Rhaphidophora (Shingle Plant) Indoor Types Care & Grow Guide

Amateur flower growers, wanting to green up the home interior, often breed exotic plants that are unlike those that we are used to seeing on the windowsills of apartments and offices. Some plants take root in our climate without much effort, others require care and attention. Today we will talk about a herbaceous, climbing, perennial plant that attracts flower lovers every day rhaphidophora, which has large and unusual leaves from the aroid family and has about 60 species. Despite such a large number of plant species, only two of them take root at home: decurrent rhaphidophora decursiva and rhaphidophora celatocaulis.

rhaphidophora shingle plant indoor types care grow guide

rhaphidophora large Leaf plant is not for everyone

rhaphidophora, as a home culture, is gaining popularity. Those who travel to the countries of Asia, Africa, Australia, India met in nature with this plant, which attracts attention with its appearance.

rhaphidophora, as one of the aroid family, translated from the Greek “rhaphido” means “needle” and “phora” – “bearing”, since the plants have small needles, the length of which does not exceed 1 cm. Being not the largest evergreen liana, in At home, the plant brings an unusual charm to the interior, creating a pleasant atmosphere.

Although rhaphidophora is an unpretentious plant, if you do not take care of it at home, the liana can grow to an impressive size – 4.5 m tall, which means that before you plant a culture, think about whether it suits you or not.

Australia, Africa, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and China are considered the birthplace of culture. Evergreen vines are found with needle-like formations in the form of thorns on the stems. The leaves are leathery, smooth and large, sometimes reaching 50 cm in diameter. The shape is oval, heart-shaped or in the form of feathers, often full of holes, have a cranked root slightly longer than the leaf. During the flowering period, a thick ear is formed in the form of a hemisphere, a cylinder that resembles a bedspread. The inflorescence is yellow, creamy, greenish in color, inside which you can see fruits resembling orange berries. In turn, the fruits are both male and female, at the top, as well as at the bottom of the cob, there are barren buds.

Stems are characterized by the following types:

  • rhaphidophora with climbing stems (such stems do not curl and do not bloom, they cling to any protrusion that is near the surface along the entire length, then there is already a possibility that the plant will bloom, as new stems appear on the surfaces);
  • other varieties that have two types of stem: flowering and clinging;
  • cultures in which all stems cling, and only lateral ones bloom.

Due to the different length of the internode, this type of vine is distinguished by its diverse branching, releasing aerial roots along with the leaves. But outwardly, in the interior, the plant does not look bulky, resembling a monsteria.

At home, per year, the plant increases by an average of 30-40 cm and rarely blooms. Growing such a vine is quite simple, the main thing is to follow the general rules, which we will discuss in more detail.

Types of rhaphidophora (shingle plant) for growing in rooms Indoor

Despite the huge number of varieties of rhaphidophora, which are constantly increasing, at home, as already mentioned, 2 types of vines are bred: descending and hidden stem.

Rhaphidophora decursiva

Rhaphidophora decursiva has a thickened green trunk with long internodes. Dark green, leathery leaves of broad oval shape reach 50-60 cm in length and 40 cm in width. If young leaves are oval-lanceolate, then adult shoots are heart-shaped. The petiole reaches 30–40 cm in length. It is found in tropical rainforests in Northeast India, Sri Lanka. Outwardly, it resembles a monster, and care for plants is the same. Grow in moderately warm rooms.

rhaphidophora celatocaulis

Another type of rhaphidophora celatocaulis is stalked (hidden-stem) – it has very short internodes. The shape of the leaves is oval, pointed or heart-shaped at the base, sometimes pinnate. Grow up to 30 cm long and 10-25 cm wide. This type is suitable for decorating walls. Care is similar to care for scindapsus with a temperature of 16 ° C to 25 ° C.

rhaphidophora indoor growing conditions

Despite the exotic origin, rhaphidophora are comfortable at home, the main thing is to choose good lighting, since a tropical plant loves light and cannot stand shade.

Lighting and placement

If there is a “living wall” (phytowall) in the interior of your apartment or country house, rhaphidophora will surely take pride of place in it, creating the effect of tropical thickets. If it is not possible to make such a wall, the plant may well occupy the home space on its own, placing it on the east or west side near the window to get diffused lighting. By setting a tropical crop in the shade, the foliage will lose its attractiveness and be crushed. In the summer, water the plant moderately, letting the soil dry out, and spray it regularly.

Temperature and ventilation

Since the plant is thermophilic and grows in the tropics, rhaphidophora tolerates heat well and does not like large temperature changes and drafts. The optimal temperature regime in the spring-summer period is 18-25°C, and in the autumn-winter temperature should not fall below 15°C. Therefore, at home, the liana feels comfortable. In summer, if conditions allow, the plants are taken out to fresh air to ventilate.

rhaphidophora indoor care

Caring for the Aroid family does not take much time, but it should be noted that plants need air humidity – about 60%, which will help to simulate natural growing conditions, as well as careful watering. In winter, do not keep rhaphidophora near heaters and radiators. In the summer, we spray the tropical pet 3 times a week, and preferably daily and wipe it with a damp cloth, which will contribute to optimal growth

Watering and humidity

Despite the tropical origin of rhaphidophora, it likes to consume a lot of moisture, but does not like abundant moisture, unlike other varieties of Aroids. In summer, 4-5 days should pass between waterings, and in winter, the regularity of watering is reduced with a break to 7-8 days. Before you decide to water your exotic pet, make sure the top soil is dry.

For irrigation, use running, settled water at room temperature. Do not forget that the creation of moisture around the vine is a prerequisite. Spray water should be from a spray bottle to avoid large drops on the plant. The best solution to increase the humidity in the air and create ideal conditions for the growth of rhaphidophora, install a humidifier, if available. Between watering and spraying, wipe the leaf blades with any damp cloth. In winter, keep the exotic flower away from central heating radiators and heaters, if this is not possible, cover the radiator with a damp towel, this will help prevent the liana from drying out.

To increase humidity, flower growers also recommend placing the plant pot in a tray with chopped moss or expanded clay, adding a small amount of water so that the bottom of the pot does not come into contact with it. To prevent the soil from becoming dense and breathing, loosen the top layer after watering. If you want to give the plant gloss and gloss, use a leaf polish, which, among other things, prevents dust from settling.

shingle plant Topdressing and fertilizer composition

With the advent of autumn, all plants, without exception, need to be fed. This also happens with the liana, in which the process of growth activation begins. To make the plant look healthy with bright saturated green flowers, complex mineral fertilizer compositions are used, which include magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, succinic acid. The main thing is that the fertilizer is suitable for decorative leafy plants (for example, “Uniflor growth”). It should be fed once every two weeks in the spring and autumn periods and once a month in the winter. It is more convenient to use a liquid fertilizer that dissolves in water and is applied at the next watering.

Trimming and shaping

Due to its structural features and large size, as well as in order to form a lush crown and a beautiful shape with the outlines of a bush, cutting and pinching of the shoots of the plant should be carried out in the spring. Do not be afraid to shorten the shoots by half their length, such pruning stimulates branching. If the vine has lost its external decorative appearance, perform a rejuvenating pruning, leaving at least 2-3 pairs of leaves.
When the rhaphidophora grows noticeably and becomes a heavy and large plant, use stable and strong structures for tying. In order not to harm the plant with a support, protect them with a decorative soft cover or moss.

Transplant and substrate

Depending on who, how quickly the vine grows and how quickly its root system filled the space, it is necessary to transplant into a larger pot in terms of volume and area. On average, a plant transplant occurs 1 time per year for a young rhaphidophora and 1 time in two to three years when the plant is an adult.

At the bottom of the new container (presence of holes is required), we lay drainage material, such as: pebbles, expanded clay, and fill in the soil, which should be light, loose and nutritious with an acidity content of pH 5.5 – 6.5. Alternatively, prepare the soil yourself. To do this, mix in equal parts sheet peat, soil humus, coniferous soil and coarse sand (1: 1: 1: 1). When watering the plant, the prepared soil will not become dense, but rather crumbly. After transplanting, let the plant take root in the new substrate, providing it with the necessary air humidification, humidity and lighting.

rhaphidophora (shingle plant) Diseases, pests and problems in Propagation

Like other indoor plants, rhaphidophora are susceptible to diseases that occur when conditions are violated, for example, the air becomes too dry. During this period, there is a high probability that a spider mite, aphid, scale insect or mealybug will choose a “tropical beauty”, which means they will harm a healthy and beautiful plant. To fight, clean the leaves with a soapy solution (based on 1 tablespoon of detergent or washing powder per 1-1.5 liters of water, or grated laundry soap dissolved in water), and also use insecticidal preparations.

Common problems in growing rhaphidophora:

  • wilting and yellowing of the leaves, which occurs due to lack of nutrients;
  • a decrease in the size of the leaves, including lengthening of the petioles, occurs if the plant stands in a dark place;
  • the formation of brown spots on the leaves means insufficient humidity in the room and direct sunlight on the plant;
  • the formation of a black edge on the leaves means that the room has a low temperature and very high dampness;
  • stem rotting occurs due to severe waterlogging of the soil.

rhaphidophora Propagation

At home, the liana is propagated by cuttings. We choose future cuttings necessarily with 2-3 leaf blades, or with an aerial root from the top of the shoots. We cut off the cuttings below the growth of the leaves at an angle so that the cut is oblique.

We fill the peas prepared in advance with a substrate mixed from peat and sand with the addition of ordinary soil, plant the stalk at a slight angle and cover with a glass jar or plastic wrap. In order for the stalk of the vine to take root, observe the temperature regime, which should not fall below 20 ° C, the optimum temperature is 23-27 ° C. Ventilate your new “tenant” regularly, removing accumulated condensate. If the soil is dry, carefully water it.

After 3-4 weeks, the roots will become stronger and we fearlessly plant the young rhaphidophora in separate pots with prepared soil.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on admin@houseplantspro.com and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴