Want to learn about propagating rhaphidophora tetrasperma? This plant, also called the “mini monstera,” is a fast grower and is super easy to propagate.
Propagating rhaphidophora tetrasperma
Another propagation post up today—I’m going over everything you need to know about propagating rhaphidophora tetrasperma. Yes, this plant is quite the mouthful to say, so you’ll often hear is called “mini monstera.”
But it’s not actually a monstera plant! So why do people call it a mini monstera? Well, because its leaves look an awful lot like smaller monstera deliciosa leaves. They have fenestrations and eventually small holes 🙂
For more details about caring for this plant, check out my rhaphidophora tetrasperma care guide!
So tell me about the rhaphidophora tetrasperma plant…
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is an aroid in the Araceae family, rhaphidophora genus, tetrasperma species. It is native to Thailand and Malaysia. While it vines like crazy, the leaves stay fairly small (4 to 6 inches long), which is a lot different from the monstera deliciosa. Its leaves can get HUGE!
The vines, though, can grow super long. Up to 12 feet long depending on how happy the plant is. My tetrasperma is about 5ish feet tall right now. It has three plants in the pot, and I haven’t trimmed the main stem. Only the two smaller stems.
This plant enjoys bright indirect light, well-draining soil, and not a lot of water. In fact, my rhaphidophora tetrasperma has pretty much thrived on neglect. I water it when I noticed the leaves starting to go a bit limp.
For another rhaphidophora plant, check out my rhaphidophora hayi care guide, aka the “shingling plant!”
How to take a cutting from a rhaphidophora tetrasperma
As with many plants, taking a good cutting is the best first step to ensuring a successful propagation. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma plants cannot be propagated by single leaves. Instead, you have to have at least one node.
What’s a node? Well, they look like this the brown nubs in the pictures below. Tetrasperma plants also use aerial roots to help them climb trees and branches in nature. As houseplants, these aerial roots appreciate trellises and climbing poles. For propagations, they are super helpful!
A good tetrasperma cutting will have as least one node right above where you cut the piece off of the plant. Once you take the cutting, the plant will eventually sprout new growth just below where you cut.
What are the mediums you can use for propagating rhaphidophora tetrasperma?
1. In water
After taking your rhaphidophora tetrasperma cutting, you can pop it in water to grow roots. This is known as “water rooting.” Change out the water every week or so. After you have roots that are a few inches long, you can plant it in well-draining houseplant soil.
Keep the soil moist for a few weeks—but not sopping wet. This will help the plant’s new water roots establish themselves in soil. Extra humidity helps, too—you can try something like a greenhouse cabinet (see my Ikea greenhouse cabinet for inspiration) or a plastic bag.
After a feel weeks, you can gently tug the stem of the cutting. If you get any resistance, that means it has rooted! Yay! Back off watering and begin treating the plant as normal.
2. Directly in soil
If you’d like to skip the water rooting step and plant your cutting directly in soil, you follow all of the same steps. However, I would recommend dipping the cut end of the cutting in rooting hormone to jumpstart the process.
I personally don’t love rooting cuttings directly in soil because it drives me crazy that I can’t see what’s going on in the soil! In water, you can watch the roots begin to develop. So it’s kind of a personal preference. 🙂
3. In moss and perlite
Sometimes I find that the transition from water to soil can shock a plant. Rooting cuttings in damp sphagnum moss and perlite is one way to prevent this. It helps grow strong roots that experience less shock after transplanting them.
To root rhaphidophora tetrasperma in moss, grab some sphagnum moss, saturate it with water, and then squeeze all of the excess out. Add some chunky perlite to help facilitate air flow, and put the mixture into a cup. (Optional: Add a few worm castings for nutrients since moss and perlite do not have any.)
The moss will dry out very quickly unless you keep it in a humid environment. Try putting a bag over it as I show below, or opt for something like a DIY plastic propagation box. Super easy way to keep humidity sky high for cuttings.
4. In LECA—aka clay balls
I’ve really been enjoying rooting plant cuttings in LECA. If you’re new to LECA, check out my post about how to grow plant cuttings in LECA. In a nutshell, you add a bit of LECA to a clear container, pop the cutting in, and fill in the rest of the jar with more LECA to hold it in place.
Next you add water and fill it up to just below where the nodes on the cutting are. The idea is that the plant isn’t in water, but it’s directly above it. As the water evaporates, the upper clay balls will absorb it, creating a nice humid environment perfect for rooting!
Here is a LECA propagation I did of a rhaphidophora tetrasperma cutting a few months ago. The cutting rooted really quickly in the LECA, and I was able to plant it in soil with little to no shock to the plant. Hooray!
And plant your cutting!
Whatever propagation method you choose for your rhaphidophora tetrasperma cutting, you can treat the cutting as normal a few weeks after transplanting it to soil. It will soon sprout new growth and being growing like crazy—and then it will be time to propagate all over again 🙂