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Rhaphidophora foraminifera


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Rhaphidophora foraminifera, also called as Epipremnum foraminiferum, is a species of the genus Rhaphidophora. This species was described by Heinrich Gustav Adolf Engler in 1908.


Rhaphidophora foraminifera is native to Borneo, Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia. It is found growing on rocks (granite and limestone) in shaded position of disturbed forest, moist hill dipterocarp forest at elevations of 50-1035 meters above sea level.


It is a moderate to large, robust, pachycaul, homeophyllous liane which reaching to 15 meters that frequently forming extensive terrestrial colonies with smooth, mid-green stems with cataphylls and prophylls deliquescing to black mucilage drying to leave fragmentary parchment-like remains on petioles. The leaves are distichous, lamina entire to slightly or extensively perforated, perforations round to rhombic, extending c.c.


This species blooms from the inflorescences that mostly subtended by one or two large cataphylls with terete peduncle. The spathe is canoe-shaped, dull pale to dark yellow. The spadix is cylindrical, sessile, dull greenish yellow. The infructescence is dark green before ripening to greenish yellow.



RHAPHIDOPHORA FORAMINIFERA CARE


Light:

Rhaphidophora foraminifera grow best in medium to bright indirect light with light level of 10000-20000 lux. While it is tolerant of lower light conditions, you may notice leggy growth as a result. It can withstand 3 hours of direct sunlight but the plant should avoid to get too much direct sun because the leaves will burn. Dappled sunlight is ideal.


Temperature:

This species can grow in USDA zone 9-12. It prefers average to warm temperatures of 12-27 °C. Do not expose the plant to temperatures below 12 °C even for a short time because cold air will damage the foliage. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes. For zones 9-10, it should be brought indoors if it’s below 12 °C and be sure it has plenty of bright indirect light wherever it’s placed.


Humididty:

Rhaphidophora foraminifera grow best with the humidity level of 50% - 60%. It will thrive in almost any environment, but if you want to give it a special treat, gently mist it once a week. It's best to mist your plant in the morning so the water has plenty of time to evaporate before evening. Use a humidifier, or place your pot on top of a pebble tray with water coming halfway up the pebbles. Evaporation will provide extra humidity right where your plant needs it.


Substrate and growing media:

This species need a well-aerated, quick-draining potting soil that dries out quickly. You can use a blend of large-chunk orchid bark, coarse-grade perlite, and peat moss at equal ratios; and then add about 10% charcoal which helps remove toxicities that can build up (over many months) in the potting mix. It thrive in moist soils with high organic matter and grow best when provided with a mossy post or burlap wrapped pole to climb. If given a trellis, it will climb and its leaves will become bigger and more fenestrated.

It is best to re-pot the plant every year or twice a year or when the plant has outgrown its pot and become root-bound. Choose a new pot for repotting that is 1 inch larger in diameter than the current pot. Do not forget to select a pot with drainage holes. The ideal time to re-pot is early Spring when the plant had a period of active growth ahead.


Watering:

Water the plant once weekly. Allow the potting mix to dry out before watering. Water more frequently during warmer months and growth season. During the cooler months of the year, reduce the water to once every 2 weeks. Do not overwater or keep the soil wet for too long, as this will encourage root rot. If the leaves are yellowing due to overwatering, skip a week or two of watering.


Fertilizer:

Feed the plant between every two weeks and once per month during their growing season with a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. In the late fall and winter, when growth has slowed down, and the plant is dormant, do not fertilize your plant. Too much fertilizer can burn the foliage of your plant. Before applying fertilizer in any form, make sure the soil is damp.


Pruning:

Pruning is mostly to remove diseased or pest-damaged material and to keep it at a specific size. It can also be used to reduce leggy growth resulting from too little light reaching one side of the plant. Use clean snips to neatly cut off excess growth, but do not take off too much of the plant at any given time. Reducing it by up to 25% is fine, but beyond that, you’re risking damage to your plant.


Pests and diseases:

Wiping dust or debris with a damp sponge or paper towel will keep the plant clean and avoidant of pests. Common pests include mealybugs, aphids, thrips, scale and spider mites. If any are found on the foliage, spray the plant with a direct water stream. Leaves can also be washed with insecticidal soap.

The plant can also develop bacterial diseases such as leaf spot and root rot. Examine the plant periodically for signs of disease and use recommended fungicide and destroy the affected leaves. Correct application and timing are critical.


Propagation:

Rhaphidophora foraminifera can be propagated by stem cuttings. Stem sections of 10-15 cm long, after removal of leaves, can be placed on a tray filled with an open, humus-rich soil mix at a minimum temperature of 22°C. Rooting takes place in about 2 weeks, and new growth begins from the nodes in about 4 weeks. Once growing strongly, the stem section can be cut into pieces, each bearing a rooted portion, and planted individually.










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