Rhaphidophora Pertusa is an elusive and very rare plant to get a hold of. It has a unique blend of split leaves and holes in its foliage. If you managed to snag one, congratulations! But here’s the thing, there’s not much information about this plant around – believe me, I’ve looked everywhere.
However, I did come across a few helpful facts on their essential care, which is not that different from other Rhaphidophora and Monstera plants:
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Table of contents
- 1. Place in a Bright Room with Plenty of Indirect Sunlight
- 2. Give a Thorough Watering Weekly When The Top 1-2 Inches of Soil Dries Out
- 3. Plant in a Loose, Well-Draining Soil Mixture with Perlite
- 4. Do Not Give Rhaphidophora Pertusa Any Fertilizers At All
- 5. Place a Coir Totem or Moss Pole as a Trellis Support for the Plant’s Upward Growth
- 6. Only Prune Old, Damaged & Diseased Parts of the Plant
- 7. Propagate Any Healthy and Pest & Disease-Free Stem Cuttings
- 8. Do a Weekly Pest & Disease Check for Spider Mites & Fungal Rot
- Final Word
1. Place in a Bright Room with Plenty of Indirect Sunlight
Rhaphidophora Pertusa thrives best when it is given light that is streaming through a curtained window. It mimics the same environment they get in their tropical origins, where the sunlight passes through tree canopies. Direct sun will only burn the plant’s leaves when exposed for far too long, especially in the afternoon sun for those living in warmer climates.
You can also provide your plant with LED grow lights if sunlight is scarce in your area. Try to get something adjustable for the plant’s growing height like this one from Amazon and keep the light running for more than 12 hours to grow well.
Note on Temperature & Humidity: Rhaphidophora Pertusa has no problems growing in indoor conditions. While there’s no need to, increasing the humidity levels is an excellent initiative to ensure the plant flourishes. The only thing to be careful about is preventing exposure to extreme temperature changes, particularly cold drafts. They can’t handle the cold and will unlikely recover if the temperature drops below 59°F(15°C).
2. Give a Thorough Watering Weekly When The Top 1-2 Inches of Soil Dries Out
While the watering frequency may vary due to numerous factors, the vital thing to remember with Rhaphidophora Pertusa is to ensure the soil never dries out completely. It doesn’t like dry periods, and frequent drought incidents will cause the plant to eventually succumb to permanent damage such as dried foliage and stunted growth. But be careful not to overwater the plant as well.
A good rule of thumb is to always do the knuckle test before giving your plant, not just Rhaphidophora Pertusa, a thorough soak. This method helps you gauge whether it’s time to water your plants or not. You want to make sure the soil is constantly moist but not soggy for the plant.
3. Plant in a Loose, Well-Draining Soil Mixture with Perlite
Generally, you can use any soil mixture you wish, as long as it is well-draining and has good moisture retention capacity. You can purchase a readily available Aroid potting mix or make a simple 3:7 ratio of regular potting soil and perlite mixture (Amazon links). Perlite is not the only aerating material you can add to the mix. You can also add vermiculite, gravel bits, bark chips, or anything else you prefer.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this plant likes being in a constantly damp soil environment. But it also has to be a loose soil mix for the roots to grow and expand in the pot easily. As for the pot itself, it’s better to use a plastic or ceramic pot with drain holes instead. You can use a terracotta pot, but water tends to evaporate faster from the soil because of the porous material. Remember, this plant likes it moist. So you’ll have to water more frequently to compensate for this.
4. Do Not Give Rhaphidophora Pertusa Any Fertilizers At All
Typically, this plant doesn’t need much fertilizer to grow. They can and will develop as they like regardless of the nutrients available. Seriously, they’re more like weeds to trees than anything else in the wild.
However, suppose you insist on wanting to fertilize them. In that case, it’s best to use a diluted liquid fertilizer and spray your Rhaphidophora Pertusa monthly for a bit of pick-me-up. The rule of thumb here is always to offer less than the recommended dose to err on the side of caution for your plant.
5. Place a Coir Totem or Moss Pole as a Trellis Support for the Plant’s Upward Growth
A Rhaphidophora Pertusa is a climbing plant. Letting it grow in a hanging basket without any support will cause the foliage to stay small and whole rather than its acclaimed split-leaf and perforated beauty. So this is where the trellis support will help immensely.
It’s best to place the coir totem or moss pole (Amazon link) in the soil before the plant. It helps prevent breaking any roots if you put it in later. You can also make your own trellis support like the following:
- A narrow teepee structure using bamboo poles and secured with zip ties.
- A singular wooden stake with twine or fabric strips to tie the plant against the structure.
- A DIY moss pole by wrapping sphagnum moss around a wooden totem.
6. Only Prune Old, Damaged & Diseased Parts of the Plant
There is not much pruning to be done with Rhaphidophora Pertusa unless you want to keep it on the shorter side. They will continue to grow higher as they wish. If you are not a fan of this aesthetic, simply trim the plant down to a manageable height for you. But don’t throw away those cuttings! You can use them for propagation, as discussed in the next section.
For old leaves, simply pluck them from the plant and discard them. As for any damaged parts, investigate closely to see if it is due to underlying problems such as diseases or pests. If it is, jump to step 8 for this. If it is not and purely due to physical breakage, discard it.
7. Propagate Any Healthy and Pest & Disease-Free Stem Cuttings
Rhaphidophora Pertusa is an easy plant to propagate by stem cuttings. You can do this by rooting in soil or water. Soil rooting is more straightforward, but it does take about a month or so before you can tell whether the stem has taken root.
As for rooting in water, it’s a bit more work. Place the stem cutting in a glass with fresh water and keep it out of direct sunlight. Once the roots are about 2-3 inches long, place the stem in moist soil to continue growing.
Here are some extra tips on propagating stem cuttings from a Rhaphidophora Pertusa:
- Ensure the stem cutting has at least two nodes, i.e., small nubs where leafstalks grow. This is where the new roots will sprout from.
- Leave about one or two leaves on the stem cutting, but remove any leaves near the bottom where the nodes are.
- Do not remove any aerial roots on the stem.
- Submerge the node underwater or below soil level for roots to sprout.
- Change the water every 2-3 days or keep the water constantly moist.
8. Do a Weekly Pest & Disease Check for Spider Mites & Fungal Rot
Spider mites are notorious for swarming Rhaphidophora Pertusa. You can spot them by their wispy spider webs between the plant’s foliage and are typically found underneath the leaves. You can find instructions on removing them in this article.
As for diseases, Rhaphidophora Pertusa is pretty resilient to any disease. However, overwatering can quickly bring about problems to the plant, such as fungal rot. The best thing to prevent this is to water the plant only when needed. But if your plant does have fungal decay, there’s a chance it could be experiencing root rot. Learn more about how to fix this problem in this article here.
If you’ve ever taken care of a Monstera plant, taking care of a Rhaphidophora Pertusa will be a walk in the park for you. Happy planting!