Philodendron Ginny has a unique appearance with split leaves shape. However, there is a misconception and mistake about the name, which leads to much confusion. In order to understand the plant, we need to clear out the name misconception as well as digging further to the details of the greenery. But if you are looking for a plant that can deliver immediate ‘wow’ effect, you are looking at the perfect item.
- Scientific name: Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
- Known name: Mini Climbing Monstera, Philodendron Ginny, Mini Split-Leaf, Mini Monstera, Monstera Ginny, Ginnie Philodendron
- Family: Araceae
- Soil: Moist evenly
- Light: Indirect light, bright light, artificial light
- pH level: 6.0 to 6.5
About Philodendron Ginny
This plant has many names, including Philodendron Ginny although it’s not actually a Philodendron. The fact that it’s increasing in popularity doesn’t change the reality that it is often mistaken for other plants. Thanks to social media, the plant has boosting popularity, especially because of the split leaves shape, which is considered adorable and cute.
This tropical aroid is rare, thanks to its small and ornamental leaves, having split lobes (which go around 6 inches around). In the wild, this plant would climb trees by making use of the aerial roots. If you plan on growing one outdoor, consider planting it at the base of a tree trunk or a palm. When your Ginny grows, it would climb the supporting tree up. And you can have an instant tropical appearance right away.
In reality, this plant isn’t a part of Philodendron or Monstera although both of them are a part of Araceae family. Moreover, this plant is endemic to a completely different region in the world from both the Monstera and Philodendrons. Both these latter species are native to South and Central America, while Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is native to Malaysia and Southern Thailand. But don’t be discouraged as the three of them (Philodendron, Monstera, and Rhaphidophora) are still within the same Araceae family.
What makes this plant unique is the unique split leaf. The split happened naturally as the plant has adapted to the coastal winds passing through them, without splitting the leaves apart. This split foliage is called fenestration. The split lobes are like windows in which you can see through the leaves, measuring to 6 inches in width. This is a plant that can latch to (rainforest) trees to climb up.
Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma loves bright sunlight, but the indirect type. As a tropical plant, it gets a lot of filtered light, and this is the same condition that you should imitate when growing it. You want to choose an ideal location where the plant can get abundance of light, but the indirect one. It would be better if you can have the plant ‘hiding’ behind a sheer curtain or a shade cloth so the sunlight won’t be too harsh or too much.
If the location you pick can’t really provide the required light, consider having a grow (or an artificial) light for the extra lighting. The plant can’t handle low light situation because it won’t only cause the plant to be leggy but the lack of light would cause the growth to be slow or stunted. The leaves may not be as many as the ones getting enough sun exposure.
You should to place your plant in warm temperature, from 55 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it can tolerate a little bit of cooler temperature, it can’t really handle frost environment. If the temperature is less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to bring your plant indoor.
Plants like Philodendron Ginny likes above-the-standard humidity level. Go for 50% to 60% of humidity for this plant. If it’s still not enough, consider misting the leaves, using the pebble tray, or using the humidifier. These ways can boost the humidity level quite effectively. Just be careful when using the pebble tray. Keep the water below the level so it won’t touch the bottom side of your pot. Check it regularly. If it’s reduced, add more.
Another inexpensive method is to place the plant in the bathroom. It is often considered the perfect place that can provide the needed light and humidity. If you have big windows in the bathroom, you can place the plant there so it will get the required humidity and light exposure.
One key to maintain this plant is the even and consistent moisture. It appreciates moist environment, but it dislikes muddy, pooling, or soggy conditions. If you want to water, check the top soil first. If it is moist, then forget about watering. Wait until the next day to perform another checking. Not only you should touch the top surface, but you should also insert your finger to check the moisture.
In winter months, you won’t have to water the plant as often as spring or summer months. Let’s say that you water the plant once a week in summer, it’s possible that you do it once every two weeks in winter – even longer. You need to check the soil before watering.
The plant likes organic, rich, and well-draining loamy soil. If you add orchid bark or peat moss (just a little), it can improve the drainage feature while still retaining the impressive moisture holding feature. Perlite is also a good choice. Stay away from sands or soils that can result in waterlogged. This plant likes pH level between 6.0 and 6.5 quite well.
Use high quality and balanced fertilizer not containing urea (or other harsh chemical contents). This Philodendron Ginny has super sensitive roots. It is prone to fertilizer burn. If it is possible, go with the liquid fertilizer or the slow release type. You can also choose the organic type.
When it is active growing season, it would be best to frequently apply the fertilizer – but don’t too often. A monthly basis would be great or a biweekly application is still acceptable. Make sure that you don’t overdo the application or you may hurt your plant in the end. In winter, you don’t need to apply the fertilizer as frequent as in summer season. In fact, once every two months (or even up to three months) will be okay.
When grown properly, your plant will need repotting once in 2 years. Go with deep container. The diameter can be 10 inches in width, but go with deeper container, such as twice the diameter (20 inches of depth). If you need to re-pot, choose a slightly bigger one, but not too big. An extra 2 inches from the current pot would be best. Repotting is necessary when you have seen roots coming out of the drainage holes.
When you have to move the plant, be gentle with it, especially with the roots. Dig it carefully and gently clean the roots. Check for any root rot symptoms. If you find any, remove that part. Prepare the new and fresh soil. Make sure that the new pot also has a lot of drainage holes. Some people may choose the transparent plastic container so they can monitor and see the roots easily without having to disturb the entire plant.
This is a crucial part for this Philodendron Ginny. Pruning is done to remove any sick or affected parts. Not to mention that pruning can also be used to ‘control’ the size. If your plant suffers from leggy growth, pruning can also help. Keep in mind, though, that pruning up to 25% would be okay. But if you remove more than that, you risk hurting your plant instead.
The plant also requires training. After all, this Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a climber, meaning that it loves being attached or hang onto a solid support. If you want your plant to grow bigger and happier, providing a solid stakes or sturdy trellis would be important. The aerial roots would attach to the provided support along with the growth
If you want to propagate Philodendron Ginny, choose the healthy stem having a leaf node and aerial roots. If you can get a stem with several leaf nodes and aerial roots, it would be even better. You can choose to place the cutting to moistened potting mix or in water. But when you want to place the cutting, make sure that the lowest node is ‘buried’ under the surface (water or soil). That’s the place where roots will form and appear.
If you use the water, change it once in several days or when it begins to look murky. When the roots have grown to two inches, move the cutting to the potting mix. Leave it be for around a month. Then try to pull the plant lightly. If you can feel a resistance, it’s a good thing because it means that your roots have been formed. From that point on, you should treat it as the new plant. Resume the growing habit as usual.
Some of the most common ‘enemies’ of Philodendron Ginny include mealybugs and spider mites. Since they are tiny, spotting them can be difficult. Check the underside of the leaves. If you see webs, then you have spider mites infestation. Dealing with pests you can use neem oil, warm water and soap, and insecticidal soap. If the infestation isn’t too serious or severe, wiping the plant with soap and warm water would be enough.
Due to the content of calcium oxalate, this plant is toxic. Even touching it can lead to itch, burning sensation, and redness on the skin. Whenever you have to handle the plant, make sure that you use gloves. If you want to be even safer, wear protective gear. Never underestimate the plant. If you experience the signs of the toxin, get medical help immediately.
Is Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma rare?
Yes. The unique split leaf is the reason why this plant is likable. And the fact that the social media is being blasted by its presence is another reason why the demand exceeds the supply.
Is this Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma toxic for pets?
This ‘Philodendron Ginny’ is toxic for both humans and pets. Because it is still a part of the Araceae family, it also has calcium oxalate crystals within the sap. This sap can be responsible for many irritation and inflammation issue, especially to the skin and digestive tract. It can cause oral irritation, burning sensation, vomiting, drooling, upset stomach, difficulty swallowing, rash, and itch. It’s not advisable to keep the plant within easy reach of your pets and kids.
Monstera Deliciosa vs Philodendron Ginny
Both of them look similar, but they are basically from different species. Ginny is somewhat smaller while Deliciosa is way bigger. Ginny doesn’t form edible fruit and it also comes with smaller leaves.
Can you plant Ginny outdoor?
Yes, you can. This is a versatile plant where you can plant it indoor as well as outdoor. But if you grow one outdoor, make sure that it won’t be exposed to the frost or cold. If it’s cold, you need to take the plant inside.
How big can this plant grow?
In general, Philodendron Ginny can reach 6 feet in height. But it can actually grow up to 12 feet of height with 1.5 to 2 feet of width (or spread).
Will my plant climb up?
If you ‘train’ it. Your plant would climb if you provide a stake, trellis, or a pole as it grows. This is the best thing that you can do for them as a houseplant.
What does it mean if my plant is leggy?
It’s most likely that your plant doesn’t get enough sunlight. Try to expose your plant more to the sunlight. If possible, rotate it so every part would get the same sunlight exposure.
Although this plant is more like a Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma instead of Ginny, you have to admit that this plant is naturally gorgeous with super unique appearance. Mistakes may happen because of the names, but the plant itself is real. Whether it is known as Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma or Philodendron Ginny, make sure that you meet all of its needs so it can grow beautifully, strongly, and happily.