The must-have plant of 2020
Looking for the perfect plant to add to your collection this year? Well, this month we’re featuring a plant that is easy-going, fast-growing, and absolutely adorable! I bought a small one leaf cutting of this plant last summer and its recent explosion of growth has brought me so much joy! It’s one of my all-time favorite plants, a definite must-have for any plant parent. I thought this would be the perfect month to study this plant in-depth so that I could learn even more about how to help mine thrive!
Introducing… Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Plant Level: Intermediate
Winner of the cutest plant ever (awarded by us)
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is native to Thailand and Malaysia. It’s a rare plant to find growing in the wild. It’s a climbing plant that shoots out aerial roots that will attach to trees, walls, and anything it can find.
R. tetrasperma goes by many nicknames, mini monstera, ginny philodendron, Monstera minima, mini split-leaf philodendron. While we think that ‘mini monstera’ is an absolutely adorable nickname, all of these names are a little misleading. The tetrasperma is neither a Monstera or Philodendron. It is, however, a member of the same family, Araceae, often referred to as ‘aroids’.
The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma rose to fame recently thanks to social media and was very difficult to find until recently. Prices of these plants were very high, with one leaf cuttings being sold for well over $50. Thankfully now with the help of tissue culture, this plant is being found more and more at plant nurseries for an affordable price. As time goes on, I know this plant will be easily accessible so just practice patience if you don’t find one right away.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma thrives in bright, filtered light. Indoors it can be placed close to a window and will even appreciate a little direct sunlight throughout the day. I have mine in the windowsill of an East-facing window and it has been loving it so far.
This plant will suffer in low light conditions, growing slowly with small, non-fenestrated foliage may be signs that it needs more light. If you need to supplement your light, simply add a grow light to your home. These come in actual light fixtures or a grow bulb. Add the bulb to your current light fixtures and tada you have a grow light! Just add plants and turn your home into a jungalicious dream.
This plant can also be grown outdoors. When growing outside place it in a spot where it will receive some dappled direct sunlight throughout the day. Make sure to bring indoors if the temperature is going to drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma appreciates being kept moist but not soggy. When the top inch or two of soil feels dry it’s time to give your plant friend a drink. It also might need to be watered more often during the spring and summer when it’s growing more rapidly. Like many houseplants, this plant is sensitive to being overwatered. It’s always better to wait a day or two too long than to water too often. Overwatering can lead to root rot which can quickly kill a houseplant.
Use a quality well-draining houseplant soil.
Another reason this plant is so wonderful is that it can thrive in normal household humidity. However, if you’re looking for a way to help encourage even more growth, try adding a humidifier to your plant space. Your plants will love the increase in humidity! You can also group your plants together to boost the humidity levels around them.
During the growing season use a quality houseplant fertilizer to help this beauty grow like crazy. When winter comes the plant will be receiving less light and won’t be growing as much. During this time it’s best to ease up or completely stop using fertilizer.
This plant is toxic. If you have pets or children make sure to watch that they do not munch on this plant. If you’re interested in pet and children friendly houseplants, check out our post about 15 non-toxic houseplants.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a rapid grower which means you’ll need to be on the lookout for signs of being root-bound. This plant will need to be repotted every spring, and possibly even twice in the same year.
This plant also LOVES to climb! You’ll need to add some sort of support for your tetrasperma so it can grow tall and gorgeous! Purchase or make your own moss pole, trellis, or bamboo stake.
Get your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma here.
Our favorite way to display a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is by growing it up a unique trellis!
Make sure to subscribe so you never miss out on a new planty friend to love! Check out our favorite plants to find more helpful houseplant care tips and tricks.
I just bought this plant and want to keep it in my room, however I fear that the light in my room isn’t sufficient enough for this plants growth. I think the spot I currently have this plant in is medium, indirect light. I have a grow light, and was wondering if this along with the medium, indirect light will be enough light to keep the plant healthy? Or should I move it into a better location with brighter natural indirect light?
I think the additional light from a grow light is a great idea! With that added light it should be receiving plenty of light. I would just check on it often the first couple days to make sure that the grow light is in a good spot and isn’t burning the leaves. I love this plant so I hope it brings you a lot of joy! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Is it too much to put this in our grow tent during the winter? We started to keep some of our tropical plants there during the winter & they’ve never looked better but I wasn’t sure about this guy. Thanks!
I don’t have much experience with this because my plants stay inside with me year round. If other tropical plants are thriving there though then the tetrasperma should love it as well! Good Luck!
Hi. Great info! I bought my Rhaphidophora tetrasperma in June. It was tiny and grew very quickly and tall. Sadly, around Oct/Nov the bottom leaves started turning yellow, then brown and they all started falling off. Now there’s only 2 tiny leaves left at the top. Not sure what went wrong. It was thriving. I water it weekly. It gets tons of light from an east facing window. Any advice on how to bring it back to life?
Hey! I’m so sorry your plant is struggling. That is the worst! I’m wondering if you are watering too often. Are you waiting until the soil is almost dry before you water your plant again?
Thanks for the reply. Weekly watering was working fine through the spring & summer but I think when the temps got colder it took longer for the plant to dry out What should I do with the long naked stem? The new leaves are only growing out from the top.
I would cut off the top and propagate it to make a new plant.