In this article, we’ll tell you everything about the popular mini Monstera plant.
Keep reading to learn:
- Mini Monstera plant care tips
- Growing the mini Monstera plants
- Mini Monstera’s popularity with plant enthusiasts
Mini Monstera plants are often confused between the split leaf Philodendron and the Monstera deliciosa plant due to their features.
However, not only do these house plants belong to different species, but they’re from an independent genus!
The mini Monsteras are a species in the Rhaphidophora genus, different from the Monstera deliciosa plant genus.
It contains roughly 100 different species and originates from tropical regions in Asia and Africa.
However, since they’re from the same family, Rhaphidophora plants are close relatives of the Monstera deliciosa and other plants.
The mini Monsteras belong to the Araceae family, a plant family that contains numerous popular house plants.
Due to its similarities with plants from the Monstera genus, the mini Monstera is known by several names.
Common names for the Monstera minima include:
- Mini Monstera
- Philodendron Piccolo
- Philodendron/ Monstera Ginny
The scientific name for the mini Monstera is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant is a perennial vining plant that is excellent for keeping indoors due to its small size.
In fact, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants were among the most popular plants in 2018 and all subsequent years!
Varieties of Mini Monstera
Although the mini Monstera is known by many different names suggesting a cultivar, it is not the case.
If you’re a novice plant lover, it might be unfortunate to learn that the mini Monstera does not offer much in terms of varieties.
All those common names are used interchangeably to suggest a similarity. They don’t refer to different varieties of Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants.
However, there’s good news as well. While there might not be any varieties of Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants, there are variegations.
A variegated mini Monstera is rare to find, so don’t expect your local plant store to have it. Variegations typically feature a mix of green and yellow color distribution patterns, which are exquisite to look at.
In fact, a variegated mini Monstera was recently sold for a staggering $19,297 in New Zealand!
The white variegated Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant was the prime contender of a massive bidding war, and it has since soared in popularity.
A variegated Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant is so rare that it can fetch double the price of variegated Monstera plants!
Origin Of the Mini Monstera
As mentioned, the Rhaphidophora genus is native to Africa and Southeast Asia.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant originates in the tropical rainforests of Malaysia and southern Thailand.
Southern Thailand is known for its warm temperatures, which is indicative of the mini Monstera plant’s love for warm, humid environments!
Plant care tips for the mini Monstera plants typically revolve around replicating the warm temperatures and humid conditions in Southeast Asia’s tropical jungles.
Think of the Rhaphidophora plants as scaled-down versions of the deliciosa, meaning they’re simple to care for, especially if you already live in a humid climate!
A climbing plant native to dense jungles, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma doesn’t require too much direct sun.
In fact, exposure to direct sunlight is dangerous for the plant and can result in yellow leaves.
It would help if you protected your mini Monstera from direct sunlight because it would scorch the plant body. Ideally, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma thrives in medium to bright indirect light.
An east- or west-facing room is perfect for your plant. We don’t recommend south-facing windows, but if your new plant is near one, use a sheer curtain to protect it from the direct sun.
Similarly, insufficient light will also not make the plant happy. A mini Monstera with leggy vines and sparse foliage is a victim of too little light. You must balance indirect light exposure and provide the growing plant some shade.
As a general rule, remember that bright indirect light is good and putting your plant under the direct sun for long hours is terrible!
Since it’s a tropical perennial, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma thrives in high-moisture environments.
However, the plant has delicate roots, which can suffer from improper watering.
You need to keep the soil moist without making it soggy and waterlogged, or its sensitive roots will suffer from many issues like root rot.
A healthy plant typically requires thorough watering once a week in spring and once every two weeks during the winter season.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a tropical plant and loves humid environments.
Moreover, it’s nearly impossible for the plant to survive below 50% humidity. While an outdoor mini Monstera will grow optimally in 60% or higher humidity, an indoor plant will require additional help.
Misting the leaves or placing the plant near a humidifier is an excellent way to crank up the humidity levels and facilitate plant growth.
Healthy rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants require regular fertilizing. It is essential during the growing season.
A well-balanced liquid fertilizer is ideal for these plants since strong ones can cause fertilizer burn.
You should apply the diluted fertilizer every few weeks to boost soil health. Flushing the soil is crucial to prevent the build-up of minerals and salts, which can harm the plant.
Too much sun and over-fertilizing during the spring and summer months can damage the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, resulting in dead leaves and damaged roots.
High-quality fertilizer brands print clear fertilizing instructions for buyers, so follow them closely.
Soil Mix Recommendations
The mini split leaf loves well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. Like their relatives in the Monstera genus, mini Monsteras thrive in slightly acidic potting mix or garden soil, which has a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.
Since they’re tropical plants, the potting mix should be able to retain adequate moisture for healthy plant growth.
At the same time, the soil should flush out excess water with ease. You can make your own potting mix by adding peat moss for drainage and orchid bark for moisture retention.
Pot Types and Pot Sizes
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a reasonably small plant. When choosing a pot, go for an average clay one since it’s good for moisture retention and also keeps the plant cool under the harsh sun.
When you buy a new plant, get a pot that is only 2-3 inches larger than the root ball. It should also have plenty of drainage holes, so the soil can easily flush excess water.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a moderate-to-fast grower when given the proper conditions. Therefore, we suggest repotting the plant every year.
Repotting refreshes the soil and keeps the roots healthy. Always use new soil to repot the plant.
Shake off the old soil from the root ball, and fill the new pot up to half its height with the new fresh soil. Plant your Monstera minima, and top the remaining space with more soil.
Some common signs that indicate repotting include:
- Roots poking out of the drainage holes
- Slow growth during spring
- Poor drainage
Remember to add climbing support like a moss pole when you repot because the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma loves vertical growth.
The vines produce aerial roots, which help the plant latch onto the moss pole.
Ideal Growing Zones
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma loves tropical climates. It thrives in all USDA hardiness zones from 9b through 12.
You can even grow it outside if you live in any of them. Always remember to add climbing support like a moss pole or trellis to facilitate its growth.
An important Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care tip: protect the plant from cold temperature since it cannot survive below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Outdoor growth is excellent under bright shade conditions. These include direct light from the morning sun for 30-40 minutes, followed by plenty of indirect light.
Remember, the plant does not prefer low light conditions since they’re bad for growth. It needs enough light to support its seasonal growth.
The morning sun will be enough for direct light requirements, and the other requirement is maintaining good air circulation. Remember these things, and your climbing friend will thrive in the discussed growing zones!
The best way to propagate a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is by using cuttings from the mother plant.
It’s also an excellent sustainable living solution for your Monstera minima plants, as you can reuse all your pruned cuttings to grow new minima plants.
For propagation using stem cuttings, follow these simple steps:
- Use a pair of pruning shears cto take a stem cutting from the mother plant.
- Cut at the lowest leaf node, ensuring you get at least two to three nodes along the cutting.
- Remove the baby leaves at the bottom of the cutting.
- Submerge the nodes in water.
- Submerge the aerial roots as well, if there are any, since they will help hasten the process.
- Once there’s ample root formation, transfer the cuttings to moistened soil.
- Your cuttings will grow into new plants in about 4weeks.
Propagating the minima plant using stem cuttings is the fast, sure-fire way to get new plants. The process takes about 7-9 weeks in ideal conditions, from rooting the stem cuttings to getting your new plants!
Pests and Diseases
Common pests for the minima vine include spider mites and mealy bugs. Both types of pests concentrate on the leaves’ undersides and the joints between the petioles and stems.
Neem oil is the best treatment method to eliminate spider mites and mealy bugs. Spraying the affected areas with it will keep numerous pests away.
Similarly, you could use a cotton swab to wipe the affected areas with rubbing alcohol.
Keeping your mini Monstera healthy is one of the best preventive measures to avoid these pests.
Spot disease and root rot are the most common diseases affecting the mini Monstera.
Both are caused by overwatering, hence watering’s importance in plant care guidelines.
You must avoid excessive watering. Ensuring the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma receives good light and air circulation also helps prevent soggy soil.
You must examine the plant’s roots if you’re using well-draining soil and multiple leaves are still dying. Use a sterile knife to cut out all affected areas, as root rot is commonly fungal in nature and tends to infect the whole root system.
Simply removing the affected roots will not be enough, and you will need to repot your plant. To use the same pot, first, clean it with a fungicidal solution and use a new potting mix.
Foliage & Leaf Shapes
The mini Monstera is widely popular due to its beautiful leaves. It has glossy green leaves, which are oval-shaped and split on the margins, hence the usage of the “Monstera” nickname.
The leaves are more compact in width and length compared to true Monstera plants. They tend to grow up to approximately 12 inches long and develop 6-inch split lobes.
Indoor plants will be smaller than outdoor ones. Although rare, the leaves might develop variegation due to spontaneous mutations in the plant’s genome.
Growth and Maturation
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants are moderate to fast growers owing to their size.
As such, they can gain as much as 1-2 ft. in growth each year. You will need to stick to our plant care tips for ideal indoor growth.
Indoors, it might take your Philodendron ginny 5 to 10 years to reach a mature height of 5 to 6ft.
With adequate support using a moss pole, it can grow up to 20 ft. tall outdoors!
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma won’t have any problems if you provide proper care. Common problems are typically caused by overwatering and poor lighting conditions.
Yellowing leaves commonly result from overwatering and insufficient lighting.
Examine for root rot if the situation is bleak. If the plant seems healthy otherwise, shifting it to a bright shade and cutting back on watering frequency will do the trick.
Curled or drooping leaves result from a lack of water. The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma has sensitive roots, which can dry up and die quickly.
This causes the leaves to dry out and die. First, they will curl up to limit water loss through transpiration, and then they will droop from the lack of moisture.
Watering won’t help fix the issue if the root system is severely damaged. In such a case, you should remove the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma from the soil and place it in a jar of water.
Allow it to develop new roots, like in the case of stem cuttings. You can replant it in a pot after a few weeks!
Where to Buy & Price
The best place to buy the mini Monstera is Etsy. The House Plant Shop is another good option. These are online platforms where trustworthy horticulturists and home growers sell their greens.
We highly recommend trying these places out. The mini Monstera is rare, and it’s not uncommon for it to be out of stock sometimes.
Whole plants typically cost between $20 to $200, while cuttings cost anywhere between $7 to $30. Variegated varieties are difficult to find and can set you back several thousand dollars.
There’s a slightly variegated mini Monstera on Etsy for $1760 right now!
Toxicity to People & Pets
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to humans and animals.
Like other aroids, it is indigestible and causes several digestible issues. The calcium oxalate crystal in the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma can cause swelling, inflammation, pain, and irritation.
Therefore, you should keep children and pets away from your green friend.
Mini Monsteras belong to the Araceae family and hold several similarities with their namesake and the split leaf.
They’re remarkably similar to the popular Monstera deliciosa, which looks like a bigger version of the same plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it easy to take care of a Rhaphidophora tetrasperma?
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma care is effortless. You only need to provide it with a healthy dose of water, liquid feed, good quality soil, and plenty of indirect sunlight.
Q. Why should I use a moss pole for my plant?
Rhaphidophora plants are climbing vines. Adding a moss pole will help encourage rapid vertical growth.
However, you can also use hanging baskets, but growth is always more vigorous using a moss pole or any other type of vertical support.
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.