an entirely different plant that is extremely popular and rare! This Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma)  is unique – nothing else in the world can take its place as it’s one of a kind.

The Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is one of the rarest plants (and most expensive) in the world! It is an exotic jungle plant endemic to Southern Thailand and Malaysia and can also be found in rainforests or dry climates – versatility! That’s why it’s so easy to grow.

Growing & Caring for Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma)

This magnificent vining plant has remarkable fenestrated leaves (leaves with holes in them), which causes it to be easily mistaken for a completely different plant or two!

If you already have a Monstera Deliciosa plant, you are almost prepared for knowing how to care for a Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma), even though they are not the same.

Because these plants thrive in diffused bright light, keeping them out of direct sunlight is best. Excessive exposure to the sun can harm the leaves, causing them to dry out and turn yellow.

If you wish to retain them as houseplants, place them near a sunrise-showing window where they will receive enough light. You can also use an artificial grow lamp to add more ambient illumination.

Overall, Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is a very low-maintenance plant. This gorgeous plant is ideal for adding color and life to your home. It does, however, require a few things to thrive.

It’s a rainforest plant so it seems completely illogical how this Mini Monster is so resistant to dry air. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 30% relative humidity.

However, obviously, if you can maintain it at 50% to 60% it does even better. Maybe you could try it in a Terrarium but then you will have to keep pruning it – it’s lush and it rambles and needs controlling.

1. Light & Temperature Requirements

It is advised that you nurture these plants in a light shadow, enabling them to have a softer touch of the early sun, for outdoor growth.

However, because Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is a fast-growing plant, insufficient light will halt the process and result in undersized leaves.

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) thrives in bright, indirect light. Its leaves are designed in such a way that they make the most of the available light. While it cannot tolerate direct sunlight, bright but indirect lighting simulates what it would receive in the wild.

If you do not have a decent outside position that meets your lighting needs, use a 20 percent -40 percent shade cloth. This is to block some of the harsher rays and soften the sunlight which can burn your plants.

Those growing their Mini Monstera indoors should also give it plenty of light. Direct sunlight should be avoided because it can scorch the delicate foliage.

Eastern-facing windows frequently give adequate light for this plant, and a grow lamp can supplement the ambient sunlight. Low light levels will impede the plant’s growth and diminish its lush leaves.

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 29 degrees Celsius). They are also tolerant of slightly lower temperatures.

If the temperature drops below 55°F (12°C), though, you should bring them inside. During the summer, you can keep them outside, but you should bring them inside during the winter.

2. Water & Humidity Requirements

Growing these plants requires sustained and uniform watering. They prefer constant moisture, but cannot withstand soggy, muddy soil conditions.

Before watering, test the soil with your fingers to determine if it still feels damp. If it does, leave the pot alone for the time being and recheck the next day.

Water sparingly as needed to maintain a consistent moisture level.

You will not need to water as frequently during the cooler months of the year as you would in the spring or summer. When these plants are actively growing, they will require more water. During these times, make sure to check the soil in your pot daily!

Tropical plants, such as Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma), prefer a higher humidity level around them than one might assume. Aim for a humidity level of 50-60% near the plant.

Place your pot on top of a pebble tray with water coming halfway up the stones or use a humidifier. Evaporation will offer additional humidity where it is needed most by your plant. It’s worth it – this plant needs to be treated like royalty!

3. Soil Requirements 

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plants flourish with an all-potting soil that is wet, drains well, and is high in organic content. Perlite, which aerates the soil and promotes root growth, can be used to improve the drainage system.

These plants might benefit from an orchid-specific potting mix with active charcoal added.

This plant thrives in well-draining, organic-rich loamy soil. To offer greater drainage while still retaining moisture, add a little peat moss or orchid bark.

Perlite can help with drainage as well. Waterlogged or overly sandy soils should be avoided. Your plants should be all right with a pH of 6.0-6.5.

4. Fertilizer

Mini Monsteras or Rhaphidophora plants are vulnerable to fertilizer burn because of their sensitive roots. To limit the risk of burning, they prefer a high-quality, balanced organic fertilizer that is free of harsh chemicals.

These plants thrive on regular fertilization during their active growing phase.

It is best to use a well-balanced, high-quality fertilizer that does not contain urea or other harsh chemicals. Mini Monstera or Rhaphidophora plants have extremely delicate roots that might be damaged by fertilizer.

To lessen the risk of burning, use a slow-release balanced organic fertilizer.

There are numerous ways to care for this plant, and yet all agree on one thing which is it benefits from regular fertilization while it is actively growing. Liquid organic fertilizers benefit from a monthly application schedule.

While chemical liquid fertilizers in highly diluted solutions benefit from a biweekly schedule. Stick to the recommended application rates for slow-release organic fertilizers and avoid going overboard.

5. Water Requirements

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is recognized to grow faster when watered regularly, so it is necessary that you do not leave it too dry for too long.

Despite their hunger for water, these plants are extremely sensitive to overwatering.

In the summer or when temperatures are warm, water your plant no more than once every 7 to 10 days. Which is approximately four times per month. This is to keep it happy and healthy.

Watering the plant every two weeks should suffice in milder weather or throughout the winter season.

In general, the optimal humidity percentage for preventing microbe growth and keeping your plant happy is exactly 40%. Dehumidifiers or whole-house humidifiers should be used to maintain this level of relative humidity.

If the humidity level of your plant reaches above this level, do not panic! They will appreciate the extra moisture, and you can even put them near other plants.

6. Repotting

Check for signs of root rot before you repot your plant. If you see anything, use a sterile knife to remove the injured area.

After you have finished this procedure, move the plant into a new container. This plant prefers a lot of space for root development.

If you are going to put it up, make sure it has a large container. For a full-sized specimen, use a container with a minimum diameter of 10 inches and a maximum breadth of 20 inches over the course of the plant’s growth cycle.

Choose a pot that is an inch or two broader than your current one and at least 10″ deep, if not more, than your old one.

7. Pruning/Training

This plant benefits greatly from pruning as well as training. Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is a climber, so it needs a strong fence or supports to hold onto.

As the plant grows, its aerial roots will grip onto the support you have provided, but you may help by putting soft cloth strips (old t-shirt material is excellent) or a wide plastic plant support tape.

Pruning is primarily used to eliminate unhealthy or pest-damaged material while also maintaining a specified size. It can also be used to prevent leggy growth caused by a lack of light on one side of the plant.

To cleanly trim off extra growth, you will have to use a clean snip, but do not take off too much of the plant at once. It is fine to reduce it by up to 25%, but anything more than that could harm your plant.

Propagation of Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma)

The propagation of Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is shockingly simple. Choose cuttings that are healthy and have at least a few leaf nodes.

If you are using damp potting soil, place your cuttings in a glass of water to start. The lowest leaf node should be below ground level. As a result, that, roots will begin to form.

Your Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plants’ leaf nodes are a fantastic opportunity to create new plants from them.

This Mini Monstera plant can be propagated by simply taking a piece of the mother plant’s stem and putting it in a glass of water or a dump of potting soil.

Check to see if your cutting has one or more leaf nodes. The roots will grow from the lowest leaf node, so make sure it is submerged in water or on the surface of the soil.

If you are propagating your Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plant in water, replace it at least once a day with fresh. You should change the water at least once a day to maintain a fresh growth environment.

When the roots are about 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) long, the cutting will be ready to transplant into a potting mix in a few weeks.

Transfer your cuttings into the potting mix until the roots are at least an inch or two long. Keep the cutting alive and wait for at least a month with ones that were started directly in the mix, then gently pull on it to see if there is resistance.

If there are roots, the plant can be treated as a new one.

Nevertheless, cuttings added to the mix at the beginning of propagation must be allowed to root for about a month before they may be used. During this time, you must keep the plant alive and periodically test to see if it has developed any resistance.

If there are roots, it can be treated as a new Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plant and cared for as such.

Growing Problems of Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma)

Gardeners who have Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) often complain that it is getting long in the tooth. Lack of light will cause it to produce more growth.

It is ideal to give this plant bright indirect light, but make sure it gets a lot of it! Small amounts of direct sunlight may be helpful if that is all that is needed. Reducing leggy growth can be achieved by rotating the plant regularly.

However, just because your plant prefers damp conditions does not imply you need to water it every day. Overwatering can create ideal conditions for the growth of fungal root rot.

Make sure the soil is neither too dry or too wet, and water your plant only if necessary.

1. Pests

Spider mites are the most prevalent pest of your Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma). These obnoxious tiny critters can damage your plant’s leaves and stems by sucking away the sap.

It is difficult to notice the damage they do, but yellowing or speckled leaf surfaces and scarring on the leaf are some of the symptoms.

Neem oil can help you get rid of these pesky pests. If the situation is severe, you may also want to try a pyrethrin-based spray, but neem should take care of most of your mite issues.

2. Diseases

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) looks to be immune to several common plant diseases that is because of its tough and resilient characteristics.

Root rot caused by fungi, on the other hand, is unachievable. This soil-borne fungus disease can be destructive to your plant.

There is no cure for this condition once it has developed, so the best thing to do is try to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Keep the soil moist, but not dripping wet. As much as possible, you should maintain the area around the plant dry.

If you have already had to remove rotting roots during a transplant, better-draining soil may be an option.

Spider mites are the most harmful pests of Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma). Neem oil can be sprayed on your plant to quickly eliminate the pest problem.

The Origins and Common Names of The Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma)

One of the rarest plants in the world is the Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma), also known as the ‘Mini Monstera,’ the ‘Ginny,’ or the Philodendron ‘Piccolo.’

It is a unique variety of plants that is native to Malaysia and Southern Thailand. These plants belong to an independent genus which is called Rhaphidophora, even though they are part of the Araceae family.

A British botanist named Joseph Dalton Hooker discovered the Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plant in 1893.

The scientific name of the species could suggest two things: first, the word “Rhaphidophora,” which could refer to the “needle-like” oxalates located in the plant’s center, and second, the phrase “Tetrasperma,” which describes the four-sided seeds produced by the plant during the fall season.

The Mini Monstera has arial roots which make it a fast climber – it also grows rapidly and abundantly.

Other Facts That Help You Better Understand The Mini Monstera

Plants of Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) are sometimes confused with plants of other families and species, such as Monstera Deliciosa, which appears to be a tiny form of it, Epipremnum Pinnatum, which can both have a pinnate leaf, and Philodendron species.

This is neither a Monstera or a Philodendron, although they are all in the same family of Araceae (plants in this family are often referred to as “aroids”). Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a totally separate genus from those two plants.

Philodendron Selloum is know as a Lacy Tree because it has huge cuts on either side of the large leaves. But you can look at it and see it’s not a Mini Monstera!

The expensive Monstera Delisiosa (Swsis Cheese Plant) also has slits and holes on either side of its large leaves. However, although you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise, if you look hard enough, you can see it’s not a Mini Monstera!

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) has those fenestrated leaves, to which we refer but, they’re not as ‘sliced’ as the Philodendron, nor are they as beautifully patterned with slices and holes like the Monstera Deliciosa. They are more random and easily recognizable once you get used to them. Oh, and this plant is very expensive – much more than most.

This Mini Monstera prefers bright but not direct light, as direct sunlight will burn the leaves. Only if it is positioned near west- and east-facing windows will it thrive in direct sunlight.

These plants need a container that does not dry out the soil too rapidly. You can use a plastic pot, a glazed ceramic pot, or even a large terracotta pot for this project.

During the growing season, this plant prefers moist but not too wet circumstances. Before watering, press your fingertip against the soil to determine if it feels wet.

Tropical plants, like Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma), demand greater humidity levels.

You can achieve these circumstances by using a humidifier or by putting the pot above a tray of water, as evaporation will provide the necessary humidity.

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) plants have calcium oxalate crystals that are particularly harmful to dogs because they are members of the Araceae family.

Make sure they are hanging somewhere cats and dogs cannot get to them.

You may easily propagate your Rhaphidophora plants by cutting a stem with a few baby leaves and placing it in water or a decent soil mix.

Pruning is essential for these plants, so providing a sturdy trellis will allow their aerial roots to rest on the support you provide. Plants can also benefit from the application of plastic support tape.

Final Thoughts

One of the rarest and most exotic plants in the world, and we’re discussing it like any other houseplant!

Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) cultivars are well-liked by fans of the Jungalow style and houseplant enthusiasts since they are easy to grow and maintain.

A comfortable environment with enough indirect light is all these plants ask for.

They need an owner who can offer them organic soil that drains well and smooth fertilizer, as well as weekly watering and a lot of affection.

They can be installed inside or outside your house, according to your preferences. Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophorid Tetrasperma) is a fantastic alternative if you want a Monstera Deliciosa plant but do not have the room.

It is also known as the “Mini Monstera Plant” since it looks like its a larger relative but is much smaller. This tropical is evergreen and luxuriant, making it an excellent choice for a houseplant.

If you reside in a warm region, you might even be able to get it to grow outside! Indeed, it’s a rampant grower and spreads itself widely.

Due to their status as little climbers, Mini Monsteras can make excellent houseplants when given the correct care and attention. Of course they need regular pruning to stop them from becoming too straggly.

You can use these indoors if you have a spacious living room (or if you like the Jungalow design),  or outside in the alley or draping itself in friendly fashion over the front entrance.

Because of its arial roots it makes a fantastic hanging basket like no other! You’ll probably need to train it up a trellis or a moss pole, or have it draped over a nearby wall – it will look stunning!

We’re looking at our own, well looked after, Monstera Deliciosas – which we love dearly – and trying not to think of anything else, but….

If you ever have the chance to afford one of these extraordinary plants, don’t hesitate –say yes and make it yours. You’ll never regret the expense as it will reward you many times over!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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