Rhaphidophora dragon tail, also known as “decursiva”, is a beautiful climbing aroid with bright green leaves. It will be a great addition to any houseplant collection. Rhaphidophora is easy to care for. Learn more now.
Rhaphidophora dragon tail care & propagation
Today I am back with another rhaphidophora tree! I’ve written rhaphidophora Tetrasperma and Rhaphiphora Hayi. These are my two most popular posts on plant care. Today I am adding rhaphidophora to the list.
This plant was available at a nursery close to my home during the 50% discount on houseplants. This plant cost me about $20. It’s already climbing and starting to fenestrate! Isn’t she gorgeous? The leaves are stunning in their final appearance.
Rhaphidophora dragon tail background & growth habits
Rhaphidophora dragon tail, also known as an Araceae plant, is an aroid. Rhaphidophora refers to the genus. It is not a monstera despite being called one. Monstera is a different species. You can find dragon tail in India, China, and Southeast Asia wild.
A mature plant will look very different from one in its youth. When the plant is young, its leaves are smaller and more pointed than mature. They also have an oval shape. The leaves will become more fenestrated as it matures. The mature leaves can grow to be more than 3 feet in length.
Its growth pattern is similar to its relatives, the Tetrasperma and the Hayi. Rhaphidophora can climb other surfaces, such as trees or trellises, using aerial roots that it sprouts from its stem.
Is rhaphidophora dragon tail rare?
Rhaphidophora dragon tail is a rare species. You won’t find it in big-box nurseries or small plant shops that sell more common plants. It is becoming more common in specialty nurseries. It has been seen in several nurseries around the area at different maturity levels and prices.
Rhaphidophora dragon tail lighting needs
Rhabidophora dragon tail thrives in indirect light, just like many houseplants. You can use supplemental grow lights to aid the plant if you don’t have a lot of light. Too much sun can burn the leaves.
Your dragon tail may be growing slower or producing smaller leaves. It probably needs more light. Bright indirect sunlight is important to encourage mature leaves as the plant grows and climbs.
You can take your rhaphidophora dragon tail outside in the spring or summer. Make sure it is in a sunny spot. You can allow some dappled sun, but not too much.
When the soil is dry, you can water your dragon tail. It is weekly in spring and summer and every 10-14 days in fall and winter. You might need to water your plant every few days if you keep it outside in extremely hot weather.
Your dragon tail should be watered thoroughly. Let the water run out through the drainage holes. I like to “shower” my plants repeatedly to remove dead leaves.
The leaves will be yellow if the soil is too dry and needs to be rehydrated too often. Root rot can also be seen as mushy roots and stems.
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Rhaphidophora care and choosing the right soil
The soil is an important part of watering houseplants. The soil can become too heavy and cause root damage. The soil might not be as light as it should be, and the roots may become dehydrated.
Light and well-aerated soil are the best for optimal dragon tail care. Although tropical plants may be able to tolerate over-the-counter houseplant soils, I prefer to add some nutrients to my soil. (See my soil 101 post for more information about soil additions.
Most pre-mixed soils for houseplants come with perlite, cocoa coir, fine moss, and other added ingredients. This is a good start. I also like to add a few more coco coir. You could add more chunky perlite.
These additives improve airflow in the soil, which is crucial for healthy root development. They aid in drainage and water retention.
Humidity & Temperature
They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and live in most homes. They are not frost or cold-hardy. Your potted dragon tail should be kept outside during the spring and summer. However, it should be brought inside at night when temperatures drop to the 50s.
Although the plant can withstand normal humidity levels, adding a little more humidity is best. You can place it in a sunny window or next to a humidifier.
You can also place your smaller plant in an Ikea greenhouse cabinet. However, these plants grow well in ideal conditions so they may outgrow the cabinet soon!
Rhaphidophora dragon tail repotting & growth
This plant is very fast when given the right conditions. You may need to repot it each year. It’s time for you to repot when the roots start to grow around the bottom of the pot or when they appear to pop out of the drainage holes.
To replenish nutrients, always repot with fresh soil. Choose a pot at least a few inches bigger than the one you are sizing. This will allow it to grow.
Your rhaphidophora will start trailing once it has reached the top. A moss pole, DIY Jute pole alternative or a Trellis can be used. Building a structure can also make your plant grow larger and more mature leaves.
How do you propagate rhaphidophora dragon tail
Using rhaphidophora to propagate rhaphidophora is very similar to using rhaphidophora Tetrasperma. They have very similar growth patterns, and their stems look quite similar.
You want to ensure that you have the best cutting possible. A stem should have at least one leaf and 1-2 nodes. Below is an example of what I mean by “node”. From here, the roots will grow.
Put the cutting in warm water. You can then monitor root growth by adding water to the water. Transfer the cutting to moist soil. You can also plant the cutting in the soil to encourage root growth.
If you want to propagate in soil, I recommend that the cutting be soaked in rooting hormone before use. You must ensure that the nodes are infused with rooting hormone!
I’ve also had a lot of success in LECA propagating rhaphidophora tetrasperma stems. LECA is great because it allows you to monitor root development and makes the roots stronger than water roots. They are less likely to be damaged when transplanted to soil. For more information, please read my complete post on LECA propagation.
Is rhaphidophora dragon tail toxic?
Yes, dragon tail (decursiva) can be toxic if it is ingested. According to the Queensland Government, all parts of this plant are poisonous. When the plant is chewed or eaten, it can cause a burning or tingling sensation and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat. This one is not recommended for pets or children.
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