Philodendron Minima

What does the perfect plant look like? Well, it has beautiful split leaves, wild foliage, and all packaged in as a fast growing, great climbing plant that is low maintenance. It’s no wonder the plant community have taken notice of the Philodendron Minima (or Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) it definitely ticks all the boxes. With the looks of the iconic Monstera Deliciosa which have sustained the interest of several generations, the Philodendron Minima is sure to follow suit and continue to deliver on those popular jungle feels every home needs.

This plant has thick stems that support its upright growth habit, much like what you would see in a Philodendron Silver Sword. Plant your Minima around a wire, trellis, moss pole, or totem to create a beautiful centrepiece. If a natural product is chosen for your plant to grow up, be sure to mist the pole to encourage your plant to anchor its roots. While you can leave your plant to trail, it may not achieve the look you are trying to achieve. Your plant’s sturdy stem that supports its leaves are more likely to encourage horizontal growth and is said to make the plant leggy or sparse between the leaves. The Philodendron Minima will fork and grow where the stem is broken, or where leaves have been removed. If you are wanting your plant to have a fuller look take a cutting from the top stem which will encourage your plant to grow new stems.

The Rhapidophora tetrasperma technically doesn’t belong to the Monstera or the Philodendron family, but as mentioned simply share in their looks. The Minima is found in Southern Thailand and Malaysia, as opposed to the Monstera and Philodendron species who generally reside in Central and South America. Being a tropical plant, you will find that it will want to be kept in damp soil, although it will tolerate small periods without water. During Spring and Summer, this plant will grow rapidly. Therefore your plant will need more water and fertiliser to sustain it’s healthy new foliage.  

Philodendron Minima Plant Care

Temperature

The Philodendron Minima prefers a warm and humid environment as it is a tropical plant. Ideally with temperatures between 18-29 degrees.

Light

Prefers moderate to bright indirect light. Find a spot where the sunlight never touches the leaves of your plant to avoid burning its delicate foliage.

Watering

Likes damp soil. Water regularly but allow the top 3cm of the soil dry out before watering again. The roots do not like to be left wet so ensure that your pot has good drainage. Reduce your watering during the winter months.

Maintenance

Other than providing your plant with a structure to climb, you may wish to tie part of your plant to the structure to guide it. To keep the leaves of your plant clean put in the Summer rain, or rinsing it in the shower on occasion to remove any accumulated dust.

Fertilizer

During Spring and Summer, use an all-purpose liquid plant food to promote new growth.

Toxicity

The Philodendron Minima is toxic and should not be consumed by pets and children.

Soil

This plant prefers a loose and well-draining soil. Able to hold moisture, but is not so dense as to cause root rot.

Re-potting

Yearly, to ensure your soil contains enough nutrients, or when the roots appear to have filled the bottom of the pot to give you plant extra space to grow.

Potential Problems

Drooping Plant: This is an indication of not enough water. Increase the regularity of watering and watch for your plant to improve. Remember the weight of your pot plant is always the best way to measure that your plant is getting enough water.

Discolouring Leaves: New leaves on most plants are tender, the Philodendron Minima is no exception. If knocked or creased you will find they easily mark with black lines which may develop yellow rings around the damaged area. Once your plant is in its new home if you dislike any of on the leaves simply remove. Your plant’s new growth will be unaffected. Larger black circles can be an indication of sunburn on your leaves. Always ensure your plant is in a place of bright indirect light.

Pests: Spider Mite and Thrips have featured in other reviews of this plant as potential pests. Standard plant care products are recommended for the combat of these unfortunate delights, such as neem oil, along with removing any affected leaves/stems.