Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma (also called Mini Monstera, Monstera Ginny, Mini Split-leaf, Ginny Philodendron) will look great in your home no matter what you want to call this houseplant.
The correct name is Rhaphidora Tetrasperma (pronounced Rah-fid-doe-FOR-AH Teh-trah-SPERM-ma), and it is neither a Monstera nor a Philodendron. These different names can get confusing, so we will call this tropical plant by its proper name even though it’s a mouthful.
If you’ve purchased a “Mini Monstera” and can’t get it to grow upright, what you really have is a Rhaphidora Tetrasperma. Fear not. This guide will help you figure out how to get your natural climber to climb up.
This plant is popular for its cute split leaves, ease of care, and fast growth rate.
So, how do you take care of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma?
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Care
Here are the basic steps to caring for a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, which we will go over in much more detail in this article.
- Soil: Airy mix that drains well
- Pot: Fast-growing so repot every year
- Light: prefer diffused bright, indirect light
- Water: Water when the top of the soil is dry.
- Humidity: 40% humidity is adequate, 60% is better
- Pruning: Prune as desired
- Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Care
- Sun/Light Requirements
- How to Water Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- Common Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Issues
- FAQ's: Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- Plants Like Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- Where to Buy Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
The best soil for the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a well-draining, airy mix. Try 50% indoor plant soil and the other 50% with equal parts perlite, orchid bark, small stones, and charcoal.
This potting mix and the extras will give the root ball of your plant a chance to retain some moisture but not be so soggy or damp that root rot can set in.
Feed Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma regularly with a fertilizer diluted to 50% of the recommended concentration during the growing season.
Avoid fertilizing in the fall and winter. Your plant is likely dormant. If your plant is still actively growing in the fall and winter, you can go ahead and fertilize.
Due to having sensitive roots, R. Tetrasperma can easily be over-fertilized. Overfertilizing can cause yellowing, burning, or can even kill your plant.
The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a climbing tropical plant. In its natural environment, the jungle, it uses aerial roots along its stem to attach itself to rocks, tree trunks, and other objects so that it can climb up to reach sunlight.
As a houseplant, it will be the healthiest when you give it supports to climb up, such as a trellis, stake, or moss pole.
Read our detailed guide: Moss Pole for Plants | What They Are and Why You Need One
While the R. Tetrasperma does look beautiful in a hanging basket, they can get leggy and unhealthy if they trail too much. You will need to prune your plant more often to prevent this.
How to Train Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
You can train your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma to grow up a wall, around a beam, on a trellis, or even up a rope. A moss pole is ideal for this plant to climb because the R. Tetraspema can sink in its aerial roots into the moss as it climbs.
Whatever you choose for your plant to climb, place it so the leaf nodes are touching it or are very close to it. Aerial roots will grow from these nodes, grabbing onto the stake. Misting frequently will help the roots attach.
If the plant’s aerial roots aren’t enough to hold it up, for example, on a metal trellis, you can use twine or plant tape to secure it to the structure.
Pro tip: Use a moss pole to give your plant support.
How to Repot Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
The fast growth rate of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma means that you will need to repot it at least once every year.
You’ll know it’s to repot your Rhaphidophora when you notice roots poking out the drainage holes. Choose a pot or other container that is larger than your previous pot and one that has good-sized drainage holes.
Steps for repotting your plant:
- Gently remove your plant from its pot.
- Shake off excess soil. Check the roots for any signs of damage, such as rot.
- Half-fill your pot with fresh potting mix
- Place your plant back into the pot at the same depth it was before.
- Fill with potting mix and gently press down.
- Water thoroughly and put in a sunny location.
Your new pot should be at least 2 inches wider than the pot you just removed your plant from.
Knowing a plant’s natural habitat can help you understand how much light that plant will need. R. Tetrasperma is a jungle plant, so it naturally grows under a canopy of trees. It’s also a vining plant, which means in the jungle, it lifts itself off the jungle floor to catch the sun above low-lying plants.
All of this is to say that in the jungle, R. Tetrasperma has indirect light (through the trees) and grows up toward the light, and that is the kind of light it will want in your home. This plant will do just fine in lower light conditions but will grow faster and look healthier in a brighter spot.
Because it grows toward its light source, rotate it regularly so that every side gets the same amount of indirect light on all sides. Rotating will ensure that it grows evenly all around rather than leaning to one side or with fuller leaves on one side than the other.
Pro tip: Watch out for small leaves, especially in winter. Small leaves are your R. Tetrasperma’s way of telling you that it needs more light.
If your house doesn’t have great natural light, consider using a grow lamp to keep plants like R. Tetrasperma happy.
How to Water Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Your R. Tetrasperma wants to stay moist but not too wet. Water when the top of the soil is dry. Before watering, check by putting your finger into the soil to see if it feels moist. If the soil does feel moist, don’t water and recheck the next day.
Consistent and even moisture is critical when growing these plants.
Your Raphidophora Tetrasperma will need a lot more water during the spring and summer than in the winter.
R. Tetrasperma will bounce back more easily being too dry than it will from being too wet. Overwatering can lead to root rot. Err on the side of underwatering.
While your plant will do just fine with normal household humidity levels at around 30-40%, your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma will thrive with 60-70% humidity. The more you can recreate its native jungle environment, the more it will love you!
The best way to raise humidity levels for your plants is to invest in a humidifier. The other ways to add humidity are regularly misting your plant’s leaves and positioning your plant next to other humidity-loving plants. These two options aren’t as consistent as a plant humidifier.
We have two fantastic articles detailing humidifiers for plants:
Pro Tip: An inexpensive hygrometer is a wise investment in testing the humidity level in your home and adjusting it accordingly for your plants.
The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma can tolerate a fairly wide temperature range but does best in 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on where you live, your R. Tetrasperma could be moved outdoors in the summer (to a location with indirect light, of course). This plant doesn’t tolerate frost, so it must be moved indoors during the winter unless you live in Zone 10 or higher.
The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a vigorous (fast) grower that may need frequent pruning if foliage becomes unruly or takes over your space.
Avoid cutting off more than 25% of your plant when you prune it. Always use a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors and cut just above a spot where the leaf meets the stem.
How to Make Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Bushier
To make your R. Tetrasperma bushier, don’t let it trail out of a pot or hanging basket. When plants like this trail, they often get leggy (the opposite of bushy) because they try to grow toward the sunlight (which is up), but they can only grow out.
Give your plant a support pole, so it can do what it was meant to do – climb. Allowing the climbing will result in a plant with a more bushy, less leggy appearance.
How to Propagate Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Propagating Rhaphidophora is easy! You need to take a stem cutting with a leaf node on it and place it in water until roots start to grow.
Be patient while you wait for new roots to appear. Fresh roots can take 4-6 weeks to appear, sometimes longer. Once you see a network of new roots appear, your cutting is ready for soil in a pot.
Common Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Issues
While this plant is pretty hands-off, there can be problems. Here’s some basic troubleshooting when you sense some unhappiness or sadness from your long-named friend.
If your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma has yellow leaves, the cause is probably too much sun or overwatering.
Worst case scenario, yellowing leaves at the base of your plant can indicate root rot. To know for sure if your plant has root rot, you will need to carefully remove it from the pot or planter to inspect it.
Brown spots on your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma probably mean too many hours of direct sunlight.
Pro tip: Remove yellow leaves or leaves with brown, crispy parts. Those leaves will not recover or get their original green color back.
Why is My Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Drooping?
Droopy leaves of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma are usually caused by a watering issue—either too much or too little water.
Also, consider that the R. Tetrasperma is a climbing plant, not a trailing plant. It’s possible that the “drooping” you are seeing is a sign that it wants to climb and needs some support.
Why is my Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Not Growing?
Your R. Tetrasperma is probably not getting enough sun and water if it is not growing. It especially likes to stay moist during the growing season. If you have ruled out both of these issues, add an organic fertilizer to help your plant grow.
Why is My Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Leaves Not Splitting?
Fenestrations, or the slits in the leaves, are the main reason we love these plants! So it’s disappointing if your leaves aren’t splitting or getting their slits.
Your plant just needs time to mature. Young plants may not have split yet. As your plant grows, leaves will begin to split. Be sure to provide your plant with ample sunlight and water to speed things along.
You will know you’re dealing with spider mites if you start to see webbing on the underside of your leaves or tiny black thrips (a small bug) on the leaves.
If you notice this, be sure to start treating with insecticides immediately, as they can be incredibly damaging to your plant.
FAQ’s: Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Is a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma a Monstera?
At a glance, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma does look a lot like a Monstera Deliciosa. They also require the same kind of care. So it is understandable why the R. Tetrasperma has become known as the ‘Mini Monstera.’
However, R. Tetrasperma is a smaller plant with a smaller leaf than the Monstera. The two plants also have different leaf patterns. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma leaves will not display the familiar holes we see near the middle of the lead on Monstera plants.
How Fast Does Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Grow?
In the right conditions, R. Tetrasperma can grow up to about 12′ tall in its natural environment. Realistically, as a houseplant, it will have vines reaching about 4 or 5 feet long, sometimes longer.
Is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Rare?
Would you believe that in 2020, a Mini Monstera sold in New Zealand for more than $5,400 US Dollars! At the time, the houseplant industry was booming because of the pandemic, and plants like this became harder and harder to find. Fortunately for you, paying that kind of price is no longer seen. These plants grow very rapidly and are easy to grow!
Is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Toxic to Cats?
Yes, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. This houseplant contains calcium oxalate, which, if ingested, can lead to internal damage like stomach pain and lethargy and external pain such as mouth stinging. And remember, because R. Tetrasperma grows vines, be aware of the vines “hanging” where pets can and eat them. Like all other Araceae plants, keep these out of reach of pets.
Is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma a Philodendron?
No. Ginny Philodendron is a super confusing nickname for this plant because the R. Tetrasperma is not a philodendron.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma (common names: “Mini Monstera,” Philodendron “Ginny,” Philodendron “Piccolo”) is a species of plant in the family Araceae, genus Rhaphidophora. It is native to Southern Thailand and Malaysia.
Plants Like Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
The Rhaphidophora Cryptantha’s most distinctive features are its condensed, rounded leaves with striking silver veins. It can either grow horizontally or vertically when support is provided.
Epipremnum Pinnatum (also known as Tibatib) has long cascading vines and pointed leaves, making a beautiful table or hanging plant. You can also train this plant to grow on a pole or trellis.
Monstera Borsigiana is an easy to care for house plant that’s super popular for home decor and among plant enthusiasts of all levels.
This large monstera variety with dark green leaves looks very similar to the popular Monstera Deliciosa and is probably a variation of it, but with a few distinct differences. If you’re a fan of tropical plants you’ll love it.
Read our detailed Monstera Borsigiana Care Guide.
Where to Buy Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Head to your local garden center first to see if they have the R. Tetraperma you’re looking for. That way, you can pick and choose the specific plant you want to take home.
Although this plant used to be pretty hard to find, it’s now popping up online and in local plant nurseries all around.
If you can’t find these tropical plants at a local nursery, many plant growers sell them on Amazon and Etsy.
Final Thoughts on Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
If you’re looking for a plant that’s low maintenance and a rapid grower, this is it!
This plant definitely needs a better nickname! Aside from that, though, it’s a great indoor plant that looks very impressive in any home.
Some items we discuss that will help you care for this unique plant and keep it growing strong:
Good luck growing your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma and making it part of your cozy, fresh, and green home!