23 Things You Should Know: Rhaphidophora Decursiva Care

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Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a tropical and easy-to-care-for houseplant that would make a great addition to any plant collection. All of the essential care requirements and practices for this plant will be discussed in this post.

If you are interested in buying a Rhaphidophora Decursiva for yourself, we have some options that you might want to check out. Keep on reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind Rhaphidophora.

What Is Rhaphidophora Decursiva?

Rhaphidophora Decursiva, commonly known as Dragon’s Tail, Monstera Decursiva, and Creeping Philodendron, is popular among plant lovers for its fantastic glossy green leaves.

In its juvenile stage, this plant looks very different from its mature look. The leaves are smaller, more pointed, and oval-shaped when young. Mature Rhaphidophora Decursiva leaves develop deep fenestrations or splits/cuts, which sets them apart.

While this plant is unusually-looking, it looks very close to some of its distant cousins, the Monstera and Philodendron (hence the common names). It looks incredibly similar to another Dragon’s Tail plant or the Epipremnum Pinnatum, a mistake that gardeners often make.

This tropical and rare plant should be placed near an east or west-facing window to flourish indoors. Outdoors, it thrives in hardiness zones 10-12.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Origin And Family

The Dragon’s Tail is from the aroid family of Araceae. This variety of Rhaphidophora comes from the forests of Southeast Asia, China, and India. As an indoor plant, it has done well in many households when it has a lot of access to humidity.

Where To Buy

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a beautiful addition to any plant lover’s collection and can be purchased online from Etsy. We usually get fantastic plant options and deals there too!

You can buy a Rhaphidophora Decursiva for affordable prices, between $10 for small plants and $20+ for larger or more mature plants.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Plant Size

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a fast-growing houseplant best placed near an east or west-facing window. In homes, it can reach an average height of 20-40 inches and an average width of 10-20 inches. Outdoors, it can reach 50 feet tall.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Care Needs

If you take proper care of your Rhaphidophora Decursiva, it will flourish and have amazing leaves. This plant enjoys year-round moisture and relatively dry soil.

When the upper 1-2 inches of the soil are dry, water your Rhaphidophora. Be careful to completely soak it, letting water drip down the pot. Bright indirect light is ideal for this plant in terms of lighting.

To maintain the health and happiness of your Rhaphidophora Decursiva, look at the more specific growing advice below!

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Care Difficulty

This Monstera Decursiva is generally easy-to-care-for. The well-draining soil and amount of light are the most important considerations for this beauty.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Growth Rate

The Creeping Philodendron reaches a height of 20-40 inches when grown indoors. This plant will typically grow more actively during spring and summer.

Most Rhaphidophora species, including the Decursiva, are known to grow quickly.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Potting

Rhaphidophora plants, in general, prefer a well-draining pot. A large-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pot is recommended for your Dragon’s Tail.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva plants love climbing nearby surfaces like trees or trellises using their aerial roots that sprout from their stem. You can provide them with a moss pole to support this growth habit.

One of the primary killers of houseplants is lack of drainage, which leads to root rot. Make sure that your pot has bottom holes for excess water to drain through.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Repotting

Decursiva plants are vigorous growers. To keep this climbing plant healthy, it will be beneficial to transfer it to a larger pot when it reaches a certain size. As soon as you see its roots pushing out of the drainage holes, you’ll know that it’s time to repot.

On average, Rhaphidophora Decursiva grows quickly and must be repotted yearly. Soil loses its natural nutrient components over time, so it’s a good idea to add some standard commercial potting soil when repotting.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Soil

Rhaphidophora Decursiva grows well when grown in standard commercial potting soil. Perlite, peat moss, coco coir, and fine moss are the first materials to be added if you wish to create your own medium rather than buying one. This plant prefers a rather dry environment for its soil.

Additionally, it’s essential to have good drainage to prevent problems like root rot and fungal illnesses.

We suggest the following soil choices:

Rhaphidophora Decursiva pH

For this Creeping Philodendron, you’ll need a soil pH of around 5.6 to 6.5, which is mildly acidic. If you’re worried about pH, you can order a simple pH meter device online to check your soil.

If the pH of your soil is too high, you can add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to improve acidity.

On the other hand, you can improve your soil with calcitic or dolomitic lime or add a bit of baking soda or wood ash if the pH is too low.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Water

Dragon’s Tail is a humidity-loving plant that needs relatively dry soil throughout the year.

When the upper 1-2 inches of the soil are dry on your plant during the spring and summer, water it. Fill the plastic, terracotta, or clay container with water until it drains out the bottom hole, then soak the soil there. To prevent root rot and other diseases, discard the water from a collection tray if you’re using one.

You won’t need to water as often in the winter. You should still deeply water your plants, but less regularly.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Light

This houseplant prefers bright indirect light for approximately 10-14 hours daily. Too much light and its beautiful leaves will get burned. Too little light and will grow slowly and produce smaller leaves.

If you’re worried that your Rhaphidophora Decursiva isn’t getting enough light, you may need to move it near a window or consider using artificial lights. Here are some basic grow light options for you to consider:

Avoid putting your Rhaphidophora Decursiva in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Fertilizer

Here’s a common mistake by several indoor growers: they must remember to fertilize. They think that water and bright indirect light are good sources of nourishment. But the truth is that the soil’s nutrients are just as vital in your plant’s overall health.

You only need to feed your plant once a month in the spring and summertime. A water-soluble fertilizer works best for your Monstera Decursiva. If you’re using a potent type of fertilizer, you may need to dilute it first.

In the colder months, you don’t have to fertilize.

Propagating Rhaphidophora Decursiva

There are different ways to propagate Rhaphidophora Decursiva. For better chances of success, use the following steps for each unique method.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

One primary method to grow a Dragon’s Tail is to directly plant stem cuttings into the soil. You can buy a cutting of this plant from Etsy or your local Facebook Marketplace if you don’t already have one.

It is best to propagate during early spring so it will be easier for your plant to recover from transplant shock.

1. Cut. Cut a piece of a healthy plant with a pair of clean shears. A cutting should preferably have a few leaves and nodes and be at least three inches tall.

2. Plant. In a pot or other container filled with moist potting soil, bury the stem’s nodes. To keep the plant in place, pinch the soil around the stem or use wooden skewers. Too much movement can obstruct the growth of roots.

3. Maintain. Put your container in direct, bright light next to a window. Keep in mind to maintain soil moisture.

4. Wait. In around two to three weeks, new roots should appear. The best sign that your cutting has successfully developed roots is a sprouting shoot!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here are the steps in successfully developing Monstera Decursiva cuttings in water:

1. Cut. With a sharp knife, cut the stem of the Rhaphidophora Decursiva right below a node. Remove the bottom leaves so that your cutting can focus on developing roots.

2. Submerge. Using an old glass bottle, fill it with water and add the cutting to it. Leaves should not be present on any portion of the stem underwater.

3. Maintain. Keep your new plant close to a window that acquires plenty of light and has sufficient airflow. To keep the huge leaves vibrant, keep a humidifier nearby.

4. Refill. Every 3 to 5 days, check if it needs to be refilled with fresh water.

5. Transplant. Your cutting is prepared to be potted when the roots have grown around an inch or longer.

Humidity And Aeration for Rhaphidophora Decursiva

Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a rare plant that loves high humidity levels. Keep the humidity at 60% or higher at all times.

Use a simple hygrometer to check the air moisture level in your Rhaphidophora Decursiva’s area. If the result is too low, you can improve the humidity through the following methods:

β€’ Plants release moisture from their leaves through the process of transpiration, so they’ll benefit from each other if you keep houseplants closely together.

β€’ Keep a tray of pebbles and water underneath your plant’s pot. The water will evaporate and provide some nourishment to the plant.

β€’ Obtain a humidifier for your plants. This will release steam constantly and raise the humidity in a room.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Temperature

Generally, warm temperatures are best for your Creeping Philodendron plant. The ideal temperature range is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The significant consideration for this plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily damage the Creeping Philodendron. In cold weather, plug any gaps and close windows to prevent chilly drafts from getting into your plant. Keep it away from heat vents so the leaves won’t become dried out.

Toxic

While this is a fun plant, you should be responsible when handling it, especially if you have small children or pets. Toxic to humans and animals alike, the Monstera Decursiva is potentially dangerous if consumed as it contains calcium oxalate crystals. If eaten, the following are possible side effects: swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue, drooling or vomiting, and even diarrhea. In most cases, this plant is not thought to be dangerous.

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Rhaphidophora Decursiva
Common Name Dragon’s Tail, Monstera Decursiva, creeping Philodendron
Plant Family Araceae
Origin Southeast Asia, China, and India
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape oval
Leaf Color rich green
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate fast
Light bright indirect light
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water when the top 1-2 inches of the soil is dry.
When To Fertilize once a month during growing season
Preferred pH 5.6 to 6.5
Humidity Range 60% or higher
Toxic To Pets? Yes – symptoms include swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue, drooling or vomiting, and even diarrhea
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems for Rhaphidophora Decursiva

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a disease and pest-resistant plant. Here are some common ailments, issues, and pests, along with instructions for treatment.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are an undesirable but common problem, especially for the Creeping Philodendron. Tiny, brown, or yellow patches will first be visible on the leaves of this plant caused by spider mite damage. Stunted development or leaves that take an eternity to unfold could also be seen.

Because they are linked to spiders, spider mites create webs (which is gross). The main difference is that just one or two spiders will live in a spider’s web, which has a more intricate pattern. On the other hand, if the web is thin, sticky, and packed with numerous little red bugs, you may have a spider mite infestation.

To fight spider mites on your Creeping Philodendron, take your plant outside and thoroughly spray it down. Once you bring it indoors, keep it away from your other plants until it is certain that all spider mites have been removed.

Neem oil and horticultural oil are natural products that can be used as well as insecticidal soap if the first step doesn’t work.

Scale Insects

Adult scales can give birth to tiny crawling insects while being inactive and covered in a waxy covering.

Armored scales may be removed, but you’ll need to do it carefully with your fingers or an old ID card. Avoid tearing the leaves of the Rhaphidophora Decursiva.

Use insecticidal soap or oils like neem oil or horticultural oil to eradicate scale insects. When you detect crawlers that are active, spray a general pesticide on your plant, then conduct a second application a week later. Here are some products we recommend:

Mealybugs

By consuming sap, these tiny parasites weaken your plant. They can also spread fungal illnesses through the honeydew they emit.

Mealybugs are oval and are easily recognizable insects as it covers all plant parts in cottony masses. They will either remain still or slowly crawl.

Take a cotton swab, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and wipe it over the oval-shaped leaves or any other affected parts of the pant to combat a mealybug invasion. Neem oil and water together make a great preventative spray.

Brown Leaf Tips

One common reason for browning edges on your Dragon’s Tail’s broad leaves is the build-up of salts and minerals in the soil. This typically happens if you apply too much fertilizer or use chemically-treated tap water.

Another reason for browning leaf tips is the lack of moisture. Water your plant appropriately, and improve your indoor humidity.

Drooping Leaves

Mealybugs and other pests that infest this beautiful plant can cause leaves to droop. This problem can also be caused by underwatering, lack of humidity, and lack of nutrients.

Yellow Leaves

If you see yellowing on the leaves of your Monstera Decursiva, you should examine for recent changes in the weather or your typical maintenance routine.

Yellowing leaves can be brought on by overwatering, underwatering, overfertilizing, under-fertilizing, too much light, insufficient light, root damage, temperature changes, and pests.

Root Rot

The two main factors that contribute to decaying roots are excessive watering and insufficient drainage. Preventing root rot is crucial since it can frequently be fatal and permanent.

Plant your Rhaphidophora in regular potting soil and keep it relatively dry. Water only when the soil’s top 1-2 inches is dry.

Similar Plants to Rhaphidophora Decursiva

If you are on the lookout for tropical plants with unique shapes, then here are some other similar plant options you should try:

Monstera Deliciosa – Also called the Swiss Cheese plant for its resemblance with the famous “holey” cheese. With fenestrated leaves, this is a great plant that looks excellent in any indoor garden.

Monstera Albo – With its distinctive foliage, fenestrated with brilliant white coloring, this is another similar-looking plant from the Monstera genus. These days, this ornamental plant is highly sought after by many plant lovers.

Philodendron Minima – This plant is a perfect mix between Monstera and Philo – it has the large beautiful leaves of the Monstera and the vining habit of the Philodendron. With that look and feel, you can’t go wrong with this plant.

Conclusion

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a remarkable plant and is genuinely a delight to care for. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts in creating the ideal conditions for this plant to develop when you see its amazing leaves emerge.

Can’t get enough of Rhaphidophora plant guides? Check out these other helpful articles from Two Peas In A Condo!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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Brent Hellendoorn

Brent is excited about all things minimal, and thus environmentally sustainable. From kitchen-scrap composting to indoor herb gardens and air-purifying houseplants, he enjoys continual learning and innovation. In simple, eco-conscious living, there is always room to… grow!

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