Monstera - Mini Ginny Philodendron
Monstera - Mini Ginny Philodendron
Monstera - Mini Ginny Philodendron
Monstera - Mini Ginny Philodendron

Monstera - Mini Ginny Philodendron

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Ginny “Mini Monstera” Philodendron (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’)

Plant names can be deceiving. For example, we know for a fact that Spaghetti Strap Agave tastes nothing like spaghetti (incidentally, do NOT eat Spaghetti Strap Agave). Similarly, botanists swear this plant, the lovely Ginny “Mini Monstera” Philodendron, really is named Ginny—but you know what it’s not? A monstera. Or a philodendron. It may look a bit like both, but it’s a cousin, not a sibling.

Fortunately, there’s another thing Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’ (that’s its real name) definitely is: gorgeous.

Seriously, this formerly rare beauty exploded onto the houseplant scene in 2020, becoming one of the year’s most in-demand plants, and it’s not even a little bit surprising why. One look at those wide, emerald green leaves with their interesting (and admittedly monstera-like) holes and fissures—actually called “fenestrations” by those same botanists we consulted earlier—and you’ll fall instantly in love with Ginny.

In their native Southern Thailand and Malaysia, “mini monsteras” are born climbers, anchored by aerial roots and able to clamber up tree trunks to heights of 12 feet or more. In the home environment, they display a more compact growth habit and are easy to keep to a manageable size by pinching off or pruning. That said, they still live their best lives (with the biggest, most fenestrated leaves) when given the opportunity to grow their way up a trellis, moss pole, wire frame, or other structure.   

The best part is, Ginny “Philodendrons” are as easy to care for as they are easy on the eyes. Just give them medium to bright indirect light, let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings, and add a little fertilizer during the growing season and they’ll thrive, growing fast and making any room feel more vibrant, exotic, and alive.

Characteristics and traits of a Ginny “Mini Monstera” Philodendron (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’)

  • Scientific Name: Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’
  • Genus: Rhaphidophora
  • Family: Araceae
  • Common Name: Dwarf Monstera, Ginny Philodendron, Mini Monstera, Monstera Minima, Mini Split-Leaf Philodendron
  • Indoor: All year round as long as temperatures are 65F or above
  • Outdoor Zones: 9b-12, but should come indoors in 9b-10 when cold. Best in 11.
  • Type: Perennial; Easy to propogate
  • Mature Height: 2-12’ (but easily prunable)
  • Mature Width: 3’
  • Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Flower: Yes, but rare — single off-white spathe similar to the bloom of a spathiphyllum peace lily.
  • Foliage: Wide, rounded spade-shaped leaves of emerald green. As leaves mature, they “fenestrate”, with holes and splits that greatly resemble those of a monstera (but smaller).

Plant Care and Advice for Ginny “Mini Monstera” Philodendron (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’)

  • Grown In: Inside: all zones year round, Outside: 9b-12 but bring indoors in 9b-10 when temperatures drop.
  • Light Requirements: Bright indirect to medium-low. Dappled sunlight is best outdoors, east or north-facing windows best indoors, but medium and/or fluorescent light is almost as good.
  • Water Requirements: Likes moist, not soggy. More during spring/summer.
  • Drought Tolerance: Average
  • Temperature: Likes indoor temps around 68-80F.
  • Air Purification: Good
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats, dogs, and other household pets. Contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause symptoms including drooling, vomiting, oral irritation, burning, and difficulty swallowing.
  • Fertilizer: General liquid fertilizer at ½ strength every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. Alternately, a slow-release fertilizer once, at the start of the growing season.
  • Container Friendly: Yes - but requires good drainage
  • Planting: A fast grower, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’ can be repotted once a year, sometimes even twice. While there are many differing opinions on exactly what soil mixture is best for this plant—everything from cactus soil to orchid mix with activated charcoal to peat moss mixed with perlite and pine bark—they all have one thing in common: They’re all light, aerated soils that hold water, but drain well and don’t get soggy. As a quick grower, mini monsteras appreciate a bit of nutrient richness, but they are also very susceptible to root rot, so drainage is job #1. Once the planting medium is chosen, the repotting procedure is the same as for any other plant, with no need for special considerations.
  • Plant Care: Native to the hot, humid jungles of Southern Thailand and Malaysia, Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’ loves three things: bright-but-indirect (dappled) light, medium-rich soil that drains well, and humidity. Outdoors, dappled shade is ideal. Indoors, the plant will do best when placed near an east facing or north-facing window, where it soaks up bright indirect light. However, if that spot isn’t available, Ginnys can also do quite well in any reasonably lit room (fluorescent lights count, too) or even medium shade—the trade off of less light being that the leaves will be smaller and less fenestrated and the vines may be “leggier” and require more frequent pruning. As mentioned above, the precise composition of its soil isn’t critical, but drainage is a must to avoid fungal root-rot. Watering is easy: Give it a good drink, let it drain, and then wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again. Finally, Ginnys do best when given a little more humidity than the average room provides. Misting is recommended, as is resting the plant’s pot on a wider tray filled with pebbles and water. If the plant does start to outgrow itself, it can easily be pruned back down to size. Just remember the “do” and the “don’t”: DON’T remove more than 25% of the plant at once (you could compromise the plant’s health), but DO save the cuttings and root them to make more Ginnys (see below).
  • Expert Advice: The leaves of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma var ‘Ginny’ aren’t just super cool to look at, they’re also a treasure trove of clues as to what the plant might need to thrive. For example, small leaves that lack fenestrations (holes and fissures) are likely a sign that the plant would like more light. On the other hand, if the plant is getting too much direct sunlight, you’re likely to see yellow, chlorotic leaves or leaves with black or brown spots. Small webs on the leaf undersides are a sure indication of spider mites (treat with neem), and overly curled leaves are a sign of either too little humidity or too much fertilizer (flush every 4 months to remove accumulated mineral salts). Propagation of Ginny Philodendrons is fairly simple. Cut the stem in such a way that it has at least one leaf on one end and at least one leaf node on the other end. Insert the cutting with the leaf up and the node down below the surface in sphagnum moss, perlite, vermiculite, or just plain water. Keep it moist, but not soggy, and new roots should form at the node within 2-3 weeks and can be repotted once they reach an inch or two in length (when in water) or offer a bit of resistance when lightly tugged (in soil).

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Winter Shipping

  1. Do you ship all year long? Yes! In the cold Winter and hot Summer months we check each order destination to be sure the temperature is safe to ship your live plant. When the temperature borders on the "too cold" to ship side, we may choose to ship your plants with a heat pack at no extra charge. If the temperature is still "too cold" to ship, we will hold your order in the warmth of our greenhouses until we can find a safe window of shipping weather and you will be notified via email.

  2. Do you ship with heat packs? No need to request one. We will check the weather in your area and add one if the temperature is below safe shipping levels.

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  4. What do I do if my plants are damaged by the cold? Please take good photos of the box, packing materials and the plants and send them to: Happiness@TropicalPlants.com.