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Love the look of a split leaf Monstera deliciosa but don’t have enough space to grow one? Check out the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. It’s the new must-have houseplant.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma stays smaller, grows faster and forms holes in its leaves quicker than the larger Monstera deliciosa.
Because of the resemblance, retailers often sell the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma as a mini monstera, monstera minima or dwarf monstera.
Call it what you want, this plant is great for small spaces, easy to care for, and can handle a bit of neglect.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma indoor Care Tips
So although this low maintenance plant looks very much like a Monstera deliciosa, it is not the same.
Both of them are so-called aroids coming from the same Araceae plant family. Just like the Monstera adansonii, another small deliciosa lookalike.
The fast-growing mini monstera originally comes from tropical places in Thailand and Malaysia where it grows on trees shielded from direct sun by the foliage above.
This means you should give your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma bright, filtered light. It is not used to being in full-blown sun all day.
It can survive in a low light location, but it will grow slowly and produce small foliage if placed in an area with too little light.
Watch out for small leaves, especially in winter. This is how your plants tells you it needs more light.
A mini monstera likes its soil to stay a bit moist. Especially when it is actively growing in spring and summer. Note that moist does not mean soggy. Beware not to overwater your plant either.
Use lukewarm water so you don’t shock your plants’ roots with a cold shower.
Fertilize monthly during the growing season. You can water and fertilize less in the cooler winter months. Still make sure to not let the soil go completely dry.
Check if your plant needs water by sticking your finger into the top inch of the soil. If it feels moist, don’t water. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water.
The mini monstera grows quicker than a Monstera deliciosa does. In your home, you can let your mini monstera grow out a bit. It looks great hanging down on a plant shelf.
When your plant grows larger, it’s a good idea to give it something to climb on. A trellis, moss pole or bamboo stake all can work.
Place the stake in a way that leaf nodes are touching it, or very near to it. Aerial roots will grow from these nodes, grabbing onto the stake. Mist frequently so the roots can easily attach.
Water propagation is a very easy way to make more plants. And the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a great candidate.
Because it grows so quickly, you might need to prune your plant to keep it from looking leggy. Don’t throw out the trimmed parts, you can propagate them and make more plants. For free!
Take a stem cutting with at least one leaf node and put it in water. Keep it somewhere in bright, indirect light. Make sure to change the water regularly and with some patience, roots will appear.
Plant a few rooted cuttings together in one pot. It will turn into a full plant in no time!
Common mini Monstera Problems
Don’t see your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma problem listed? Leave a comment with your question down below, and I will try to answer it asap. Let’s talk
No holes in mini Monstera leaves
It is perfectly normal for young, new leaves to start without any holes and splits. These will come in later.
If your plant gets too little light, the leaves will stay smaller and won’t form the distinctive perforations.
Easy Fix: Move your plant to where it will get ample sunlight.
Leaves of an indoor mini Monstera can start yellowing for a few reasons. Most often it is because the plant has been overwatered.
Check the soil, is it soggy? Think about when you’ve last watered your plant. And how long before that. Did you give the soil some time between watering to dry out a bit? Does your pot have a drainage hole on the bottom? If not, excess water has no way to get out and can drown the roots.
Easy Fix: Give the soil some time to dry out, and adjust your watering schedule going forward.
If overwatering isn’t the cause of the yellow leaves, look at where your plant is placed.
It could be that your plant is getting too much direct sunlight. If the plant is too close to a window, it can be chlorophyll loss turning the leaves yellow.
Easy Fix: Move your plant further away from the window.
But there’s more. Over- or under fertilizing can also lead to yellowing leaves. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots and make the leaves go yellow. Not enough fertilizer can cause iron or nitrogen deficiencies which also cause yellowing leaves.
Easy Fix: If you have never fertilized your plant, and it has been in the same soil for a year or two, or more, it’s time to fertilize.
On the other hand, if you over fertilized your plant, you want to carefully remove the plant from the pot and clear the soil away from the roots. Gently rinse the roots with lukewarm water. Repot in fresh well-draining soil.
Brown spots or leaf tips
Brown spots on the leaves can appear when a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is over- or underwatered. Inspect the soil. Is it soggy, or bone-dry?
Easy Fix: If your plant is overwatered, let the soil dry out some more before you water again. If you can’t remember the last time you gave it some water, go ahead, give it a good soak.
Are the brown spots very dry? It could be that your plant is too close to the window and is getting burned by too much sun.
Easy Fix: Move your plant somewhere with less direct sunlight.
If it is mostly the tips of the leaves and the edges that turn brown and crispy, it usually indicates that the humidity is too low.
Easy Fix: Mist often, or better, place your plant on a humidity tray so that water evaporates around the plant, raising the humidity.
DAMAGED LEAVES: You can safely remove yellow leaves, or leaves with brown, dried out parts. These leaves will not recover or get their original green color back.
Toxic to pets
Unfortunately, plants from the Araceae family are considered toxic to dogs and cats.
It can cause stomach pain, intense irritation of mouth, tongue, and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Be safe and keep the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma out of reach of your pet.
It is very rare for pets to die or get seriously hurt from eating plants. But they can get sick. It is always important to research and find out what type of plant you bring home.
Read more on the risks of toxic plants and your pets and if there is reason to worry or not.
Where to buy Rhaphidophora tetrasperma or mini Monstera plants
Always start at your local plant nursery or garden center to look for plants. It’s best (and most fun!) to pick and choose the specific plant you want to take home. Keep in mind the tips on how to choose the best plant while plant shopping.
If you don’t live near a nursery that carries mini monstera plants, luckily there are a number of plant growers that sell them on Amazon. Get your plant delivered!