Rhaphidophora Decursiva is one of the most sought-after varieties today. This is a scarce plant you won’t often find in nurseries or garden centers.

Even though the plant grows flowers, it is usually cultivated for the stunning foliage that changes in shape and size as the plant matures. This plant is easy to grow when you make sure it has the perfect conditions.

This guide gives the home gardener all the information necessary to ensure consistent Rhaphidophora Decursiva growth.

What is Rhaphidophora Decursiva?

Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a variety of Araceae found growing in the wild in China, India, and other Southeast Asia areas. The plant is known for its broad leaves that change shape as the plant matures. When juvenile, the leaves are blue-green and oval-shaped, but the leaves spread out and develop deep, alternating lobes as it matures. A fully mature plant may have leaves that are 40 inches long and 20 inches wide.

Rhaphidphora Decursiva will readily climb by developing air roots that attach to trees. In the wild, this plant can exceed 50 feet in height. As a houseplant, it usually remains much smaller at around five feet tall. This species does best in pots and containers indoors and can grow outdoors in warm areas with mild winters. It’s a hardy plant that is simple to take care of and makes a great, low-maintenance houseplant.

The flowers of the Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant develop from a stubby spadix that has a yellowish spathe covering. The spadix is covered in tiny yellow flowers, making it look a bit like an ear of corn.

Keep in mind that all species of this plant are known to be toxic when eaten. This isn’t a good choice if you have pets that chew on houseplants or children who may eat the leaves. Its unique name indicates that the plant is toxic. Rhaphidophora means needle bearing, While Decursiva refers to the downward pointing leaves.

How to Care for Rhaphidophora Decursiva

A Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant has specific care requirements. It’s a tropical plant and doesn’t handle cold weather well. These plants are happiest in normal room temperature conditions between 65 and 80 degrees. You will improve the Rhaphidophora Decursiva growth rate by making sure these plants have the optimal conditions.

– Soil Requirements

These tropical plants will grow best in a custom potting mixture. You can use commercial potting mixes that are light, airy, well-draining, and don’t compact. You can also make a mixture of equal parts peat moss, sphagnum moss, perlite, vermiculite, and coconut fiber. This mixture provides a rich growing medium that lets air get to the roots.

You can augment the soil using a slow-release fertilizer three times a year. Rhaphidophora Decursiva fertilizers should have reasonable amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen to improve foliage growth. You should provide fertilizer in the early spring, mid-summer, then at the end of summer. Don’t fertilize in fall or winter.

– Light Requirements

Selecting the correct location for your plant will ensure a faster Rhaphidophora Decursiva growth rate. These plants will grow slower in too bright or too dark conditions. You’ll have the most growth placing these plants in a south-facing window. Rhaphidophora Decursiva plants will grow slower in low-light conditions and won’t produce as large leaves.

Improve growth by using artificial lighting in the spring. You can use LED grow lights to help Rhaphidophora Decursiva get a head start on spring growth. Adding extra light will encourage the plant to grow larger leaves.

– Water Requirements

Correctly watering Rhaphidophora Decursiva lets it multiply. It must develop deep-running roots. You can encourage deep rooting by correctly watering your plant—water when the top two inches of soil are dry. You should add water slowly until the water runs from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.

Warmer conditions require more frequent watering, but most of the time, when grown inside, you will be watering Rhaphidophora Decursiva once per week in the summer and infrequently in the fall and winter.

– Humidity Requirements

These plants will grow best when they have plenty of humidity. You can lightly mist the leaves every few days to improve humidity. The best way to get the right humidity level is to place the pot on an evaporative tray of small pebbles and water. Don’t let the pot sit in water.

– Providing a Climbing Structure

To get the best growth from Rhaphidophora Decursiva plants, you’ll need to provide a structure for it to climb on. A simple wood pole covered in peat moss is ideal for this plant. It will readily climb, which increases the Rhaphidophora Decursiva growth rate. These plants will even climb walls when grown nearby.

Plant Propagation

Propagating Rhaphidophora Decursiva is relatively easy. You can propagate using stem cuttings made in the spring before new growth has begun. You will cut one of the climbing portions of the plant that has at least two aerial roots. Make a clean cut and immediately place the cutting in rooting hormone. Then, place the cutting in the well-moistened potting mixture that’s ideal for growing Rhaphidophora Decursiva plants. Roots will form in about one month.

Another way to propagate these plants is to wrap the stem portion showing roots in paper towels. Keep the towels damp, and the roots will grow into the paper. Then you can cut the stem and plant it.

Problems

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva is generally a healthy plant that has few common pests and problems. Sometimes, you may encounter some issues that you will want to attend to at once. Learning to spot the signs of problems will help you avoid them in the future.

  • Yellow leaves – The most common cause of yellowing leaves is overwatering Rhaphidophora Decursiva. Make sure the soil dries somewhat between watering. If the soil doesn’t drain well, consider repotting the plant into better draining soil.
  • Bleached, brown leaves – This is a sign of a plant that is getting too much sun. Moving the plant into a better location will prevent further damage, but the damaged leaf won’t recover.
  • Soft, mushy stems – This is a sign of root rot. Overwatering and poor-draining soil are responsible for causing root rot. You may be able to trim rotted roots from your plant, but it might be a good idea to make a cutting to save the plant.
  • Small leaves – If your plant suddenly grows small leaves, it indicates that your plant needs to be repotted.

Common Pests

These plants are typically free of pests. The best thing you can do is avoid overwatering your Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant because that encourages destructive pests. Common pests you may find include mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Reducing watering will help prevent pest infestation. You can use neem oil, alcohol, or commercial insecticides to eliminate these pests.

It’s a good idea to clean the leaves of your Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant periodically. The best way to do this is to wipe the surfaces of the leaves with a damp towel. It isn’t usually a good idea to shower the leaves, but if you choose to do so, make sure the plant is in a place where the water will quickly evaporate.

When to Repot a Rhaphidophora Decursiva

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant will need periodic repotting. You will need to repot Rhaphidophora Decursiva every one to two years. Choose a pot that is two to three inches larger than the old pot. For these plants to get big, they need plenty of room for a deep-running taproot. Make sure that you repot Rhaphidophora Decursiva in an appropriate, well-draining potting mixture.

Conclusion

  • Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a very rare tropical plant that is popular as a houseplant.
  • It originates from tropical regions of Southeast Asia.
  • Rhaphidophora Decursiva is typically grown for its interesting foliage rather than for its flower.
  • These plants need a fast-draining potting mix that allows air to get to the roots.
  • They prefer to have bright, indirect light and average room temperatures.
  • Watering should wait until the top of the potting mix is dry to the touch, then the plant should get enough water to run freely from the draining holes.
  • A climbing pole will encourage a fast growth rate.
  • A stem cutting or wrapping method will produce new plants.
  • The plant’s common problems can be addressed before the plant dies by knowing what causes the problem.
  • Pests are uncommon and typically easy to treat.
  • Repotting should be done every one to two years to encourage growth.

The Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant is easy to grow once well established. It makes for a great-looking, tropical plant that stands out among other types of indoor plants for its large leaves and climbing growth habit. The deep green deeply lobed leaves will grow larger as it matures. This is a fun plant to grow that has few problems and is very rare.

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