Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is a unique plant that might be a bit tricky to care for. It thrives in subtropical or tropical conditions without frost in nature.
But to grow it as a houseplant, you should ensure a hydrated environment, including moist soil, frequent watering, high humidity, warm temperature, and low light.
What is Rhaphidophora Cryptantha?
Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is an aroid vine native to the tropics. This type of plant grows so flatly and densely on the ground that it almost looks fake. It increases and modifies its appearance once supported, reaching a maximum length of roughly 6 feet.
The mature plant features dark-green leaves with lovely silver venation that encircles the lengthy meandering stems. In mild conditions, this New Guinea native thrives well indoors and outdoors.
This plant may be used to make various plant embellishments, including terrestrial pots, wall covers, a beautiful tree wrap, and terrariums.
In this video, Peggy shows you how she transfers her shingling Rhaphidophora Cryptantha from Leca to a cork mount, while also sharing care tips.
Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Care
These plants require a specific soil type that is rich, well-draining, and moist. You can use an aroid soil mix for indoor potting. Please keep in mind that your beautiful vine will not develop in damp, dry, muddy, or sandy soils.
In the summer, these plants prefer moist soil. Hence, you should water Rhaphidophora Cryptantha when the soil is at least 70% dry in the summer and at least 90% dry in the winter. The soil, on the other hand, should never be soggy from overwatering.
Besides, you should water the plant lightly at least 3 times a week during the warmer months of the growing season.
Using spray to water the plant’s body is a good idea. In the winter months, water spraying twice a month is sufficient to keep your rhaphidophora healthy.
This shingle plant prefers intense indirect light in the range between 70 and 85%. They can, however, survive low light conditions well, but you need to know that direct sunlight is detrimental to their fragile leaves.
Rhaphidophora Cryptantha can also flourish in artificial light. As a result, they make excellent indoor terrariums and decorations.
If you want to bring an indoor inhabitant outside, it is crucial that you gently acclimate it to the bright light.
These tropical plants thrive in humid conditions, which is excellent because you can simply control the indoor plant’s moisture level. You should consider spraying the plant frequently using a humidifier or a pebble-water tray on dry days.
Rhaphidophora prefers warm weather conditions and is sensitive to frost and cold. The ideal temperature range for indoor development is between 55 and 80°F.
Alternatively, you must relocate your outdoor plants to a warmer location as soon as the fall season starts.
Common Problems with Rhaphidophora Cryptantha
If Rhaphidophora Cryptantha doesn’t receive enough sunshine, this terrestrial plant might get a little lanky and produce an excess growth rate. In this case, give it some direct sunlight regularly.
Also, you should avoid overwatering, which can cause fungal aerial roots to rot. This problem results from fungi living in the soil, and it can be fatal to your plant.
Propagating Rhaphidophora Cryptantha
Step 1. Cut between 5 and 7 inches of this plant with a sharp knife. A minimum of 2 deeper roots should be present on the stem.
Step 2. Prepare some indoor growth medium with a lot of drainage and aeration.
Step 3. Dip the base of the stem in the prepared growth hormone. Add some big particles of fertilizer to the top of the growing medium as an alternative.
Step 4. One node should be in the middle, and the higher one should be outside when planting the cutting to support the stem.
Step 5. Fill the medium with water until it is completely saturated. If you’re using a dry growth medium such as coco-chips, you’ll need to water them frequently.
Top Tips for Growing a Healthy Rhaphidophora Cryptantha
The monthly use of liquid fertilizer is beneficial for healthy foliage during the ideal growing season. Hence, you must pay attention to these plants to take action when they lack nutrition.
A possible indicator of nutrient insufficiency is when the plant seems leggy and lacks leaf density. If you see these signs, you must provide your plants with additional nutrients through fertilizers.
Some experts claim that using slow-release fertilizers only 3 times a year yields decent results. You should place the fertilizer 7 inches away from the plant’s base.
Place Them In Bigger Pots
These plants need to be supported on a smooth surface most of the time. As a result, trees with flat bark are great for providing natural plant support.
You may use a coir pole, a plastic pole, or an ironbark at home. However, these do not look appealing. For your indoor Cryptantha plants, a metal or moss pole is a great choice.
In terms of container size, larger pots are preferable for these plants because they have a complex root system that requires adequate room to thrive. A bigger pot also allows Rhaphidophora Cryptantha to absorb the nutrients better.
In patios, this shingle plant grows best in zones 4b to 11. As a result, the plant will thrive in a colder climate. When it becomes chilly, however, you should bring them to a warmer location.
Since Rhaphidophora Cryptantha has a tropical nature, the USDA zones between 9a and 11 are most suitable for indoor growing.
Taking care of and propagating Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is not easy because there are many aspects to consider, but hard work pays off. Your plant will bloom, adding a green touch to your house and transforming it into a tropical paradise.