Mini Monstera care | Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Looking for a houseplant but short on space? Or just want some funky greenery to add to your home? Have I got the plant for you! Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, also known as the mini Monstera, is an easy-care eye-catcher you’ll love.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about mini Monstera care and growing this plant in your home!

Name(s) (common, scientific) Mini Monstera, Monstera minima, Monstera/Philodendron/Epipremnum ‘Ginny’, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Difficulty level Easy
Recommended lighting Bright indirect
Water Keep lightly moist
Soil Aroid soil

Monstera minima vs. Rhaphidophora

Before we dive into care tips, let’s clear up a point of confusion. Unclear plant taxonomy and common names strike again! If you’re wondering what the difference is between Monstera minima vs. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, that can easily be cleared up. They’re the same thing.

The fact that Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is also commonly referred to as Monstera minima or mini Monstera probably has to do with the fact that its scientific name is difficult to pronounce, as well as its visual similarity to its cousin Monstera deliciosa. They’re also both aroids.

I’ll be using the names interchangeably in this mini Monstera care guide, but if you’re ever discussing this plant and want to avoid confusion, it’s best to just refer to it by its scientific name.

Are you not confused enough yet? Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is also referred to as Epipremnum ‘Ginny’ (or ‘Ginnie’) and Philodendron ‘Ginny’. It’s neither an Epipremnum nor a Philodendron, and in fact not even closely related to these genera.

Close-up of leaves of Rhaphidophora tetrasperma houseplant | Mini Monstera care & info

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma natural habitat

The genus Rhaphidophora is commonly found in Malaysia, and this is no different for this species, although it also occurs in southern Thailand. It’s not very common in either of these places, though. The plant’s habitat is described as “Disturbed rather dry to moist or wet forest on sandstone and granite. 190-760 m altitude” (Boyce, 1999).

In its natural habitat, this is very much a climbing species. It starts out as a shingling plant, pressed very tightly to its host tree, and later takes on a more vining look.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma light & temperature

Light

Like other forest plants, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma prefers bright indirect light rather than full sun. After all, in its natural habitat, the harshest sun would be filtered out by taller trees.

In your home, this means the plant will love a spot next to a window, but strong afternoon sun can cause burns. Some morning or evening rays are fine, though! Too little light will cause small, skimpy leaf growth without the splits that make this plant such an eye-catcher.

Temperature

The areas that Rhaphidophora tetrasperma naturally grows in are known for their tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures are as high as 30 °C/85 °F year-round and it tends to rain a lot, making things very humid.

In the home, this means that your mini Monstera will not appreciate the cold. You probably shouldn’t let temps drop below 15.5 °C/60 °F, so if you like to grow your houseplants outdoors during summer, be sure to bring this one in before it gets too chilly. If you feel comfortable in your home, then your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is probably fine as well!

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma houseplant in front of a sunny brick wall | Mini Monstera care & info

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma soil & planting

Like other members of the family Araceae (aroids), Rhaphidophora tetrasperma likes its soil to be moist but hates standing water. An aroid soil should therefore work well, as these mixes combine a water-retaining element (usually sphagnum moss) with elements that improve drainage (like perlite, orchid bark and/or charcoal). You can add potting soil or peat, but this is not absolutely necessary.

If the above sounds like a lot of different ingredients to buy, keep in mind that they’ll work well for many houseplants. You’ll be using them a lot if you’re a houseplant enthusiast! That being said, just mixing a light potting soil with perlite also works in most cases, or you can make things easier by buying a pre-mixed aroid soil.

As for the planter, the most important thing is that it provides drainage in the form of a drainage hole. You can use terracotta (which dries more quickly) if you’re prone to overwatering, or go for plastic.

Tip: You’ll probably have to repot your mini Monstera every 1-2 years. This is best done during spring or summer. If you’re not sure whether it’s time to repot, take a peek at the bottom of the planter: if roots are sticking out, go ahead! The soil drying overly quickly can also be a sign that it’s time for a larger pot.

Leaves of Rhaphidophora tetrasperma surrounded by other houseplants.

Watering Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

As with other aroids, the key to mini Monstera care is to keep its soil lightly moist. I can’t tell you how often you should be watering it, as this completely depends on the season, light levels and the soil mix you’re using. You shouldn’t water on a schedule!

However, it’s not too difficult to get a feel for when your plant needs a drink:

  • You’ll want to let the first inch (2.5 cm) or so of the soil dry out during summer. During winter, when tropical houseplants aren’t actively growing, you can let the first two inch (5 cm) dry.
  • To determine whether it’s time, you can stick your finger in the soil. Does it feel dry? Time to water your mini Monstera. Still wet? Give it another day or two.
  • You can also feel the weight of the planter. If it’s heavy, it’s probably not time yet.
  • Keep in mind that it’s better to underwater than to overwater. And also that most folks are prone to overwatering! If you’re not sure whether your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is thirsty, just wait. It’s pretty hardy and won’t be angry if you water a day later.

Tip: Don’t forget to keep humidity in mind. If humidity levels drop below 40%, your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma can start to show dry leaf tips. The ideal is 60-70% or even more! If your home is really dry you can use a humidifier, group plants together or even set up a humidity cabinet or box.

Fertilizing Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

Despite its quick growth, this species doesn’t need loads of fertilizer. Still, it certainly appreciates a little bit here and there. Try using a diluted normal houseplant fertilizer every month or so during the growing season as part of your normal mini Monstera care routine. Don’t overdo it, as too much fertilizer can damage your plant!

Stop feeding when your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma stops or slows its growth during the winter months.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, an aroid houseplant.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma propagation

Yep, you can turn one Rhaphidophora tetrasperma into multiple by means of propagation. It’s free, and it’s easy! Due to its vining nature, it’s very easy to take cuttings from this plant. Just snip the vine wherever: as long as you include a node or two, roots and new foliage will grow. It’s not even necessary to include leaves, although it’ll speed up the process.

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma propagation works in water or soil. For the water method, just stick the cutting in a glass. Place it in a warm and bright location (though no direct sun, please!) and wait until the roots are an inch or two long before potting up.

If you’d like to propagate directly into soil, use the same mixture you did for the mother plant. Stick the cutting into the soil, or lay it down so that at least one node is touching the medium. It can help to stick the whole thing in a clear plastic bag to keep the humidity high until you see the first signs of new growth.

Staking Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

As described in the section on habitat, this is naturally a vining/liana plant. Although you can let the vines grow wild and hang down from the planter, this is not my personal favorite look for Rhaphidophora tetrasperma. I much prefer staking the plant and letting it do what it does best: climb.

You’ve got some different options when it comes to staking your mini Monstera:

  • Bamboo stick: Perfect for younger specimens that aren’t too heavy yet. Be warned, though, that these are pretty vigorous growers. A flimsy bamboo stick might not last your plant for much more than a single growing season.
  • Plant totem or moss pole: Plants love these because they’re easy for them to grab onto. You can buy a moss pole or DIY it! The latter is especially handy if you need a very tall one, as the commercial ones only go so far.
  • Trellis: These come in many sizes, so they work for anything from the smallest to the largest plants. You can choose plastic or wood.

Really, anything that stimulates your Rhaphidophora tetrasperma to climb is perfect. I’m letting mine climb the rope on a hanging plant shelf and I’m planning to train it across a ceiling beam once it reaches that!

Is Rhaphidophora tetrasperma toxic to cats & dogs?

Unfortunately, aroids like this one are considered toxic to pets and humans. That being said, the plant isn’t deadly poisonous or anything: it mostly just causes a nasty burning sensation. This is due to the calcium oxalate crystals it contains, which can cause drooling, swelling and just overall discomfort.


If you have any more questions about mini Monstera care or if you’d like to share your own experiences with this fun, climbing houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

Boyce, P. C. (1999). The genus Rhaphidophora Hassk.(Araceae-Monsteroideae-Monstereae) in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Gard. Bull. Singapore51(1), 183-56.

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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