How to Care for Your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (aka Monstera Ginny)
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is the botanical name of the houseplant commonly referred to as the Mini Monstera, Monstera Ginny, or Philodendron Ginnie. While it somewhat resembles the larger Monstera deliciosa or Split Leaf Philodendron, this plant is actually of the Rhaphidophora genus. All three (Rhaphidophora, Monstera, & Philodendron) are however a part of the same family, Araceae.
The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma features unique cut or split foliage, called fenestration, with thick vines. In its natural habitat, the plant latches onto rainforest trees and climbs up. Similarly, as a houseplant, it enjoys the support of a pole, trellis, or stake to optimally grow skyward.
Origin: From Southeast Asia— specifically the Malay Peninsular areas of Southern Thailand and Malaysia. Discovered in the late 1800’s. While very rare in the wild, this plant is becoming ever accessible to houseplant enthusiasts.
About: The Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a stunning plant with a tropical vibe. Typically, plants with split leaves are adapted and purposeful for allowing coastal winds to flow through easily without damaging the foliage.
Indoor Care: Providing a bright spot with indirect sunlight is key for this houseplant. This means near a northern facing window (that likely doesn’t experience direct rays throughout the day) or near any other window that is shaded by a sheer curtain. While a controlled amount of direct sunlight may be ok, too much can burn the leaves or cause color fading.
As for water, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma prefers moderation. So allow the soil to partially (the top inch or so) dry out before watering again. When you do water, make sure it’s thorough and throughout the entire soil— allowing water to drain out the bottom holes of the pot. This ensures that the plant is properly hydrated as all parts of the roots are touched by water. Just double-check to make sure no excess water is standing in the saucer as this can lead to root rot.
Trying to keep in mind the plant’s natural environment (the rainforest) can be helpful too. Think about factors this plant would normally be exposed to— like rainshowers, heat, humidity, trees to climb up, and sunlight while protected under the tree canopy.
Your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma will need some fertilizer in spring and summer. Find a granular houseplant fertilizer (any common one will work) and apply half of the recommended amount about once a month. Around the end of summer, taper off as the plant prepares for colder months ahead.
After about a year (or when you start to notice roots reaching out of the bottom pot), you will need to repot your plant to support new growth. That means upsizing depending on the level of the root system.
Extra Care: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a fast growing plant! And luckily, you can propagate this beauty from cuttings.
Toxicity: Considered toxic when ingested by humans, cats, and dogs. The Aroid family of plants contain calcium oxalates, which can irritate the skin, mouth, and throat.
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