Mini Monstera Care Guide: How to Care for Your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma!

The upward growth of the Mini Monstera is perfect as a space-saver and as a vertical decoration. This no-fuss plant will quickly climb up a wall or a pole without taking up too much room — a great win for small spaces!

The name “Mini Monstera” often confuses people because it is actually not a Monstera at all! It is named so because its fenestrated leaves look rather like a smaller version of a mature, fenestrated Monstera Deliciosa.

Even when grown indoors for years, the Mini Monstera won’t typically develop leaves larger than an adult human’s hand, whereas the leaves of a Monstera Deliciosa can sometimes reach sizes of 2 feet or more!

The Mini Monstera actually belongs to the Rhaphidophora genus, and its official name is the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma. Because that’s so hard to spell, let alone pronounce, people have nicknamed it the Mini Monstera and the nickname has stuck!

Although this lovely plant is not officially a Monstera, you can check out our other care guides in this genus: We’ve got the Monstera Deliciosa Albo, Monstera Thai Constellation, Monstera Peru, Monstera Siltepecana, and Monstera Adansonii.

My Experience With Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma aka Mini Monstera

Mini Monstera in a pot, vining up the wall next to some shelves, next to a computer and desk

I [Allison, the editor] bought a fully-mature Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma from a local plant collector already at quite a large size about 5 feet tall from its base to its furthest leaf!

While there can be something really satisfying about buying a small Mini Monstera and allowing it to slowly take over your space, if you are quickly looking for that “indoor jungle” effect, buying a mature Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma will get you that vibe almost immediately!

I placed it right beside my desk and I look at it every time I work on Monstera Mash! I love the tropical look it gives my little home office space.

To keep it vining up the wall, I simply put a few nails in the wall and then used green-colored twist ties to attach the vine to the nail.

This has worked so far and is an easy, practically free solution if you already have nails and twist ties at home!

This corner of my apartment receives south-facing morning light but it’s rather far back from the window. That hasn’t kept my Mini Monstera from thriving and pushing out new growth even in winter (though winter in California is definitely different than winter elsewhere).

Where Can I Find Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma for Sale?

leaves of a Mini Monstera in a black plastic pot on a table

The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is not a particularly rare plant anymore and thus you should be able to find it fairly easily at your local nursery.

However, if you have a hard time sourcing one in person, we’ve found a few online options where you can buy one.

Mini Monstera Cuttings

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma grows like a weed, so if you have a friend who has a mature Tetrasperma, don’t feel guilty asking for a cutting! They will likely have plenty to spare!

If you don’t have any friends with cuttings to spare, this seller on Etsy sells cuttings of a Mini Monstera for a cheap price!

Mini Monstera Plants

If you want a full grown plant, you can find them on Etsy already climbing and vining like from this seller or this seller.

You can also buy a fully rooted but not yet climbing plant if you want to watch it grow, from a seller like this one.

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma aka Mini Monstera Overview

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a prolific-growing vine with rich, deep green leaves that develop outer splits and inner holes as the plant matures. It can be grown beautifully as a trailing plant or as a climbing vine.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Hook. f. is the official ID of this plant. Its name might leave you tongue-tied (as it does for us!), so plant hobbyists have resorted to calling it the Mini Monstera, or the Monstera Minima. It’s also sometimes called Monstera Ginny.

Granted, R. Tetrasperma has no genetic connection to Monsteras, but it does look like a mini version of the Deliciosa with its leaf shape and color.

Regardless of technicalities, we can leave the taxonomy to the botanists and enjoy the elegance of this houseplant instead!

Unlike the stiff and leathery leaves of the Deliciosa, the foliage of the Mini Monstera are thin and flexible.

It is considered as a small or medium-sized plant because its leaves don’t really grow as big as other climbing aroids do.

It does, however, vine prolifically and get rather tall so while the leaves of the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma may be “mini”, the plant itself is not so pint-sized!

First identified in 1893, this plant species is naturally found in the Malaysian and Thai Peninsula. Although R. Tetrasperma has been rarely sighted in the wild, it now adorns the homes of many plant collectors all over the world!

Mini Monstera Care Guide

The Mini Monstera as a houseplant is easy to care for and is incredibly resilient. When exposed to optimal conditions, it grows like crazy against walls and any nearby structures.

You will need to control the growth of your plant through pruning, otherwise, it can quickly take over your house!

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is generally a pest-resistant plant, but it might occasionally be visited by thrips. In that case, put up yellow sticky traps near the pot and spray the leaves with neem oil.

In the wild, R. Tetrasperma is found growing in wet forests and also on sandstone and granite. This means that the plant can thrive in high moisture conditions while also being capable of tolerating short periods of drought. 

It’s this versatility that makes the Tetrasperma a fantastic addition to homes, terrariums, and greenhouses alike.

In this detailed care guide, we’ll walk you through the proper practices to keep your Mini Monstera Tetrasperma at its happiest!

Mini Monstera Light Needs

The Mini Monstera plant can handle medium light conditions, but it will do best in bright, filtered light. Limit its morning or late afternoon sun exposure to two hours or less.

Too much light can result to a faded, bleached appearance or even burn the leaves of your R. Tetrasperma. You might notice yellow patches on the leaves if the light is too bright for its liking.

If your plant sits near a window where sunlight directly hits the leaves for several hours, consider getting tinted glass windows to filter out the UV rays. You may also install curtains, or simply pull back the plant a few feet away from the source of light.

On the other hand, your plant will have lanky stems and small, malnourished leaves if it doesn’t get enough light. You can supplement your indoor growing space with artificial lighting (such as fluorescent or LED).

Mini Monstera Watering Needs

When it comes to watering your Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, consistency is of utmost importance. You might notice dark retention marks on the underside of the leaves if you have an irregular watering schedule.

Use your finger to feel the soil for moisture. If the top 2-3 inches of the soil is dry, generously pour water on your plant then let it drain right through. If you’re using a catch plate, throw out the water to avoid root rot.

R. Tetrasperma has thin leaves that don’t have a lot of waxy coating. That means it loses water at a fast rate through the process of transpiration– or “sweating” out from the pores on the leaves.

You may need to water your plant more frequently if you are using a terracotta pot which absorbs moisture, or if your plant is getting too much sunlight which dries the soil faster.

Mini Monstera Soil Needs

The Mini Monstera will prefer a porous growing medium which will retain moisture but at the same time allow its roots to breathe. This can be achieved by using lightweight materials such as orchid bark, charcoal, and coco coir. 

Your plant will appreciate it if you keep the soil slightly moist at all times, as long as you don’t leave it soaking wet. Otherwise, you might invite fungal and bacterial diseases which are difficult to treat.

For a nutrient boost, add a little bit of organic components such as worm castings, compost, animal manure, or coffee grounds to your potting mix. 

If you need an exact recipe to follow, we recommend this DIY Aroid Soil Mix which works well for all our houseplants! LECA is also a good alternative.

Mini Monstera Temperature & Humidity Needs

The Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a tropical plant that thrives in humidity and warmth. To replicate this environment for your houseplant, maintain the temperature at a range of 55-85°F (13-29°C) and the humidity between 40-80%.

R. Tetrasperma plants do not like the cold. Keep them away from AC units and from open windows during colder seasons. Also, make sure you don’t use cold water for your plants so their roots won’t go into shock.

The Tetrasperma is not particularly needy in terms of humidity, but if it’s getting a lot of bright light, you will need to provide a little more air moisture to keep the leaves from drying out.

To increase humidity levels in a room, you can install a humidifier, place a tray of water and pebbles underneath the pot, or keep bowls of water to evaporate nearby. You may also huddle your plants closely together to create a bubble of humidity. 

Mini Monstera Fertilization Needs

As a tropical plant, the roots and foliage of the Mini Monstera will grow more actively when the weather gets warm. Be prepared to see a growth spurt during the spring and summer!

If you notice your Mini Monstera pushing out leaves at a consistently fast rate, you can apply fertilizer every 2-4 weeks. Dilute the solution to half-strength. 

When growth slows down in the colder months, cut back on fertilizer application. If your plant is not actively growing, that means it’s not using up the plant food. A build-up of minerals, nutrients, and salts can burn the roots and leaves.

Pruning Mini Monstera

Pruning your R. Tetrasperma is an efficient way to control the growth behavior and direction of this fast-growing vine.

Once your plant outgrows its supporting structure, you can either wind it back down (then up again later) for a fuller look, or you can trim off the top and propagate it into a new plant.  

You can also allow your Tetrasperma to vine its way up a wall then prune it back once you’re happy with the height it reaches. Cutting above nodes will encourage the stem to branch out in multiple directions. 

Propagating Mini Monstera

Below are 3 methods to choose from when propagating your Mini Monstera. We didn’t include the classic soil propagation method because it has low success rates for the Mini Monstera.

1. Water propagation: Cut your plant below a node. Leave some internodal allowance in case there will be issues with rot. Let the cutting sit in a glass of water with the nodes submerged. Replace the water regularly. Once the roots are about 2 inches long, plant the cutting into soil. If you wait too long, the roots might not transition well.

2. Propagating in Sphagnum moss: When taking a cutting from your plant, it is always recommended to include a node (a protrusion on the stem where the roots and leaves will grow from). Simply wrap the nodes with damp moss, then keep the cutting in a well-lit area with good airflow until it grows roots. 

3. Propagating in Perlite: Take some cuttings and bury their nodes in damp perlite. You can use a Ziploc bag, a plastic bag, or a flat plastic tupperware to trap moisture and encourage faster rooting. 

Repotting Mini Monstera

The root system of this plant develops incredibly fast, so you may need to repot once or twice a year. You can repot your Mini Monstera in 4 easy steps:

  1. Dig up. When your Mini Monstera is root-bound, loosen the soil by tapping at the sides of the pot with a heavy object. Gently tug at the plant to remove it from the pot. 
  2. Transplant. Without disturbing the main root ball, trim the tangled roots at the bottom then carefully move the plant into a bigger pot. Fill it up with a fresh batch of soil to replenish the nutrients.
  3. Support the stem. Give your plant a coco pole or moss pole to climb on. 
  4. Care for it. Keep the plant in a bright, shaded area. Frequently moisten the soil, but don’t apply fertilizers or any treatments that might be too harsh on the recovering roots. 

Mini Monstera FAQ

Now that you know how to properly care for your plant, let’s take a look at more interesting facts and tips about the R. Tetrasperma, a.k.a Mini Monstera!

Is Rhaphidophora a Monstera?

Despite its striking resemblance with the ever-famous Monstera Deliciosa, the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is actually NOT genetically related to any plant in the Monstera genus.

R. Tetrasperma is more like a Southeast Asian counterpart of the M. Deliciosa, so to speak. It is exclusively native to Thailand and Malaysia.

In contrast, Monstera plants can only be found naturally in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the southern tip of Florida.

Despite coming from different parts of the world, both the Rhaphidophora genus and the Monstera genus fall under the Monstereae tribe in the Monsteroideae subfamily of aroids.

If that’s confusing, well, that’s just how botanists categorize plants!

What are some other names for Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma?

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is more commonly called by plant collectors as Mini Monstera because it looks like a miniature version of the M. Deliciosa, and because frankly, the latter is way easier to remember.

The Mini Monstera is so rarely sighted in nature and is scarcely described in scientific literature.

When it was first made available to the masses, there was a lot of confusion on its origin and classification. As a result, people started to label this plant in so many different ways. 

Common names of R. Tetrasperma include: Amydrium tetrasperma, Amydrium ‘Ginnie’, Philodendron “Ginnie”, Philodendron imbe “Ginny”, Epipremnum “Ginny”, Philodendron Minima, Mini Split-leaf Philodendron, and European Dwarf Deliciosa. 

All of the names above are scientifically incorrect.

How do you get Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma to climb?

R. Tetrasperma is a natural climber in its habitat. With long spaces in between the nodes and aerial roots protruding from those nodes, it hugs its host to climb upwards and reach for more light. 

Your Tetrasperma will grow beautifully when given a supporting structure to climb on. This can be in the form of a moss pole, a coco pole, a bamboo stick, a totem, a wooden plank, or a trellis.

To secure the stem on the structure, use soft and pliable materials such as floral wire, twist ties, bread tape, hemp twines, or even yarn.

When tying up the stem, tie below the nodes and be careful not to choke any unfurling leaves.

How fast does Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma grow?

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is an incredibly fast-growing vine that can quickly overwhelm an indoor space.

It grows especially fast in the spring and summer, and may even continue to push out new leaves through the fall and winter. 

In the rainforests of Thailand and Malaysia, this plant attaches itself to trees and grows to a height of 16 feet. Each leaf will measure between 4 to 13 inches long.

Indoors, the leaves tend to grow smaller, and they usually will not grow larger than an average human hand.

Are there variegated Mini Monsteras?

Yes! Variegated Mini Monsteras are extremely rare and highly sought-after. In 2021, a plant with 8 variegated leaves was sold for a whopping $27,100 in an online auction

Variegation is a randomly-occurring mutation in nature. Although variegated plants lack the chlorophyll to compete with green plants in the wild, humans found the splash of colors beautiful.

We then propagated these plants for collecting and selling.

While some Mini Monsteras are naturally-variegated, there are also some variegated Mini Monsteras that were a product of genetic alteration in a laboratory.

Growers of the R. Tetrasperma artificially induced variegation in the leaves by 1) injecting a chemical or 2) by introducing a harmless color-breaking virus during the process of tissue culture.

This was confirmed by Pete Boyce, a botanist who is the recognized authority on aroids from Southeast Asia. 

In the case of variegated Mini Monsteras produced through tissue culture, the variegation will naturally vanish in time as the plant matures.

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