When you think of monsteras, you probably think of the popular and beautiful monstera deliciosa with its large, fenestrated green leaves. After all, this is the monstera we’re used to seeing in most monstera articles and Instagram posts and printed on everything from beach towels to slipcovers.
But there’s a new monstera on the block: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, or the mini monstera.
Isn’t it cute?
The mini monstera still has those heart-shaped, deep green, fenestrated leaves we love, but they are much smaller. The fenestration is also much more pronounced than the thin slits and holes in a mature monstera deliciosa leaf.
Still, many people find the mini monstera to be more manageable thanks to its smaller size. Some people also prefer the look of these leaves to those of other monstera varieties.
Not a True Monstera
While this plant is extremely rare in nature, it’s becoming more common in local nurseries and online plant shops.
While Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a member of the araceae family (like monsteras and philodendron), it’s not a true monstera. It actually comes from Southeast Asia rather than Central America.
Like monsteras, however, mini monstera is a tropical climbing plant with many of the same preferences as monstera deliciosa.
This is good news for monstera owners, because if you’re proficient with other monsteras, you’re well-equipped to handle a mini monstera!
Mini Monstera Care
Like most tropical plants (including monsteras) mini monsteras like bright, indirect sunlight. This means near or in a very bright window, but not directly in the sun’s rays. An east-facing window is usually best.
Mini monsteras like a moderate amount of water, so when the top two inches of soil are dry, add water to the soil until it starts to drain out the bottom of the pot. Then empty the drainage tray immediately.
It’s important not to over-water, because over-watering can lead to root rot. While this condition is treatable with repotting and out Root Rot Treatment, it can kill a plant if you don’t catch it early enough.
On the other end of the watering spectrum, never let the soil get completely dry, or you’ll have a dried-out, possibly dead mini monstera on your hands!
Soil and Potting
Choose a soil and pot that drain well so your mini monstera’s roots aren’t sitting in water (hello root rot!).
Try mixing a little orchid bark into indoor potting mix and using a plastic or ceramic pot with a drainage hole or two.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma grows rapidly in the spring and summer, so it’s important to fertilize a few times a month with liquid fertilizer added to its water.
I use Indoor Plant Food in my watering can each week because I can use it for ALL my houseplants, including mini monsteras. It’s designed to be used with each watering, so it takes all the guesswork out of fertilizing schedules. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Mini monsteras like to climb, so make sure to include a moss pole or trellis in or near their pot so the aerial roots have something to grab onto. You can purchase a short moss pole or a tall moss pole or even make your own.
Temperature and Humidity
While these plants are a bit more flexible than monstera deliciosa when it comes to temperature and humidity, they do enjoy conditions similar to that of their natural environment in Thailand and Malaysia.
Mini monsteras do best in temperatures from 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (aka average room temperatures). They can tolerate normal indoor humidity levels, but they appreciate a little extra from a humidifier or pebble tray.
(To set up a pebble tray, simply fill a shallow tray with water and pebbles and set your potted plant on top so that the roots and soil don’t touch the water.)
Warning: Mini monsteras are toxic, so keep them away from pets and children.
A Fun New Plant for Monstera Lovers
If you’re a fan of other monstera varieties, give the mini monstera a try! It’s the perfect addition to your collection and is becoming more and more available (and inexpensive). You can find them online or in some local nurseries.
To learn more:
- Sign up for our free Ultimate Monstera Webinar.
- Subscribe to our newsletter.
- Click to join our community on Facebook: Monstera Plant Resource Group.
- Read our Ultimate Monstera Watering Guide here.
- Be sure to grab your essentials here: Monstera Plant Food, 3-in-1 Moisture Meter, Premium Potting Soil, Houseplant Leaf Armor (which protects your houseplant from bacteria, fungus, and insects—and also cleans and adds shine to its leaves!)
- Looking to shop for plants online? Our trusted partners at Houseplantshop.com grow high-quality plants here in California and ship directly to you. Shop online now!