Rhapidophora decursiva is a rare epiphyte gaining popularity all over for its pinnate lobed leaves.
Let me guide you toward how you keep these tropical gifts vibrant for many years.
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Rhaphidophora decursiva natively ranges from the Indian Subcontinent to Southern China.
Let’s look at a brief overview of the favorite piece of décor of many households:
|Creeping Philodendron, Mini Monstera
|Indian subcontinent and China
|11 to 12
|5-8 feet in indoor
|Dark green, pointed tip and oval body
|Small flowers with yellow spathe
|Summer and spring
|Mild toxic to human and pets
Rhaphidophora Decursiva: Best Care Hack
1. Sunlight & Temperature
Decursiva adores 6-8 hours of bright dappled light with temperatures ranging from 60-70°F.
A drop in temperature below 50°F causes frost injuries to the plant. Also, harsh sunlight scorches the leaves of the dragon tail.
Likewise, low-light conditions slow down leaf development and ultimately cease plant growth.
Moving the plant near an east-facing window or using a grow light helps maintain optimum warmth and light condition.
You can have a delightful experience raising a Rhapidophora if you live anywhere from zone 10 to 12.
2. Water & Humidity
Rhapidopera decursiva is a vining tropical plant that thrives in relatively high-humid conditions demanding weekly watering.
Lightly mist the plant with distilled or rainwater, or simply group it with other house plants for enough moist air.
Also, water the plant deeply and thoroughly only once the top half of the soil is dry. You can use a hygrometer or a chopstick to check the soil’s dryness before watering.
Bottom watering could be a perfect way to water decursiva.
Further, reducing the watering frequency to every 10-14 days during the colder months is essential when the plants are less active.
3. Soil & Fertilizer
Dragon tails attain fuller growth in a well-draining nutrient-rich medium, similar to Rhapidophora pertusa.
While overfeeding triggers salt buildup triggering the root burn, your plant might be wilting and droopy due to a lack of nutrients in the soil.
For that, use some all-purpose fertilizer or a 20-20-20 fertilizer once every month, diluted to its 1/4 strength.
However, it would be best to avoid fertilizing the plants, for winter is the plant’s sleeping phase.
4. Potting & Repotting
As a vigorous grower, Decurciva requires annual repotting in a 2-3 inch larger pot.
Repotting allows the roots to have enough space for airflow and growth.
In addition, it might be a signal for a bigger home if the water quickly runs out from the bottom of the pot and the leaves appear discolored and gloomy.
While repotting, use a terracotta pot with a few drain holes, or drill the hole on your own to prevent roots from going soggy.
Pruning in Rhapidophora is essentially done to make it aesthetically appealing when it has outgrown your space.
Trimming of the leggy stem growth allows room for new luscious growth, discouraging the spread of infections.
That said, excessive pruning of the plant (over 25% ) will stress the plant.
Instead, trim a few leaves in a day until all the deformed parts are removed.
Propagating Rhaphidoptera Decursiva
The most effective way to propagate Rhapidoptera Decursiva is via stem cutting and air layering.
You might find some seed propagation methods online, but trust me, it takes ages for your seed to turn into a full-fledged plant.
The perfect time to jump into propagation would be spring and summer.
1. Air Layering
Producing a new plant from the stem still intact to the mother plant is called air layering.
- Select a healthy stem and make a small cut using a garden knife in the middle.
- Keep the wound open by using a toothpick.
- Wrap the wound with moist sphagnum moss as a substrate to initiate rooting.
- Use plant twine or ties to secure the layered portion and cover it with a plastic bag.
It might take a few weeks to a month for new growth and roots to appear.
You can transplant the rooted portion into a new pot or container, separating it from the mother plant.
2. Stem Cutting
To propagate your plants, stem cutting is the easiest method.
To start, you will need a garden shear, rooting hormones, and some potting mix.
- Identify a healthy stem with multiple leaves, nodes, and vibrant colors.
- Cut 2-3″ of the stem, preferably with aerial roots. Make sure the cutting has at least two nodes.
- Fill a jar with water, add a few drops of rooting hormone and place the cutting.
- Make sure to change the water once every week to avoid root rot.
- Or, simply plant the cutting into a fresh potting mix.
- Rooting shall begin in about 4-5 weeks.
When directly planting the cutting in soil, regularly mist the potting soil.
Transplant the cutting once the root is firm and the plant is 3-4 inches tall.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva: All About Growth
Rhaphidophora is a fast-growing plant depending mainly upon the environment you provide them.
This robust plant could easily reach up to 40 feet in its natural habitat, with each leaf 40 inches long and 20 inches wide.
And the oval, disk-like shaped green colored leaves contain asymmetrical 9-15 lobes that extend up to 6 inches, resembling a dragon’s tail.
You might have a rare view of flowers in thick spadix covered in the yellow spathe, up to 3.5 cm, during spring and fall.
Pro tips: Rotate the plant once every 20 days for balanced and uniform growth.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva : Plant on sale
These mini monsters like plants, are considered shop favorites and are touted as rare.
It is not available often, and when it is, it gets out of stock too soon.
Here are some genuine sellers to get your plant on your doorstep.
|Brumley & Bloom
Toxicity of Rhaphidophora decursiva
According to Queensland Government, each and every part of Rhaphidophora decursiva are poisonous as they contain calcium oxalate crystals.
Following this, your pet might have a puffier look due to irritation, burning of the mouth, and swelling of the lips.
While in humans, the poisoning has other distinct symptoms like painful urination, numbness of the tongue, and dizziness.
It is always recommended to contact the vet nearby or the hotlines below if your pet or kid mistakes the plant for food.
Despite the risk, if you long for the plant, keeping them away from the reach of your pets and kids could help.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva vs. Philodendron dragon tail
Rhaphidophora Decursiva is often mistaken for Epipremnum Pinnatum due to the ‘dragon tails’ in their names.
Although both belong to the same family, ‘Araceae,’ they differ in appearance, size, and genus.
|Philodendron dragon tail
|Leaf size and appearance
|40 inch long deeply lobed leaf
|12-20 inch long arrow shape leaf
|Summer and spring
|Only in summer
|Fast growing plant with maximum size up to 5 feet
|Fast growing with max height up to 3.5-4 feet.
|Its expensive than Philodendron dragon tail
|Its cheaper than Rhaphidophora Decursiva
Rhaphidophora Decursiva is a rare tropical beauty that could satisfy your rage of having a fenestrated leaves houseplant.
Make sure to regularly wipe or clean the leaves to avoid dust buildup so that you flaunt the plant as interior decor.