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Updates    on    the   Jungle 

  • happiecamp3r

Mini Monstera - Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma

Updated: Apr 23, 2023


Though its called a "Mini Monstera", this plants only relation to monsteras is that they both belong to the "Aroids" family. Its actually not a monstera at all. Similar to Monsteras the leaves fan and out and have gaps in them making fenestrate leaves. Fenestrate means to have small preferations like little windows. This is something the plant has done to aquire as much sunlight as possible while also cutting back on the mass of leaf cells the plant needs to support.

Baby Mo

I found Baby Mo at a Lowes last fall in Nampa. It was on sale and was drying up due to underwatering. Underwatered plants are my favorite to buy on clearnace because its typiucally easy to revive the plant. I soaked the little wilted guy in a bowl of room temperature water and waited as the leaves revived and the roots could move around and breath after being trapped in dry tough dirt. I removed the yellow leaves with a clean pair of scissors then swapped the dirt out for a mixture of peat moss, soil, bark and charcoal but kept it in the original plastic pot and placed the easily drainable plastic pot inside a decorative pot. This way the plant can be bottom watered by taking the plant out of the decorative pot and soaking it in a large container of water. After a few weeks new leaf growth was present and the plant began to thrive.





I have since then moved the plant into a bigger ceramic pot with drainage and a moss pole for the plant to grow on. When a plant grows on a moss pole, the plant become taller and feel that they are growing closer to sunlight above the rainforest canopy. This makes the plant progress into maturity which allows plants to grow larger leaves, along with helping to develop more windows in the plants leaves.



Baby Mo's placed on a plant stand next to my monstera deliciosa under grow lights. The moss pole is sprayed down every three days so that the arial roots will climb and provide the plant with a way to grow more mature . Baby Mo did a lot better when it was in a window sill, but with limited window space, the grow light will do.



Origin

This plant is grown native to Southern Thailand to Malaysia. The environment these plants are from is tropical. The average day is about 84.2 Fahrenheit ( 29 Celsius). The hottest it gets is 95.9 Fahrenheit (35.5 Celsius) and the coldest at night is 69.3 Fahrenheit (20.7 Celsius). These are the extreme temperature the plant can tolerate during the influx of seasons. They have sunlight for an average of 9 to 11 hours a day depending on the season. The climate is around 70% to 80% humidity and a average of 125 days of rain. The plants grow in the humid underneath of the jungle canopy that get filtered sunlight. The mini monstera grows up trees and other plants towards the sunlight.








Care for plant



Light

Bright filtered light.

This plant does best in an environment that mimics a jungle canopy. These plants grow up trees towards the light. They mainly live in shaded areas that are touched by light. These plants do well indoors placed in filtered light, especially in west-facing windows. Mini Monsteras do not do well outdoors in direct sunlight, due to leaves scorching from the suns rays. If placed outdoors keep it in a bright shaded area that gets brief light.


Watering

Damp but not soaked

Water when the pot is mostly dry, around 75%. A good way to test is by sticking your ringer in the pots and if you can feel it's moist or the soil sticks to your finger. If the soil doesn’t stick around the bed of your nail and doesn’t appear moist, it’s time to water. A great way to do this is by splashing water on the top of the plant and spraying down the leaves. Then bottom watering it for 10-15 minutes. This plant lives in the jungle so it doesn’t hurt to give it rain showers. A moisture meter is another great way if you aren’t sure if the soil is dry or not.


Soil and Fertilization

Soil, Orchid Bark, Perlite and Peat Moss

This type of plant does well in mixtures that contain a mix of potting soil, orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss. The recipe I use is 1 & 1/2 cups of soil, 1 cup of orchid bark, 1/2 cup of perlite, and 1 cup of peat moss. The measurements don’t need to be exact, this is just a rough estimate of what I use. I fertilize this plant with a tropical plant liquid fertilizer every 5-7 weeks. I should be every 4 weeks in the spring and summer seasons.


Environment

Jungle Canopy

Moderate humidity. If you are not living in an area that has a humid environment, like Idaho, there are ways to mimic that atmosphere for the plant. Plants that are near each other produce their own humid environment. If the plant is not in a location that is surrounded by other plants then opt for a humidifier. The humidifier doesn’t need to run all of the time, just enough to allow the plant's atmosphere to have a cool humid environment.


Tips and Tricks

This is an aerial plant, meaning it has roots that form on the nodes of the plant. The roots will grow towards the moisture just like the roots would in their natural environment to water the plant. When an aerial root is placed in a container of water the root will continue to grow into the water source and tends to grow a new leaf.


Other

An often cause of death for this plant is moisture. Diagnosed by yellowing leaves sometimes a smell is present. If the plant has root rot, remove it from any contaminated soil that bacterial could be rowing in. Ring is a mixture of 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide for 10 -15 minutes then replant in clean soil with adequate drainage.




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