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Rhaphidophora Cryptantha

DATE:April 03, 2019BY:Joanne Howski

Cryptantha are meandering and shingling aroids that can be grown as  houseplants, or outdoors in sub tropical climates with no frost. They thrive in moist soils with good humous or organic matter, that is mixed with equal amounts of  fine bark potting mix and coir potting mix to assist with drainage.

These plants do best when they are trained to grow upwards along a iron bark totem, coir totem or smooth tree trunk, such as a palm tree. Unless allowed to grow upward and shingle, the leaves and indeed the plant will remain very small and fail to thrive. For this reason, training the leaves to grow vertically are a must for success. At maturity, when growing up a totem, leaves reach 1 to 2 inches in diameter and are spectacular. 

Ideally they should be allowed to grow on a smooth surface for optimum leaf size. For this reason, even a plain plastic pipe should be ideal for this, however this will not be overly  attractive for indoor specimens as a iron bark or coir totem.

The growth rate and leaf colour of cryptantha will vary greatly depending on the soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors. When establishing a cutting, they prefer shade, humidity and a spray of misted water each day. Every two to three weeks, mist with Seasol or other quality liquid fertiliser that does not contain any urea. or is heavy with salts,  as this will damage the plant.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha requires a 70-85% light exposure. In the cooler Southern areas of Australia, it is possible to grow these plants but they do best when places in a glasshouse or hot house. They are tropical plants which are accustomed to humidity and good amounts of rainfall and thrive in climates where winter temperatures are moderate and summers are 23 to 30 degrees.

 

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