This blog post will teach you all about the propagation of this plant, so it becomes an easy task to carry out.
Read on to discover:
- An introduction to mini monstera
- The basics of mini monstera propagation
- What you need to know about propagating these plants (the tools you’ll need, etc.)
A Brief Introduction to Mini Monstera
Please remember that Mini Monstera is just a nickname. The real name of this rare tropical vining plant is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma.
The word ‘Rhaphidophora’ is a combination of two Greek words – ‘rhaphis’ meaning “needle,” and ‘phoreus’ meaning “bearer.”
This word points to the needle-like calcium oxalate crystals found in the tissues of all aroids. ‘Tetrasperma’ refers to Mini Monstera’s four-sided fruit that grows in the autumn season.
Some common names for this plant are Dwarf Monstera, Monstera Minima, and Mini Monstera.
People call it Mini Monstera just because it looks like a mini-version of Monstera Deliciosa. However, both plants are completely different in reality.
While Deliciosa belongs to the Monstera genus, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a part of the Rhaphidophora genus.
You should know how to tell them apart because both species have different care requirements.
Here are some major differences between Monstera Deliciosa and Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
- Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma’s leaves are smaller than the leaves of Monstera Deliciosa.
- Monstera Deliciosa has tiny or no fenestrations on its leaves when young. On the other hand, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma has fenestrations on its leaves even when it’s young.
- On maturity, Deliciosa develops notable holes and splits with tips growing toward each other. In contrast, the fenestrations on a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma are more open.
- They both originate from different parts of the world. Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is native to Thailand and Malaysia, while Monstera Deliciosa originates from Southern Mexico and Central America.
The Basics of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Propagation
Want to add more Mini-Monstera plants to your collection? Well, no need to buy them from the market! You can simply multiply your plants through propagation.
Propagation is the process of growing a new plant from the stem, aerial root, and leaves of an existing plant. We can grow plants from seed germination too, but this method takes more time.
Also, seed germination doesn’t guarantee that the new plant will be an exact clone of the existing one.
The propagation cuts on your Mini Monstera also help you create a more bushy plant by encouraging new growth.
How to Propagate Mini Monstera? | The Stem Cuttings Method
Propagating vining plants like Mini Monstera is easy. You need a stem cutting with a node, water or soil as a growing medium, and some sharp pruning tools.
Step 1: Get Your Tools Ready
Always wear gloves to avoid contamination when handling a houseplant. The gloves also prevent your skin from getting into contact with the sap.
Besides gloves, you will need a knife or a pair of pruning shears. Make sure your tool is sharp, or it might damage the parent plant when you make a cut.
Also, sanitize the tool by rubbing alcohol on both sides; it prevents the transfer of bacteria from the tool to the plant.
You will also need a container filled with water or soil to root the cutting. If you decide to propagate in soil, ensure it’s well-draining and the container has proper drainage holes.
Step 2: Look for a Healthy Branch with a Node
Remember that your cutting needs at least one node to grow into a new plant. Nodes are the brown or white protruding points on a plant stem where new leaves, buds, and branches grow.
You can’t propagate your plant without a node. You can also include a few leaves and an aerial root in the cutting to stimulate new growth quickly.
The branch you choose must be healthy. If you choose a dying branch, it will just rot into water or soil and not grow into a plant. Pick an area where a leaf is splitting from the main stem.
Step 3: Snip Off a Cutting
Time for action! Take your pruning shears and cut the branch just a couple of inches below the node. Include at least one leaf and an aerial root along with the node.
A cutting with a node but no leaves will grow slower than a cutting that has both.
Be careful not to bruise the plant while cutting; try to make a quick and clean cut without any sawing motion. Also, make sure you don’t compress or damage the stem in the process.
After making the cut, let the cutting sit for a while until the cut end turns dry to the touch.
Step 4: Choose a Growing Medium
A quick and easy way to grow a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plant is to propagate stem cuttings in water.
Fill up a jar or any other container with tap water and let it sit overnight so that minerals and chemicals settle down. Put the cutting in the jar; at least one node should be completely submerged.
Place the jar in an area that receives adequate, bright, indirect light. Don’t expose the cutting to direct sunlight because water can overheat quickly and turn the cutting into mush.
Remember to change the water in the jar when it turns too murky or slimy. The water will also evaporate due to sunlight; fill it up every time the level gets lower.
You will see new roots shooting up in a few weeks. Once they grow two to three inches long, you can transfer the cutting into the soil.
The same process goes for propagation in soil.
Plant the cutting into a pot filled with moist soil. Make sure at least one node is completely covered in soil.
Put the pot in a bright place with indirect sunlight and water the soil once or twice a week. Wait for new roots to shoot up and establish.
The roots generally take about a month to establish. After a month, you can tug the roots a little to check their strength.
If you feel a little resistance, it means the roots of your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma plant have established fine.
More about Propagating Rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Propagation in Moss and Perlite
When propagating in water, you must transplant the cutting into the soil after a few roots emerge. This transition sends the rooted cutting into shock in some cases.
To avoid transplant shock, you can root a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma cutting in moss and perlite as an alternative.
The main advantage of propagating Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma in perlite and moss is that the plant grows stronger roots. This reduces the effects of transplant shock when you shift them into the potting mix.
Wet some sphagnum moss and squeeze out the excess water. Put that moss in a cup and toss in some chunky perlite to form an airy mixture.
Add worm castings to the mixture to make it more fertile because moss and perlite don’t have enough nutrients.
Plant the cutting into the moss and perlite mixture. Since moss dries quickly, cover the cup with a plastic bag or something to maintain high humidity levels.
Propagation in LECA
LECA is short for Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate. Sounds very technical, but it’s just baked clay balls that soak water and expand a little.
Propagating in LECA reduces the chances of a shock to the cutting when you transfer it to the potting mix later. It also helps you avoid the effects of overwatering.
Since LECA isn’t fertile, you will also need a good fertilizer to compensate for nutrient deficiencies.
The process of LECA propagation is as follows:
- Add a few LECA balls to the base of a clear jar and put the cutting in.
- Put some more LECA balls over the cutting to hold it in place firmly.
- Fill the water until it’s just below the nodes on the cutting. The plant shouldn’t be in the water but just above it.
- Wait for the clay balls to absorb the water. They will create a humid environment ideal for roots to grow. You will see new growth in a few weeks.
Propagation by Air Layering Aerial Roots
If you want to propagate Mini Monstera without a cutting, you can try air layering! This method encourages plants to grow roots from a particular node before you make the cut.
- Select a healthy stem on your existing Mini Monstera and apply some rooting hormone on and around it.
- Wet some sphagnum moss and squeeze it to drain off the excess water. The moss should be moist but not dripping.
- Wrap the moss all around the node on the stem you selected.
- Secure the moss in place with plastic wrap or a few bands or ties.
- Don’t let the moss dry out completely while waiting for new roots to sprout from the node.
- Once new roots appear in the moss, remove the wrap and the moss from the stem.
- Make a cut just below the roots, and your pre-rooted Mini Monstera cutting is ready to go into the potting soil!
Mini Monstera Care Requirements after Propagation
Congratulations! At this point, you will have a newly rooted cutting ready to grow into a beautiful plant. You have to take proper care of it, especially in the early stages of growth.
Here are the favorable conditions that a stem cutting needs to grow into a healthy plant.
How much light does a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma need to thrive?
Light is crucial for every plant to prepare food and grow. Some require ample bright light to grow, while others can thrive in low-light conditions too.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is native to tropical regions of Malaysia and Thailand, where plants get bright sunlight filtered through canopies. Hence, it is not a low-light plant.
Even indoors, Mini Monstera requires adequate bright, indirect light to grow. The best spot to keep your plant is near a window exposed to the direct sun.
However, the window must have curtains to filter the light and protect the plant from burning.
If your area doesn’t get adequate bright, indirect light in the day, you can use a grow light to compensate.
What temperatures are the most suitable for Mini Monstera?
Like other tropical plants, Mini Monstera loves warm temperatures ranging from 65-80°F. These temperatures helps your plant flourish well.
Being a tropical plant, Mini Monstera also loves high humidity. If your home isn’t adequately humid, you can raise the humidity levels through a few simple techniques, like pebble tray and misting.
Which type of soil works best for Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma?
Soil for Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma and other aroids should be well-draining and airy. Also, the soil’s pH level should range from 6 to 6.5 to allow the plant to absorb more nutrients.
Use potting mix containing orchid bark and perlite to facilitate airflow and moss or peat to increase water retention capacity.
Does Mini Monstera need Fertilizers?
Since most potting mixes don’t have enough nutrients, regular fertilizing is important when you grow Mini Monstera indoors.
Houseplant experts recommend using slow-release or organic fertilizers twice a month in the growing phase (summers and springs) to ensure that your plant gets the nutrients it requires.
Be careful not to burn the roots by fertilizing too much at once or fertilizing too frequently. Use little or no fertilizer during winter because plants stop or slow down their growth in that period.
A pro tip: If the potting mix seems dry, wet it a little before applying fertilizer. This will prevent the roots from burning out.
Does Mini Monstera need pruning?
Prune Mini Monstera only when you see any dying leaves and roots. Why? Because yellow leaves block nutrients without contributing to the photosynthesis process.
Also, many plants in the vining category become leggy due to climbing up for light. Leggy means a plant that has grown long but with fewer leaves. Pruning can make your plant bushier.
How much water does a Mini Monstera need to grow?
Watering is crucial to keep your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma moist and cool. But how frequently should you water?
The answer depends on many factors like the time of the year, the humidity level surrounding the plant, the amount of light it receives, and more.
The best way to judge if your plant is thirsty is to stick a thumb into the top few inches of the potting mix. If it feels dry, your Mini Monster needs a drink.
Your goal is to keep the soil moist, not wet. This is because Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is sensitive to overwatering.
As an estimate, your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma will need water twice a week in summer and once a week or less in winter.
If new leaves don’t produce much fenestration, take it as a sign that your plant needs more light.
Repotting Mini Monstera
Mini Monstera is a fast-growing species, so make sure it doesn’t become root-bound. This happens when the plant overgrows its pot, and the roots don’t have enough space to grow.
In such cases, they grow in the form of a large tangled mass. You might see some roots poking out from the pot’s drainage hole.
This issue is easy to tackle – just repot the plant into a pot 2-3 inches larger than the root system.
People often ask if Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is toxic to pets – the answer is yes! So, make sure you keep the pot out of their reach.
Mechanical Support for Mini Monstera
Rhaphidophora Tetraspermas are climbing plants. In the wild, they hook onto other plants with their aerial roots and climb up in search of light.
They need similar mechanical support to climb and stay upright when grown indoors. For this purpose, you can use a moss pole or a trellis.
A moss pole or a trellis helps your plant reach greater heights and develop larger, brighter foliage. Climbing support is a must if you want your plant to look more aesthetic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I propagate a mini Monstera in water?
Want to multiply your little Monstera? Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to propagate vining plants!
You can take cuttings from Rhaphidophora tetrasperma and propagate them in soil, water, perlite, moss, and LECA.
Water is one of the quickest mediums for propagating Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma. Put the cutting in a glass of water and place the glass in an area that gets bright but indirect light. Warmth is nice, but too much of it might mush up your cuttings.
Drain the murky water from the glass and refill it with clean water every few days. Pay attention to the nodes because that is where the cutting grows roots.
Once the roots are a few inches long, transfer the cutting into the soil carefully.
Can you propagate a Mini Monstera plant without a node?
Unlike certain other plants like Sansevieria (Snake plant) and cactus, Monstera plants cannot grow from a single leaf cutting. Cuttings without a node will not establish new roots or promote leaf growth.
Is it better to propagate Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma in water or soil?
It is easy to propagate Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma cuttings in water and soil both. It’s just a matter of your preference!
Propagating Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma cutting in water is quicker than propagating in soil. However, the newly rooted Monstera cutting may suffer from shock when you transfer it from water to proper soil.
It may react by drooping for a period, and even shedding a leaf or two is possible during the transition time.
Choose water propagation if you want quicker results, but go with soil propagation if you want to avoid chances of transplant shock.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.