Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma (Mini Monstera) Profile

Written by Iris

Jan 16 2023

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma (Mini Monstera) Profile
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is also known as the mini turtle back bamboo. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a fast-growing plant with an attractive split leaf, trailing or trailing growth pattern, growth nodes, and aerial roots. It is a beautiful tropical plant that is becoming a popular houseplant.

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Picture

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Info

Scientific Name Rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Common Name Mini monstera
Origin Native to Thailand and Malaysia in a variety of rainforest conditions
Height 1.5 metres height / 1 metre spread
Light Ideally, bright but indirect filtered light, can cope with lower light too
Water Keep soil moist using water at room temperature
Soil A free-draining organic potting mix
Fertilizer regular fertilizing

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Native Habits

Rhaphidophora is a genus that contains around 100 species native to south-east Asia. This mini monstera is considered an exotic jungle plant, but it can also be found in rainforests or dry climates making it an easy-to-grow houseplant. However, hanging these plants can result in smaller leaves without splits. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a rare tropical aroid, having small and graceful ornamental leaves with 6 inches (15 cm) split lobes. Their leaves look like a smaller version of Monstera Deliciosa, which is why it is mostly referred to by the name Mini Monstera. However, it is a completely different species, with no edible fruits. Depending on the environmental conditions, these plants can reach up to 12 feet (3.65 meters) in height. As a houseplant, it is usually preferred at 4 to 5 feet (1-1.5 meters) tall. They are vining plants, having aerial roots that climb trees or whatever is good for them to stabilize as they grow, such as trellises.

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Distribution

The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a native plant of Thailand and Malaysia. Botanists consider this to be a rare species to find growing wild, but it has been known to science since the late 1800s.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is one of the plants that can grow in water

How to Propagate Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma propagation with Cuttings

When you start to notice the leaf nodes on the rhaphidophora Tetraspermas plant, this is the perfect opportunity to turn it into a new little plant. Breeding these mini turtleback bamboo plants is very easy, as all you need to do is take a tuber from the mother plant and place it in a glass of water or the roots in potting soil. (Read More: How to Propagate Rhapidophora Tetrasperma (Mini Monstera) - 2023 Guide)
Make sure you have one or more leaf nodes on your cuttings. Roots will form from the lowest leaf nodes, so be sure to place them below the surface of the water or soil.
If you choose to breed your rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant in water, you should keep the environment fresh and change the water at least once a day. When the roots are about 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) long, the cut will be ready to transfer to the potting mixture in a few weeks.
But for cuttings that have been placed in the mixture since breeding, it takes about a month to take root. During this time, you need to keep it active and then very carefully check the plant for any resistance. If there are, that means the roots have developed and are ready to be nursed as a new Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plant.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

How to Care for Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma 

  • Light Care
Like many jungle plants, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma grows beneath the tree canopy. However, it is also a vine that lifts itself off the jungle floor to bask above low-lying plants.
  • Soil Care
Monstera minimas like a mix rich in peat that is well-drained. I prefer to use coco fiber which is similar but a more sustainable alternative to peat moss.
This is the mix I use with approximate measurements:
  1. 1/2 potting soil. I alternate between Ocean Forest & Happy Frog.
  2. 1/2 coco fiber.
  3. Add in a few handfuls of coco chips (similar to orchid bark) and a few handfuls of compost.
  4. End by top dressing with a 1/4 – 1/2″ layer of worm compost.
  5. 3 alternate mixes:
  6. 1/2 potting soil, 1/2 orchid bark or coco chips or
  7. 3/4 potting soil, 1/4 pumice or perlite or
  8. 1/2 potting soil, 1/2 coco fiber or peat moss
  • Water Care
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is thirsty but not very sensitive to water. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma prefers constant, moderate moisture, but occasionally dries out. Be sure to check the soil frequently to avoid drying it out too often or for too long. Water when the soil is dry to the first digit of an inch or thumb.
  • Temperature and Humidity Care
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma can tolerate a fairly wide temperature range if other needs are met, but it thrives in the 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit range. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is not frost resistant, so move it indoors during the cold season, unless you live in zone 10 or higher. You also need to take precautions when summer temperatures exceed 95 degrees, which can cause it to wilt.
As you might expect from a jungle plant, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma thrives in humid conditions, but is not demanding. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma will prefer a pebblestone tray or humidifier, but normal household humidity will do. Occasional sprays can also help.
  • Fertilizer Care
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma prefers loose, thick soil to standard potting soil. It is possible to make your own loose potting mixture from scratch, or mix standard potting soil with an aerated addition such as perlite, orchid mixture or cocoa chips. During the growing season, feed Tetrasperma regularly with diluted fertilizer (recommended concentration of 50%). Slow-release organic fertilizers are preferred.
  • Pruning Care
Whether you need to actively trim your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is up to you. You may prefer shorter, thicker plants. You can train one or more long vines on the wall, pruning away any additional branches. You might leave it naturally.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Uses of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is commonly sold as a tabletop plant. As it grows, it’ll become a floor plant. It can be trained to grow on a moss pole, trellis, hoop, piece of bark, etc. While this plant has no medicinal uses and is not edible, it provides a beautiful display when allowed to climb. Place it against a trellis or other support and enjoy the resulting column of green.

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Common Pests/Diseases

For the most part, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a resilient plant that can resist most pests and diseases, but there are a few things to watch out for. Knowing which diseases are most common can help you prepare to deal with these problems as they arise. In most cases, some precautions can also be taken.
  • Spider Mites
Spider mites are the most common pests that will plague your four red spiders either internally or externally. These pests damage plants by attaching themselves to their leaves and sucking up nutrients. One of the most natural ways to get rid of the red spider problem is to use neem oil.
  • Root Rot
Although tetrasperma plants are usually resistant to disease, root rot can cause them yellow leaves problems. These plants are highly susceptible to root rot, and once the fungal disease has started to spread, it may not recover. Root rot is caused mainly by too much water around the roots of plants, especially standing water. A better option would be to take measures to prevent disease by monitoring water content and using well-drained soil. (Read More about saving yellow leaves of Monstera.)
  • Powder Pest
Mealybugs are most common in warm environments, making them a common pest of the four mealybugs that can only grow outdoors in warm climates.
The easiest way to get rid of mealybugs is to swab them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Lighter insecticides can also be used to treat larger pests. For prevention, occasional spraying of neem oil is an easy way to stop mealybugs from eating plants. (Find more indoor plants for low light here.)
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Climbing Support

These need to be climbed if you want the best looking healthy plants. You can use moss poles, whether you make them yourself or buy them, latticework, which is basically any place you can hold a plant and give the air roots a place to grab hold of. If you like the look of the moss pole as much as we do, then we recommend you make your own.
Read Next: