Climbing plants secure their position and admiration equally well for both indoor and outdoor plantations. Let us introduce another climber, the Rhaphidophora decursiva plant. This Himalayan native flowering Aroid can grow gigantically tall outdoors. The bluish-green and ovate juvenile leaves grow to become deep-green and deeply lobed on maturity. Moreover, with appropriate space and moisture, these leaves can get as large as 40 inches in length.
This fringed foliage makes the plant look like a giant climbing Fern. Amazed? You can easily get one for your home or garden. These are pretty perfect for plantation in pots, containers, and open land with mild temperatures. Besides, you don’t need to be an expert with a green thumb to grow these plants. Sounds cool, eh? Let us know more about the care and propagation of the large epiphytic climber, the Decursiva Plant.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva Classification
Species: R. decursiva.
Rhaphidophora is a genus comprising about 100 evergreen flowering climbers. They belong to the tropical areas of Africa, Australia, Malaysia, and the West Pacific. These are cultivated and hybridized on large scale to form a variety of new plants. This genus has scored good points in both indoor and outdoor plantations. Also, some of these are used in chemical production.
The term ‘rhaphidophora’ comes from a Greek word which is a combination of two. ‘Rhapis’ stands for ‘needle’ and ‘phoreus’ means ‘bearer’. This refers to the calcium oxalate crystals in Aroids making them toxic. The term ‘decursiva’ means ‘downwards’. Also, it refers to the specific hanging growth pattern of the leaves.
The popular Synonyms of the plant are;
- Monstera decursiva.
- Pothos decursiva.
- Philodendron decursiva.
- Rhaphidophora affinis.
- Rhaphidophora insignis.
- Scindapsus decursiva.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva Plant Features
Structure and Height:
- The height of the plants is highly affected by growing space and conditions. In suitable conditions and outdoor environment, it may get taller than about 50 feet. However, the indoor peeps remain around 5 feet on maturity.
- In the outdoors and wild, these plants grow around some large tree or a wall. The aerial roots help them to get attached and climb other their host or support. Howbeit, the indoor climbers need you to provide them with support in their pot.
- Dark-green shiny leaves with deep fringes grow in an alternate pattern on the dangling branches.
- Each leaf may get about 40 inches long and 20 inches wide.
- In the beautiful days of spring and summer, you may see the plant in bloom.
- An erect spadix covered by a boat-shaped spathe forms the inflorescence. Moreover, various tiny flowers grow on the spadix in the bloom season.
All the members of the genus are toxic to both humans and animals. Make sure to keep your kids and pets away from the plant.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva Care
Just like most of the siblings, this one is too an easy-to-grow plant. Just like most of the siblings
Water: Average. (Soak the soil and wait for the upper layer to dry out before next watering).
Sunlight: Bright indirect light.
Fertilizer: Moderately, in the growing season.
The key to watering the Rhaphidophora decursiva plant is to water thoroughly letting the excess drain out from the bottom. Wait for the upper two inches of the soil to dry out before the next watering. The tall outdoor plants are deeply rooted. So, they can absorb water from the ground and survive without your frequent help. However, you need to be careful about the indoor peeps.
About twice a week is usually enough on the warm days. While once in every two weeks suffices the dormant plant in fall and winter. Just like all the Rhaphidophoras, wet and mucky soil is a big no-no. So, avoid over-watering.
Bright indirect light is ideal for these plants. They can tolerate occasional direct exposure. However, long hours of fierce sun are not bearable by the delicate foliage.
An ideal temperature range for these is 55 to 80 °F. They generally love to stay warm. Moreover, they have poor tolerance for freezing temperatures. People of regions with winter getting colder than 50 °F need to bring them indoors for fall and winter.
Organically rich and well-drained soils and growing mixtures go well with these plants. The roots are prone to rot and fungus, so the soil should drain quickly to avoid mulching.
High humidity shows good results for the health and appearance of the foliage. Besides, they can easily survive in the average humidity level of the growing zone.
You can mist the indoor peeps, rarely though. Moreover, make sure the foliage does not stay wet for long.
Additional nutrition makes these large leaves look good. You can utilize a typical houseplant fertilizer once every month in spring and summer. As the temperature falls, the nutritional requirements minimize to an extent. So, avoid adding any fertilizer in fall and winter.
The fertilizer should always be added at a distance of about 7 inches away from the stem. Moreover, always use a good quality fertilizer to avoid the salt formation of low-grade products.
Inadequate nutrition is the first reason for the leggy and weak plant. Add some ‘food’ to get the plant in good health.
The roots of these Rhaphidophora plants like to spread deep in the soil. So, spacious pots with drainage holes at the base are best. Moreover, these climbers need support to climb upon. Use a sphagnum moss pole inside the pot to support your shingle plant.
These plants don’t need pruning in particular. However, you can cut the older and damaged leaves. This will enhance the health and appearance of the plant.
These plants don’t like to stay root-bound. So, make sure you repot in a larger pot as soon as you observe the root ball getting thick. Once in a year or two is a nice frequency to opt for a larger pot.
In patios, they are good to grow in a range of USDA growth zones starting from 4a to 11. On the other hand, these peeps are hardy for outdoor growth only in zones 9a to 11.
Rhaphidophora Decursiva Propagation
Common methods to propagate a R.decursiva are;
Propagation by Stem-cutting
The Rhaphidophoras creep up on their supports by aerial roots. These small roots are grown all over the stems and branches at a distance of about 2 to 3 inches. The middle of the spring proves to be an ideal time to plant some cuttings. Howbeit, you can try up till the middle of the summer as well.
- Cut a few pieces from the stem of a healthy plant. Each cutting should be around 8 inches with at least 2 aerial roots. Remove the leaves from the lower side keeping a few at the upper end.
- Dip the lower end in growth hormone and shed off the excess. You can skip this step if the product is not available at that time.
- Plant the cutting about 4 inches deep in moist, well-draining, and chunky soil. Make sure you keep at least 2 aerial roots under the soil to accelerate the growth.
- Now, place the setup in a warm and humid place with indirect light of medium intensity. Keep misting the soil after the upper layer gets partially dry.
- Root development starts in 4 weeks. This will be led by the development of new shoots after six to eight weeks.
- Finally, after 3 months, you will get a Decursiva plantlet. Enjoy the growth and let it flourish with your love and care.
You can root the cuttings in water as well. Just dip the cuttings in filtered water and you will see the development after a month. Once a small rooting system is developed, you can plant it at your desirable place.
The Rhaphidophora decursiva is a giant climbing aroid. In outdoor open spaces, it may get as tall as 50 feet, while remaining about 5 feet tall indoors. The bluish-green ovate leaves in their juvenile form grow to become large, green pinnafied ones. Suitable for both outdoor and indoor plantation, these are low-maintenance plants. Bright indirect light and thorough watering after the upper soil get partially dry is what they need. You can grow them in pots, containers, and open yards in moderate climates. Enjoy the beauty but don’t forget their toxicity. Kids and pets should not be allowed to mingle with the Decursiva Plant.