Rhaphidophora Decursiva: The Care Guide!

If you are looking for a unique and eye-catching houseplant that will make your home feel like a tropical paradise, look no further than Rhaphidophora decursiva. This plant, also known as the dragon tail plant, has large, glossy leaves that develop dramatic splits and holes as they grow, resembling the scales of a mythical creature.

This plant is not only beautiful, but, also easy to care for, as long as you provide it with the right conditions and some basic maintenance. In this blog post, we will show you everything you need to know about dragon tail plant care, from watering and fertilizing to pruning and propagating. You will also learn how to identify and solve some common problems that may affect your plant.

By the end of this guide, you will be ready to welcome this stunning plant into your home and enjoy its exotic charm. 🌿

Essential Care Tips for Rhaphidophora Decursiva

Rhaphidophora decursiva is a stunning tropical plant that belongs to the Araceae family, along with other popular houseplants such as Philodendron and Monstera. It is also known as the dragon tail plant, because of its large, dark green leaves that develop deep lobes as they mature, resembling the scales of a dragon.

light is essential care tip for rhaphidophora decursiva

To take care of this rare beautiful plant, we have jotted down the essential care tips below, which will help you take care of your dragon tail plant correctly. Let’s get started.

1. Light

Light is an essential care tip for your dragon tail plant. To mimic its natural habitat, they need bright, indirect light for at least 6 to 7 hours a day. Too much direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, while too little light can stunt its growth and reduce its fenestration. Therefore, it is best to place your Rhaphidophora decursiva dragon tail plant near an east or west-facing window, where it can receive filtered or diffused light.

Furthermore, you can also use a sheer curtain or a shade cloth to protect your plant from harsh sun rays. Alternatively, you can use a grow light to supplement the natural light. Especially during the winter months when the days are shorter.

2. Soil

A good option is to use a peat-based mix with perlite, bark, or coco coir to improve drainage and aeration. The ideal soil pH for Rhaphidophora plant is between 5 and 6, which is slightly acidic. Plus, you can use a pH meter to check the acidity of your soil and adjust it accordingly with lime or sulfur.

rhaphidophora decursiva soil mix

3. Water Requirement for Rhaphidophora Decursiva

The best way to water this plant is to use the soak-and-dry method. It involves soaking the soil thoroughly until water drains out of the bottom of the pot, and, then, letting it dry out slightly before watering again. The frequency of watering may vary depending on the season, the size of the pot, the type of soil, and the humidity level.

A good way to check the moisture level of the soil is to insert your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it is time to water. If it feels moist, you can wait a little longer. Generally, you will need to water your Rhaphidophora Decursiva once or twice a week, but, adjust the schedule according to your plant’s needs.

4. Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and humidity are essential factors for the care of this tropical plant. It thrives well in average to warm temperatures between 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C), and does not tolerate frost or extreme heat. We recommend you keep your plant away from drafts, heaters, or air conditioners that can cause sudden temperature fluctuations.

On the other hand, humidity is also important for this plant, as it mimics its natural environment in Southeast Asia. A little extra moisture in the air will help Rhaphidophora Decursiva grow, even if your home has average humidity. Plus, you can increase the humidity around your plant by misting the leaves regularly or using a humidifier.

5. Fertilizer

Regular fertilization during the spring and summer months is beneficial for your decursiva plant, especially when it is actively growing. You can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during watering for best results. Alternatively, you can use an organic fertilizer with high nitrogen concentrations. These products can enhance the growth and health of your plant by providing essential nutrients and minerals.

Note: Avoid fertilizing in the winter seasons, as it goes dormant during this period and does not need extra feeding.

Steps to Propagate Rhaphidophora Decursiva

Propagating this plant is easy and fun, and there are several methods you can try. One of the most common and effective ways is to use stem cuttings. To do this, you will need a sharp and clean knife, a pot with well-draining soil, and a plastic bag.

Here, we have jotted down step-by-step information that will help you to execute the propagation method correctly.

  • First, cut a healthy stem from the mother plant, and make sure it has at least one node and a few leaves.
  • Next, remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in some rooting hormone.
  • Then, plant the cutting in the soil, water it well, and cover it with a plastic bag to create a humid environment.
  • Finally, place the pot in a bright and warm spot, but avoid direct sunlight. Now, you need to check the soil moisture regularly and mist the cutting if needed. In a few weeks, you will notice new roots and growth.
raphidophora decursiva propagation

Congratulations, you have successfully propagated your Rhaphidophora Decursiva!

Common Problems With Rhaphidophora Decursiva

1. Yellow Leaves

One of the most common problems with Rhaphidophora decursiva is yellow leaves. This can indicate that the plant is stressed or unhappy with its growing conditions. There are several possible causes of yellow leaves, such as overwatering, low humidity, improper light, or pests.

To prevent or fix this issue, you need to check the soil moisture, humidity level, light exposure, and signs of infestation on your plant. You could adjust the watering frequency, mist the leaves, move the plant to a brighter spot, or treat pests accordingly.

Note: Some yellowing is natural if the plant is pushing out new growth. But, if the yellow leaves are widespread or affecting the new leaves, then you need to take action.

2. Slow Growth

This plant is known for growing quite quickly when it is happy, so slow growth is usually a sign that something is not right. The main factors that affect the growth rate of this plant are pot size, soil, light, and fertilizer. If the pot is too small, the roots may be constrained and the plant may produce smaller leaves.

slow growth

On the other hand, if the soil is too compacted, the roots may not receive enough oxygen and nutrients. But, if the light is too low, the plant may not photosynthesize enough to support its growth.

Note: So, to encourage faster growth, you need to repot the plant in a larger pot with a well-draining soil mix. Then place it in a bright spot with indirect light, and feed it with a balanced fertilizer every month during the growing season.

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Can Rhaphidophora Decursiva Grow From Seed?

The short answer is yes, but it is not very easy or common. Rhaphidophora decursiva seeds are rarely available in the market, and they have a low germination rate. Moreover, they may take a long time to sprout and grow into mature plants with fenestration. Therefore, most plant lovers prefer to propagate this plant through stem cuttings or air layering, which are faster and more reliable methods. However, if you want to try growing Rhaphidophora from seed, you will need to provide the seeds with warm, moist, and sterile conditions.

We recommend you be patient in caring for them.


Is Rhaphidophora decursiva a climber or crawler?

Rhaphidophora decursiva is a climber that can grow up to 40 feet in its natural habitat. Attaching itself to tree trunks with its aerial roots. As a houseplant, it can grow up to 5 feet and will need a support structure such as a trellis or a moss pole to climb on.

Does Rhaphidophora decursiva need a moss pole?

A moss pole is a good option, as it mimics its natural environment. It also provides moisture and nutrients to the roots. However, you can also use other types of support. Such as a wooden stake, a bamboo stick, or a metal grid. The important thing is to secure the plant to the support with a soft material such as twine or velcro.

Is Rhaphidophora decursiva fast growing?

Yes, Rhaphidophora decursiva is a fast-growing plant that can produce new leaves every week or two. It depends on the growing conditions. To encourage its growth, you should provide it with bright indirect light, high humidity, and well-draining soil.

Is Rhaphidophora decursiva rare?

This plant is not a very common houseplant, but it is not extremely rare either. It is becoming more popular among plant enthusiasts who appreciate its unique foliage and climbing habit.

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