Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Propagation Station: How to Successfully Multiply Your Vine
Posted on July 06 2021
One of every houseplant parent’s favorite is the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, aka the Mini Monstera, Monstera ‘Ginny,’ Philodendron ‘Ginny,’ or Monstera Minima. It comes with many names, and some of them are false advertising! In fact, the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is not a Monstera or a Philodendron. What is it? It’s a Rhaphidophora (pronounced rah-feed-uh-four-ah). Next question: How exactly do you propagate a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma?
Your Plant’s Origins
Your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a native of tropical Thailand and Malaysia. It is an epiphyte, which means it grows up tree trunks rather than in the soil: An important fact to keep in mind when considering your soil selection and environment’s humidity level!
As noted, the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a cousin of Monstera and Philodendron species. While there are similarities in their care requirements, the three come from different continents.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma vs. Monstera Deliciosa
Let’s get one of the similarities out of the way: their addictive fenestrations! What are those? The slits in their leaves, which make them so photo-worthy! However, even the fenestrations have differences.
The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma has large gaps. The Monstera Delciosa starts life with zero fenestration. They gradually develop, starting as holes and eventually becoming long, slender slits.
The growth pattern of the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma and Monstera Deliciosa differs significantly. The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma grows as a climbing vine (similar to what you would think of with a Pothos). The Monstera Deliciosa grows more tree-like, sporting much larger leaves and longer petioles (stems).
In a nutshell, without support: The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma grows down, and the Monstera Deliciosa grows up (at least for a couple of years).
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Water Propagation
This is the most common method for propagating Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma because success rates are high, it’s pretty fast, and you get to watch the process. That’s a win-win situation if you ask us! How do you do it?
Step One: Gather supplies! You will need trimming shears, gloves, a glass of water, and your plant.
Step Two: Weigh the options. You need a cutting with 3-4 leaves on it, so pick some of your plant’s longest vines. And yes, the leggy, not-so-attractive vines propagate just fine: so this could be your golden opportunity to put them to good use!
Step Three: Glove up. Remember, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is toxic and can cause skin irritation: your best bet is to wear gloves to avoid contact with your plant’s sap.
Step Four: Cut. You want to chop the vine before the plant’s node. What’s a node? It’s where the leaf’s stem connects to the main vine. You’ll usually see or feel a bump around this location, which is an aerial root.
Step Five: Remove the leaf closest to the cut. Why? That node is going in the water: you don’t want any rotting, mushy leaves floating around.
Step Six: Place your cutting in the water! That’s where it will stay for 2-4 weeks. Your roots should be at least one inch long before planting, but there’s no harm in letting them grow 2-3 inches long. Top off the water every week. Replace the water when it looks milky.
Step Seven: It’s time to plant your cutting. Fill a small nursery pot with well-draining soil and water it thoroughly. Afterward, place your cutting in the dirt. Why? Putting your water-propagated cutting in dry dirt will cause stress.
And there you have it! Your water propagation is complete!
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Soil Propagation
Do you want to cut out the “middle-man” (aka that glass of water)? Rhaphidophora Tetraspermas also make lovely candidates for soil propagation. How can you do it?
Step One: Get your supplies! What do you need? Scissors, gloves, a small container with pre-moistened soil, and paperclips (optional).
Step Two: Chop a long vine to your desired length.
Step Three: Snip this vine into smaller segments, one node per section. You should end up with 4-5 plantable snippets.
Step Four: Place each segment into the soil, node-side down. For extra security, bend your paper clips into a “U” shape, using them to anchor each node to the soil.
Step Five: Wait and watch. It takes 3-4 weeks for your propagation’s roots to establish—water when the topsoil is damp but crumbly.
Can I Place Propagations in My Main Plant?
Yes, you can. For water propagations, place your rooted cuttings in your main plant’s soil on watering day. How? (1) Water your plant. (2) Make appropriately sized holes with your finger or a spoon. (3) Plop your cuttings in the hole, covering them over with soil. (4) Water again.
Unrooted, soil propagations are more of a challenge. Why? They require higher levels of moisture than the parent plant. So, you’ll end up endangering the health of your main Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, or your cuttings will fail to root. The solution? Allow the cuttings to root in a small nursery container, and transplant them into your main plant when they’ve become more mature.
How to Care for “Baby” Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
Chances are, if you’re propagating your parent plant because it’s growing rapidly, you have an excellent care routine. What extra layers of TLC do ‘baby’ plants need?
Keep your newly potted Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma near a humidifier and diligently watch the soil’s moisture levels. This plant baby is likely in a much smaller pot than what you’re used to, which means it will need to be watered more frequently.
We wish you success in your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma propagation adventures! By applying these tips, you’ll eventually have these fast growers in every corner of your house (and your friends’ houses).