Mini Monstera, Monstera Minima, Monstera Ginny
We get it, it’s not uncommon for a plant to be called by the wrong name or to be misclassified at first, but the Rhaphidaphora tetrasperma is the victim of quite the identify crisis, and is often referred to by the names of plants of several different genus’. Regardless of the name mix-up, this plant is still rising in popularity for its unique foliage and its laid-back care needs.
The “Mini Monstera” or “Philodendron Ginny” is a popular new Aroid species that shares a pattern of splits and holes in its tropical leaves like the popular Monstera deliciosa or many other species of Philodendron. With foliage that tends to stay under six inches in size and a strong love of vining, the Rhaphidaphora tetrasperma is a wonderful candidate for a terrarium life.
At a Glance
Where to Buy Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (Mini Monstera)
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Terrarium Plant Guide
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma Care & Growth
There is a good chance that this plant is occasionally called the Philodendron Ginny, even though it isn’t a Philodendron, because it grows around many species of that genus in its native Malaysia and Thailand. This plant has evolved to have thin leaves with next to no wax barrier, meaning its quite easy for it to lose moisture when in direct light; keep it somewhere with moderate to bright light that is indirect or diffused to keep it happy and alive.
In nature, the Mini Monstera can be found in a range of environments, including both terribly dry and extremely wet habitats; this is where its relaxed, adaptive personality comes in. While this plant can survive too little and too much moisture, the amount of water will always depend upon the amount of light it receives.
The Philodendron Ginny is an Aroid, and like most other members of the Aroid family, this plant thrives in a moist environment, but can be easily affected by waterlogged soil and root rot. The easiest way to mitigate this is always through a well-draining substrate high in sand, perlite, or another additive that encourages aeration. In the growing season, the Rhaphidaphora tetrasperma can hog some of the nutrients in the soil, so keep an eye on the health of your plants in the Summer and consider adding extra nitrogen should anything look skinny or especially hungry.
Temperature & Humidity
Mini Monstera plants prefer a terrarium that mimics the warm (even hot) temperatures and high humidity of its natural environment. It can withstand brief periods of temps in the high 80’s Fahrenheit (high 20s, low 30s Celsius), but can succumb to cold shock if its closed terrarium is opened in too chilly a space or if the glass cracks and creates a draft. Basically, imagine this plant is the type to wear a thick coat when the weather dips below 60°F (15°C).
The Rhaphidaphora tetrasperma is known for its love of vining and is frequently seen climbing up trellises, poles, and walls. As this plant grows older and taller, the splits and holes on its leaves become more prominent as the leaves also grow slightly in size, though it’s uncommon for the leaves to get larger than six inches (15 cm). However, this species of Rhaphidaphora is happy to stay small in an enclosed terrarium as well, learning to fit the space its in.
While this plant shares its common name with the eternally popular Monstera deliciosa, the Mini Monstera also shares a similar preference to propagation by the same stem cutting process, too. The nodes grow prominently on both species, so as long as one node is included in the cutting you take, both hydroponic and semi-hydroponic methods work wonders to help you produce another plant for another future terrarium!
Varieties & Similar Plants
For obvious reasons, the Rhaphidaphora tetrasperma is often confused and misclassified as a member of the Monstera or Philodendron genus because it is also an Aroid that shares many similarities when looking at the surface. Within its own genus, there are very few well-known Rhaphidaphors besides the tetrasperma or the decursiva, another plant with a habit of splitting its leaves.
This may sound like a generic answer to the interview question “what’s your biggest weakness,” but the Rhaphidaphora tetrasperma has a problem with growing too much. In the warm, growing season, it is not unlikely for a plant parent of this particular Aroid to be forced to open their terrarium to prune and take stem cuttings from this plant often. Of all the problems to have, it is certainly far from the worst!