The Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) Plant Care Guide

Difficulty Level: Modest

What is Mini Monstera?

The Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) is vining Aroid and close relative to the common houseplant Monstera deliciosa where it derives the Monstera part of its name. Both Monsteras grow in tropical rain forest environments and the Mini Monstera originates in Thailand and Malaysia. Other common names for the Mini Monstera are the Mini Swiss Cheese Plant, the Ginny Philodendron, or the Piccolo Philodendron.

The Mini Monstera is a large leafed vine with shiny dark green leaves that have fenestrations-- large gaps along the margins of the leaves that break up the margin of the leaf into segments like fingers on a hand. This unique leaf shape makes for attractive tropical foliage that adds flair to an indoor space.

Mini Monstera and other Aroids have had a strong resurgence as houseplants in the last few years. This is for good reason, they are easy to grow, are not messy and have impressive waxy leaves that bring a contemporary tropical touch to indoor spaces. Mini Monstera makes for great centerpieces for indoor growing.

Light CareLight Care

Mini Monstera enjoys abundant indirect light. Planting near windows is ideal and bright indirect light will spur brightly colored healthy growth. Mini Monstera leaves are prone to scorching when exposed to direct light, the leaf margins may also dry and turn brown. This is a good indicator that the plant should be moved to a location with less direct light exposure. In conditions where the light is not bright enough Mini Monstera will produce spindly growth that often faces in the direction of the light source, sometimes the growth will also have a yellow coloration to it. Moving the plant to a brighter location should resolve this issue and much of the yellow coloration will also return to green when exposed to more light.

Water CareWater Care

Mini Monstera needs to be watered a moderate amount weekly when grown indoors. As Mini Monstera is a rapidly growing plant it can easily dry out its soil during periods of rapid growth. It is recommended to water at least once a week in the summer and to water at least once a month in winter. Mini Monstera do have some tolerance to dry soil but the soil should ideally be allowed to remain damp between watering. Be careful not to water log Mini Monstera as they are prone to root rot from wet soil. A pot with a drainage hole is preferable to one closed at the bottom, as it will allow access water to drain away between watering.

Food GuideFood Guide

Mini Monstera have sensitive roots which are prone to rot if proper conditions are not met. Root rot may occur if soil conditions are constantly wet and this may cause a slowing of growth and limp leaves. Mini Monstera also prefers larger pots with ample room for root growth. When root bound Mini Monstera may have slow and inconsistent growth. Both of these conditions need to be considered when fertilizing, as they may be the reasons for slow growth. Because Mini Monstera have sensitive roots it is also recommended that diluted fertilizer is used every two weeks when faster growth is wanted. When leaf color is pale fertilizer may also aid in getting deeper color on the leaves.

Staff Holy Grail Tip:

Using a Mini Monstera as a centerpiece to an indoor houseplant collection is ideal as they stand out with their large charismatic leaves and become increasingly impressive as they grow upwards along a surface. Mini Monstera also makes an ideal sized plant where a full size Monstera will overwhelm a space, as full size Monstera leaves can get over 2 feet wide. Mini Monstera have been explosive in popularity over the last few years because of the remarkable ways they enhance indoor spaces and for the ways they make for energetic backdrops to curated indoor spaces.