Named for their resemblance to the magnificent Monstera deliciosa, the mini monstera (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) is actually not a monstera but a part of an independent genus, Rhaphidophora. This genus, which contains approximately 100 different species originates from tropical regions in Africa and Asia and is a part of the Araceae family, making Rhaphidophora plants distantly related to those in the Monstera genus. Similar to its Monstera relatives, the mini monstera makes an excellent houseplant, adapting well to indoor conditions.
As their common name implies, this unique fenestrated plant is a great option if you are looking for a small vining plant to add to your collection. Indoors, the mini monstera normally tops out at about 6 to 8 feet tall, with leaves that are about 6 to 8 inches long. In its native environment, the mini monstera is a climbing plant, so it will thrive if provided with a support to climb indoors such as a moss pole or trellis.
|Botanical Name||Rhaphidophora tetrasperma|
|Common Name||Mini monstera, Philodendron/monstera "Ginny", Philodendron "Piccolo", Monstera minima|
|Plant Type||Perennial, vine|
|Mature Size||6-8 ft. tall (indoors), 15-20 ft. tall (outdoors)|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-draining|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Green, white|
|Hardiness Zones||9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b|
|Native Area||Africa, Asia|
Mini Monstera Care
Mini monstera are generally low-maintenance and easy to grow indoors as houseplants. If you have any experience growing other aroids such as monsteras, alocasias, or philodendrons, you will have no problem keeping this mini climber happy.
Mini monstera grow best with several hours of bright, indirect light every day. Avoid exposing this tropical understory plant to direct sunlight as the leaves can burn easily. If your plant starts growing leaves without fenestrations, this is an indication that it needs more light and should be moved to a brighter location.
Plant your mini monstera in a moist but well-draining soil mixture that is nutrient-rich and slightly acidic. You can amend a regular indoor potting soil with some perlite and orchid bark, or combine one part coco coir, one part orchid bark, and one part perlite for best results.
Native to tropical regions across Asia and Africa, mini monstera appreciate regular moisture and watering. Their delicate roots are sensitive to underwatering and overwatering, so keeping the soil consistently moist (and never soaking) is best.
Temperature and Humidity
Warm, humid conditions are best for mini monsteras. Typical household temperature levels are adequate for these tropical plants, as long as temperatures don’t dip below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, however, they usually appreciate some added humidity when grown indoors. To increase humidity around the plant, try placing the pot on a pebble tray or placing a humidifier nearby.
Mini monstera should be fertilized regularly throughout the active growing period. Apply a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month throughout the spring and summer to help support strong, healthy growth.
Propagating Mini Monstera
Mini monstera are best propagated by stem cuttings. If you need to cut your plant back to control its size at any point, this is a great way to reuse any cuttings to create a new plant or fill out your existing plant. Follow these simple steps to propagate your plant using stem cuttings:
- Using a sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors, take a stem cutting from a mature, healthy plant that has at least 2-3 nodes along the stem.
- Remove any leaves from the bottom 1-2 nodes of the stem, and submerge the exposed nodes in water using a glass or small vase.
- Place the stem cutting in a location that receives medium to bright indirect light, and change out the water once a week.
- Once the cutting has roots that are at least 1-2 inches long, it can be transferred back to a pre-moistened soil mixture.
- Ensure that you keep the soil consistently moist to allow the new roots to acclimate to growing in soil.
When grown indoors, mini monstera are susceptible to a number of common houseplant pests. Keep an eye out for spider mites, fungus gnats, and scale in particular and treat with an appropriate insecticide at the first sign of an infestation.
Common Problems With Mini Monstera
Mini monstera plants are easy to grow indoors as a houseplant and generally don’t have too many problems. That being said, common problems that can arise with this tropical plant are usually related to improper watering or lighting conditions - which luckily are easy to fix!
Yellowing leaves can be indicative of a few potential problems, but the most common culprits are overwatering and a lack of light. Try moving your plant to a brighter location and cutting back on watering slightly to see if this improves the issue.
Curled, Drooping Leaves
Due to their sensitive roots, if your mini monstera is left to dry out for too long it is possible for the roots to start drying up and dying, which will result in leaves that curl and droop downwards as a result of a lack of moisture. If the roots are too far gone, watering your plant will not resolve the issue as it won’t have the root system to absorb the water.
If this is the case, remove your plant from the soil and place it in a vase filled with water for a few weeks to allow new roots to grow, similar to how you would propagate stem cuttings. Then, once the root system has been established, you can transfer the plant back to pre-moistened soil.
Brown, Crispy Edges
Leaves with brown, crispy edges and spots usually indicate a lack of moisture and humidity. Ensure that you are keeping the soil consistently moist, and try increasing the humidity around the plant with a humidifier or pebble tray.
Should I use a moss pole for my mini monstera?
Mini monstera can be successfully grown without climbing support, and are sometimes displayed in hanging baskets or planters. However, their growth is most vigorous when they are provided with a moss pole or other type of support to climb.
How fast do mini monstera grow?
These aroids are known for being fast-growing, and under the right conditions they can grow 1 to 2 feet each year.
Are mini monsteras considered rare?
Mini monsteras are considered rare, although they are becoming more widely available as they grow in popularity. Fortunately, once you get your hands on one they are easy to propagate and share with friends.