The Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant is a unique species many adore worldwide. Known for its condensed, dark green leaves with veins of silver, it is a popular plant in many households. Originating in tropical regions around the world, this plant enjoys an environment similar to the rain forests. With the right care and conditions, you can enjoy this plant in your space and watch it thrive!
Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Shingle Plant Overview
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha species, also known as the shingle plant, shingling, or shingle vine, originates in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Africa, and other regions such as Australia and New Zealand. Found in the Rhaphidophora genus and the family Araceae, these tropical plants require conditions that mimic their tropical origin.
Rhaphidophora cryptantha is distinctly recognized for stunning green leaves with veins of silver and has other remarkable relatives. Read on to learn more about these varieties of Rhaphidophora.
Rhaphidophora tetrasperma: Often referred to as the mini Monstera plant, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a popular house plant with dark green leaves with “swiss cheese” holes.
Rhaphidophora decursiva: Another popular houseplant, the Rhaphidophora decursiva sports long, irregular leaves resembling a palm when it reaches maturity.
Rhaphidophora hayi: This plant species has oval and leathery leaves that keep their shape over time and make a nice climbing plant for your space.
|Botanical Name||Rhaphidophora cryptantha|
|Origin||Tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Africa, Australia, and New Zealand|
|Sunlight||Bright indirect light|
|Watering||Water when soil is moist to dry; mist often|
|Soil||Moist but well-draining, high in organic matter concentration|
|Temperature||55 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Re-Potting||When root growth surpasses pot|
|Pests and Diseases||Caterpillars, grasshoppers|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Shingle Plant Care Guide
Ideal Growing Place
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant originates from tropical climates such as those found in Southeast Asia and Africa. Due to their nature, this species requires an environment with a proper temperature of 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit, watering frequency, and sunlight requirements.
If you keep the plant indoors, this plant will do well if requirements are met. If you choose to plant your shingle plant outdoors, check that your local environment meets temperature, watering, soil, and sunlight requirements. If your area gets cooler than recommended temperatures in fall and winter, bring your plant indoors until temperatures once again reach the acceptable range.
The shingle plant prefers moist soil at about 70% moisture level. It is recommended to water your Rhaphidophora cryptantha plant about 4-5 times per week during the warmer months and about 1-2 per week in the cooler months. This watering schedule goal is to maintain moist soil but not soggy to avoid root rot and other issues with the plant’s health. Misting your plant is a great way to provide additional moisture when needed.
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant is known for its beautiful green foliage, and it is important to protect those leaves from direct sunlight. This species thrives in bright indirect light to grow, usually in the 70-85% range. If growing indoors, the Rhaphidophora cryptantha will also fare well in artificial light.
As with most tropical plants, the temperature range must reflect its natural climate. Rhaphidophora cryptantha, similar to other tropical climbers, requires a temperature range of 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit to grow successfully.
A moist and well-draining soil does wonders for the Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant. Well-draining soil and a pot with good drainage holes prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged, which can cause root rot. Additionally, it is best practice to provide rich soil matter like humus or other organic matter to give your plant vital nutrients and support. Lastly, your shingle plant does best in soil with a pH range of 6.1-7.3, slightly acidic to neutral.
The rainforests in which this plant originates have a high humidity level. To keep your Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant happy, keep humidity levels around 80%. This can be easily achieved with a humidifier indoors and using a hand mister to manually offer more moisture.
If your Rhaphidophora cryptantha plant begins to show leggy leaves or loss of foliage density, this is a sign that your plant has some nutritional deficiency. Experts recommend you provide a liquid slow-release fertilizer to your plant around three times per year to provide essential nutrients. Be sure to administer the fertilizer around 7 inches from the base of your plant.
Also Read: The Best Organic Fertilizer for Your Garden
The Rhaphidophora shingle plant is a climber, meaning it vines on a vertical surface or horizontally, depending on how you choose to plant and support it. To prune your plant, start by identifying any brown or dead leaves to remove with sterilized shears or a sharp knife. If your vining plant has grown large, it is best to remove whole sections of your plant at once.
Potting and Re-potting
When your plant becomes root bound in its current pot, it is time to give it a new home. Another key sign that your plant has outgrown its current space is root growth popping out of the draining holes. To successfully repot your Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant, find a new pot about 10-20 inches wider than the current one, and provide a new potting mix that meets previously mentioned soil requirements. Then, place your shingle plant in its new home and water as needed.
If you are considering planting your Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant outdoors, check that your environment is within the range best suited for this species. This shingle plant grows best in the USDA Plant Hardiness Growth Zones 9a-11. This range encompasses the United States’ west coast and the southern border states.
Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems
While the Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant does not suffer from common pests like spider mites and mealy bugs, it is not completely resistant to insects. Caterpillars and Grasshoppers enjoy this plant as a nice treat. Common pesticides can take care of these pests for you.
On the bright side, this plant species is not susceptible to many diseases, adding to its low-maintenance appeal. To avoid other appearance issues, follow the Rhaphidophora cryptantha care recommendations for watering, soil, temperature, and humidity.
To propagate your Rhaphidophora cryptantha, the best method is to take stem cuttings of the plant. First, obtain sterilized shears or a sharp knife, and select a stem area with at least 1-2 root offshoots. Cut this stem area and place the cutting into fresh, well-draining soil. Be sure to place the newly cut plant piece in an area with bright indirect light, and water your soil to a moist level.
Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Shingle Plant Mature Timeline
Day 1-30: follow the propagation instructions above to obtain a fresh Rhaphidophora cryptantha cutting and place it in the proper moist soil with appropriate sunlight.
Day 30-75: In these weeks, especially weeks 3 and 4, the root system grows from the stem cutting. Additionally, the shoots will begin to form for your new plant. You can increase your water misting every other day to support this growth.
Day 75 and onward: After the initial growth weeks, your root and shoot systems are mature enough to begin caring for this plant as dictated in the care guide above.
Where to Buy Philodendron Cryptantha?
While well-known stores like Home Depot and Lowes have many plants available, these stores do not have Philodendron cryptantha. To find this species, online sites such as Etsy and those from nurseries/greenhouses around the country have this plant and can ship it to you.
Where Is the Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Found?
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha successfully grows in tropical climates and is naturally found in areas such as Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
What is the Life Cycle of the Rhaphidophora Cryptantha?
After propagating, your new plant will begin to grow. In its youth, the plant has a slender stem, smaller juvenile leaves, and will grow horizontally. As the plant begins to get older, it can continue horizontal growth as it can lie flat or begin to climb on a vertical surface such as a moss pole. As it grows and heads toward mature form, the stem thickens, leaf diameter increases, and the leaves will begin to overlap the stem.
Is the Shingle Vine Plant Rare?
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha is a rare plant that originates in tropical regions worldwide.
Is the Shingles Plant a Hoya?
The term shingles plant can refer to multiple plants in the Rhaphidophora genus, such as the Rhaphidophora cryptantha and the Rhaphidophora hoya.
What Kind of Tree Will My Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Grow On?
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha is quite selective about which vertical support it chooses to grow outdoors. This species prefers a smooth tree with no potentially harmful structures such as thorns or spiky bark.
Is the Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Plant Toxic?
Yes, the Rhaphidophora cryptantha is toxic to both humans and pets. Harmful side effects of ingesting the plant include contact dermatitis and swelling of the mouth.
What Are the Other Members of the Rhaphidophora Genus?
Other popular members of the Rhaphidophora genus include the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma, Rhaphidophora decursiva, and Rhaphidophora hayi.
Are Rhaphidophora Cryptantha Plants Difficult To Maintain?
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha plant is a low-maintenance plant, perfect for a novice or expert plant lover. This plant is not difficult to maintain because of its low susceptibility to disease and easy-to-follow care guide.
What Are Some Common Issues With the Rhaphidophora Cryptantha?
The Rhaphidophora cryptantha is not susceptible to disease or common pests like spider mites or mealy bugs. However, grasshoppers and caterpillars have been known to affect this species.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are an expert plant lover or a beginner just getting started, the Rhaphidophora cryptantha shingle plant is a beautiful species to care for. It is low maintenance and stunning to look at, making it the perfect addition to your indoor or outdoor space. By following the care guide, you will be sure to successfully grow this amazing species.