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Have you heard of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma? Don’t let this official name confuse you, chances are you are familiar with it more widely-spread nick- “Mini Monstera”. Although they also belong to the impressive Araceae family, these plants fall under the Rhaphidophora genus.
Care overview: This beautiful plant prefers indirect but bright light. Humidity is extremely important for its proper care, as well as moist but not soggy soil. You can propagate it using stem cuttings. Occasional pruning will benefit its development as well as moderate fertilizing. Pay special attention if you have pets, as the calcium oxalate crystals are poisonous to them. When you combine all these steps with one secret ingredient-lots of love, be sure your Mini Monstera will prosper!
In this insightful guide on Monstera Minima care, we shall go through the following sections:
- Introducing Monstera “Ginny”
- Interesting facts on Philodendron “Piccolo”
- How often do you need to water it?
- Which soil works the best for this plant?
- Light and temperature requirements
- Is fertilization mandatory?
- Is pruning necessary?
- How to propagate this plant correctly?
- To repot or not to repot?
- Common issues and simple fixes
- Frequently Asked Questions
Introducing Monstera “Ginny”
Yes, this amazing plant is familiar under a couple of other names, and this is one of them. It was first discovered in 1893. The “guilty one” was Joseph Dalton Hooker, a British botanist. This authentic species originates from Southern Thailand and Malaysia.
Regarding its lengthy official name, here’s what those words mean. The word “Rhaphidophora”, probably refers to the oxalates that resemble needless a lot. On the other hand, “Tetrasperma”, refers to the four-sided seeds which dwarf monstera produces during the fall.
This genus, native to south-east Asia, gathers about 100 species. It is a rare ornamental beauty found in rainforests or dry climates. Due to its tropical look, it is a very popular choice for indoor gardeners.
The overall conditions and climate will dictate the size of the plant. If they are ideal, the plant can grow up to twelve feet in height, that is- more than three and a half meters. But, if you keep it as an ordinary house plant in some average conditions, it can grow between four to five feet, that is one to one and a half meters.
(Just to remind, it’s Mini variant we are talking about!)
It belongs to vining species, and its roots are aerial. Those need some sort of support when climbing, so make you get trellises or anything similar to help them stabilize.
Interesting Facts on Philodendron “Piccolo”
Yes, this is another name used for this lovely ornamental plant.
People often confuse it with multiple species. First of all, with Monstera Deliciosa as it looks like a tinnier variant of this plant. Then with Epipremnum Pinnatum, both of them can have pinnate leaves. Finally, some confuse it with various members of the Philodendron family.
Having in mind that it is a climber, but not a large one, you can keep it as both an indoor and outdoor plant. Of course, you need to ensure proper conditions to make it thrive inside.
In August 2020 in New Zealand, one rare example of this enchanting plant was sold for an impressive amount of over $8,000. The “rare” part about this plant was the unique yellow variegation present on its four leaves.
So, until some other rare beauty appears, this one holds the reputation of a record-selling!
Now, let’s find out more about mini monstera care!
How Often Do You Need to Water It?
If you water it regularly, expect it to grow really fast. Never let it dry for too long, unless you want it to slow down its progress. (And who, on Earth, would want that?)
The tricky part here is that these plants require lots of humidity, but they don’t tolerate overwatering. So, the key is in finding a balanced level of moisture without letting your plant stay in soggy soil for too long.
In terms of frequency, you can pour the precious liquid once a week or every ten days. On average, you should water it four times a month. Of course, its requirements change from one season to another. During colder days and seasons, you can water it twice a month.
Nevertheless, always inspect the soil by sticking your finger inside. That’s the best way to evaluate whether the time has come to water it.
What about humidity?
Once again, don’t mix watering with humidity. When the heating is on, the air is drier and that decreases moisture.
Make up for the lack by applying a couple of useful tricks. Misting is one of them. A pebble tray with water under the container also helps. You can also group your plants, and they will create optimal levels themselves. Finally, a humidifier is a solution as well, if the budget allows you.
Which Soil Works the Best for This Plant?
Monstera piccolo needs a well-draining potting mix, which has enough nourishing components. Even though it requires more or less frequent watering, it doesn’t like sitting in soggy water, which explains why it is essential to pot it in well-aerated soil.
If you want to improve the draining properties of a potting mix, you can use perlite. It provides additional aeration, and that will completely eliminate the possibility for roots to rot.
As for the commercial mixes, the one for orchids works just fine as soil for monstera. Especially if you add some active charcoal to it.
Light and Temperature Requirements
Even though this plant doesn’t belong to the Monstera family, it still bears certain similarities in basic care. So, if you are a proud owner of Monstera Deliciosa, you are equipped with some knowledge of monstera light requirements for this mini variant as well.
These lovely plants appreciate bright but diffused light. Never expose them to overly hot direct sunlight, or their leaves will start yellowing, and eventually get burnt.
The ideal place for them is the east or west-oriented window, where they can receive enough morning light. In case your home is not adequately lit, consider getting some grow lights. They can be of help.
On the other hand, if they are placed in a too shady location, they won’t progress as much. You will spot the leaves that look somewhat smaller than they should- that’s because your plant is not receiving enough light.
In terms of temperature, between 55°F and 85°F (12-29°C) is optimal for their healthy development. Even if it is slightly below this level is okay, but those lower than 55°F/ 12°C can be harmful.
Is Fertilization Mandatory?
The short answer would be yes, but you need to approach it wisely. The root system of these plants is extremely sensitive, meaning they can easily get burned by overly strong fertilizer. So, you need to get a milder one, and what’s even more important- without harsh chemicals.
As for the frequency, the rule is more or less the same as with any other plant. You feed them regularly while they grow actively, and you halt it during the passive phase.
Related: Plant Fertilizing- Guide for Gardening Beginners
Is Pruning Necessary?
Yes, absolutely. When you spot that the plant’s stems are getting too long, it’s pruning time. As with any other plant, you need to find sharp and sterile tools. You can use scissors, shears, or a knife, whatever you find most convenient.
When you trim the plant, do so a few centimeters below a leaf node. If possible, pick one which has an aerial root underneath, so that your plant could continue its development without being overly stressed.
How to Propagate This Plant Correctly?
Chances are you will instantly fall in love with this adorable plant that you will want to grow more than one. But, instead of purchasing, you could try luck with propagation.
Once you spot leaf nodes on your Mini Monstera, it’s a perfect time to propagate it and enlarge the family. The only thing you need is a stem chunk from the mature plant and a medium for propagation.
There are two ways to do it- in soil or water. When cutting the plant, always pick the one with at least one, or even better, a couple of nodes. Those new roots will form under the lowest one, so this part should be under the water/ soil.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the methods.
Propagation in water
If you want this method to work, you need to maintain a fresh and clean environment, aka change water daily. Once is mandatory, but a couple of times won’t hurt either.
Once you make an adequate cutting, place it in the glass or jar with water. After a couple of weeks, the roots will grow long enough to continue their development in a solid medium, that is, soil.
As for the size of the roots, let’s say one to two inches, or 2-5 cm is the ideal length.
Using soil as a propagation medium
This method is a bit more time-consuming than propagation in water. The roots grow faster in water, but when you put them in soil, they need at least one month to develop.
So, your main mission is to keep them alive. Don’t expose it to excessive light, and water it occasionally so that those roots can receive enough nutrients.
After a month or so, check if there’s any resistance when you touch the plant gently. If so, then it means the roots have developed, so congrats- you officially have a new dwarf Monstera.
Related: 35+ Indoor Gardening Propagation Hacks that Will Blow You Away!
To Repot or Not to Repot?
Having in mind that this is a mini plant, you won’t have to transplant it too often. The goal is to keep it miniature, isn’t it?
However, transplantation is necessary when the plant is too sick or its roots are rot. If you spot any signs of this (stagnation in development, mushy roots, disgusting smell), it’s time to move it to another container.
Of course, you should never ever just take the plant out of one pot and relocate it to another. Not until you remove the diseased roots.
Get a container that is approximately ten inches wide (25cm) and get an adequate potting mix. Clean the infected parts using a sharp and disinfected knife and put the plant in its new home. Give it some time to recover and resume its growth.
Regarding the material, you can opt for either a plastic container or a glazed ceramic pot. But if you are a fan of terracotta pots, that one will do the job as well.
Common Issues and Simple Fixes
Almost all indoor plants have some problems, but none of them is complicated to tackle. The sooner you spot something’s going on, the higher are the chances to save your plant. So, when caring for a monster, you will encounter some:
Issues with leaves
If you notice scorched foliage or pale leaves, then the lighting is not adequate. Move your plant to some shadier location.
On the other hand, if the edges are brown, then the air is too dry. Check if the plant is too near to heat source, or air conditioner, inspect the window for a draught. No matter how insignificant it may seem to you, it may cause yellowing and dropping of leaves.
Aside from dry air, improper watering can cause this. Any spots or patches will also signal that you are not watering your Mini Monstera properly, or even that the liquid you use is too cold.
Furthermore, if the newborn foliage is too small, your plant is not receiving enough light or it lacks humidity. In case there’s no fenestration (splits), once again-it’s the low light. Or no support. So, place it where the light is bright and get a trellis.
Issues with pests
Red spider mites, thrips, and aphids belong to the main enemies of Monstera Minima. They tend to appear when the air is too warm and dry, and when there’s not enough humidity.
If you balance it well, they will be gone. However, if they are persistent, you can treat them with need oil, or insecticidal soap. Do so once a week, and isolate the plant until they are all gone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Monstera Picollo toxic to pets?
Unfortunately, it is. This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which are extremely harmful to four-legged friends. So, be wise when picking the right location for your plant.
Does Mini Monstera climb?
Yes, it is a vining plant so you need to support it. A moss pole or trellis do the job.
How do you make Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma bushy?
You can achieve so by pruning longer stems. That’s the best way to keep your plant compact and give it a fuller look.
Why is my Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma turning yellow?
It’s either getting too much sun or too much water. Those are the main suspects. So, rearrange the watering schedule and find a better location for your plant, where the light is bright but indirect.
Should I cut yellow leaves off Monstera?
Yes, you can eliminate any overly brown and yellow leaves. But also, make sure you are not overwatering it, or else the issue will keep emerging over and over.
How much light does a mini Monstera need?
Ideally, ten to twelve hours a day is considered fulfilling basic monstera light needs. If it doesn’t receive enough of it, it won’t fenestrate.
As you can see, this plant is a low-maintenance one, which is why so many people like to keep it as an indoor plant. Plus, it’s not gigantic, so it’s also suitable for smaller places.
Ornamental and authentic, minima plant an excellent choice for all those who love Monsteras and Philodendrons. All it takes is to give it enough water and bright light, well-draining soil, and mild fertilizer, and you will have a happy and satisfied plant.
Which will, consequently, make you feel happy and satisfied. Let’s say it’s a win-win situation. Now that you know all there is about how to care for monstera, I’m sure you are already looking where to buy one, unless you already posses it.
Which propagation method do you use for Mini Monsteras and why? I can’t wait to hear from you, so leave your thoughts and comments below!