Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma goes by many names, such as Mini Monstera, Mini Split-leaf, Philodendron Piccolo, and Ginny Monstera or Ginny Philodendron. The most common name for it, Mini Monstera comes from the resemblance to the magnificent Monstera deliciosa.
Not a Monstera, But Just as Easy
This plant is actually not a Monstera but a part of an independent genus, Rhaphidophora. They originate from Thailand and Malaysia and are a part of the Araceae family, making Rhaphidophora plants distantly related to those in the Monstera genus. Like its Monstera relatives, the mini monstera makes an excellent and easy houseplant, adapting well to indoor conditions.
This houseplant is a gorgeous evergreen climbing (vining) plant. While it vines easily, its leaves stay fairly small—only about 4–6 inches long. The Mini monstera is generally low-maintenance and easy to grow indoors as houseplants. If you have any experience growing other aroids such as monsteras, alocasias, or philodendrons, you will have no problem keeping this mini climber happy. Much like the other houseplants above, the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plants use aerial roots to help them latch on to trees and branches in the wild. As houseplants, they will thrive if provided with support to climb indoors such as a moss pole or trellis.
A Very Special Plant, With a Very Special Name
This houseplant was first discovered in the late 1800s in Britain by the British botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a unique plant species that till not so long ago was not easily found, nowadays only the variegated ones are still very hard to get your hands on.
Rhaphidohora is a term used to describe the plant’s oxalates located straight in the plant's center which if observed very well, have a needle-like appearance and shape. The second half of the name, Tetrasperma stipulates the plant’s alluring four-sided seeds produced during the autumn season.
The real question comes to be: how should you care for this lively, vigorous plant, and what are the best growing and watering tips to make this green plant prosper? Scroll down to read more you need to know about Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma.
The Most Expensive Houseplant Ever Sold
Fun fact: On June 13th, 2021 a single Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma with rare white colors was sold in an internet auction on "Trade me" in New Zealand for a record NZ$27,100 (approximately US$19,300.) You can read all about this here: "Rare Variegated Monstera Minima (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma) Plant Sold for Over $ 19,000"
(Read about different sorts of monstera variegations here: 'All Variegated Monstera Plants Together – Albo, Aurea, Sport & Thai Constellation').
Growing Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Having small and graceful ornamental leaves with 6 inches (15 cm) split lobes, when growing this plant, it's crucial to take into consideration that they’re quite sensitive and require a vast amount of appropriate care. If you’ve decided to raise them as houseplants, you’ll have to create an environment sufficiently strong enough for your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma to grow into a beautiful plant. Also, if you’ve had any experience growing Monstera Deliciosa, you’re in luck because it'll be easier to grow your own Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma at home.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma's Relationship With The Sun
Now, let's talk about their relationship with the sun. They thrive in bright and indirect light, however, we recommend not exposing them to direct and hot sunlight because as a result, their vibrant green leaves will fall off before turning completely yellow.
What Should You Feed Your Plant?
Another important tidbit you should know about this plant is that they’re highly vulnerable to fertilizer burn. This is due to the fact that this plant's roots are very sensitive, so it's probably best to look for an organic, yet rich fertilizer that contains no harmful chemicals. Are any high-maintenance plant lovers around? You’ll definitely need to look after this plant diligently and ensure its living conditions are optimal.
Watering 101 For A Brighter, Greener Plant!
Watering is quite simple—The more you hydrate this plant, the more it'll grow. However, overwatering can do more harm than good. The greener the plant, the more water it'll seek to become its bold and most powerful version yet, so please make sure you don’t leave them dry for too long.
Propagating Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
You can begin propagating when you first see the leaf nodes on your Rhaphidophora Tetraspermas plant. A great opportunity to transform it into new little plants. Propagating these Mini Monstera plants is as easy as it gets. Take a stem chunk from the mother plant and place it into a glass of water and wait for the roots to grow. Then put it in the soil, and watch it grow!
Common Problems of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Common problems are spider mites. It isn't susceptible to pests more than any other plant. Make sure you let dry out the soil before watering again and don't use a potting mix that is too dense, as that can lead to root rot.