How to Grow Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail in 2023

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail embodies a lush climbing aesthetic for indoor plant enthusiasts. This evergreen vine thrives in warm, humid environments, evolving its juvenile leaves into complex, mature fenestrations. The plant’s distinctive feature lies in its foliage, which matures from whole into multi-lobed leaves, resembling a dragon’s tail. 

The versatility and ease of care make Rhaphidophora decursiva a popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts. It’s well-suited for beginners due to its resilience against common plant care mistakes. As it adds a touch of the exotic to interior spaces, the Dragon Tail becomes a captivating focal point in any plant collection. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this gorgeous plant as it reaches maturity!

What Is Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail?

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail

Rhaphidophora decursiva, also known as Dragon Tail, is a rare climbing species originating from Southeast Asia. It’s an evergreen plant known for its large green satin split leaves, which contribute to its tropical persona. The plant is becoming popular in plant shops due to its unique aesthetic appeal.

In its juvenile phase, the leaves of the Rhaphidophora decursiva are split (fenestrated) and oval-shaped. During maturation, the leaves become pinnate and glossy. Houseplants can grow up to 8 meters and bloom in late spring or early summer. The Dragons Tail can grow given medium to bright indirect light. The plant should be fed with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer.

How Do You Take Care Of A Dragon’s Tail Plant?

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail

Scientific Name                 Rhaphidophora Decursiva
Common Name Decursiva plant, Dragon’s Tail, Monstera decursiva
Mature Size 5-8 meters as a houseplant
Light Bright filtered light to partial Shade
Watering Once or twice a week, water if the top half of the soil is dry
Soil Type Rich, high in OM, well-draining
Soil pH Slightly acidic (5.6 to 6.5 pH)
Temperature 60 to 80°F or (15.6 to 26.7°C)
Hardiness Zone USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12
Humidity >60%
Fertilizing A balanced feed once a month in spring and summer
Repotting Every 1 or 2 years
Pruning Beginning of the growing season
Propagation Stem cuttings, Air layering
Bloom Time Late spring, early summer
Toxicity Toxic to humans and pets

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail Care

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail

Rhaphidophora decursiva, known as Dragon Tail, is a unique vining and climbing indoor plant that requires specific care to thrive. Here are some key points to consider for its care:

Light Requirements

Rhaphidophora decursiva prefers bright, indirect light. Light retards leaf development and prevents soil from drying out between waterings, which causes root rot. Ideal light conditions can be achieved by placing the plant in front of a north or east-facing window or a few feet away from a south or west-facing window.

Soil Requirements

Dragon Tail plants prefer loose, nutrient-rich potting soil. The soil medium should keep moisture but also allow for draining excess water to avoid root rot. It should contain plenty of organic matter, like coco-coir, peat moss, or shredded leaves, and avoid soils that contain moisture-retaining crystals.

Watering Requirements

During the growing season (spring and summer), keep the soil moist by watering it when the top half of the soil becomes dry to the touch. Over-watering should be avoided as the Dragon Tail prefers moist conditions but does not like its soil dense and soggy. The winter is the time when plants need to be watered less frequently.


Fertilize your Dragon Tail plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Reduce fertilizer application in the winter months when the plant’s growth slows down.


This tropical plant thrives in warm temperatures ranging from 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 29°C). Keep the plant away from drafts, air conditioning, or heating vents to maintain consistent temperatures.


High humidity levels are essential for the Dragon Tail plant. Aim for a humidity level of around 60%. Use a pebble tray with water, or a humidifier, or mist the leaves to increase humidity.


Repot your Rhaphidophora Decursiva every 1-2 years or when it becomes root-bound. Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter with drainage holes, and fill with fresh, well-draining soil.


Regular pruning will help maintain a desired shape and encourage bushier growth. Prune any yellow or dying leaves and trim back any leggy or overgrown stems.

Rhaphidophora Dragon Tail Propagation

Rhaphidophora Decursiva, often known as Dragon Tail, is propagated using stem cuttings. Here are the steps to follow for successful propagation:

  1. Preparing the Cutting: Choose a healthy stem with at least one to two nodes and use sterilized scissors or a sharp knife to make a clean, diagonal cut below a node.
  2. Rooting the Cutting: You can root your cutting in either water or soil. If you are using water, place the cutting in a container filled with clean, room-temperature water, making sure the node is submerged. If you opt for soil, use a well-draining potting mix in a small pot with drainage holes.
  3. Planting the Cutting: Bury the node in the potting mix if you’re using soil, and firm the soil around the cutting to secure it.
  4. Caring for the Cutting: Keep the cutting in a warm spot with indirect light, and maintain high humidity by covering the pot with a plastic bag or misting if you use water.
  5. Root Development: After 3-4 weeks, roots should start to develop. The cutting is ready to be transplanted into a larger pot once the roots are approximately 2 inches long.

Common Problems Of Rhaphidophora Decursiva

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail plants often face issues such as yellowing leaves and stunted growth due to overwatering or poor light conditions. Root rot can also occur if proper drainage is not maintained, stressing the otherwise resilient plant.


Pests are an unfortunate, yet common problem for many houseplants, and the Dragon Tail is no exception. Be on the lookout for signs of:

  • Spider mites: causing yellowing or browning of leaves
  • Mealybugs: leaving a cotton-like residue
  • Scale insects: appearing as brown or black spots on stems and leaves


Fungal and bacterial infections can hinder plant health significantly. Symptoms such as:

  • Leaf spot: characterized by discolored spots on foliage
  • Root rot: often resulting from overwatering, leading to a foul smell and blackened roots

Growing Problems

Some issues stem from incorrect care rather than pests or diseases. These can include:

  • Stunted growth: which may result from a lack of nutrients or insufficient light
  • Yellowing leaves: often a symptom of overwatering or poor drainage
  • Leaf burn: indicating too much direct sunlight

Toxicity of Rhaphidophora Decursiva

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail

Rhaphidophora Decursiva, like many plants in the Araceae family, is considered toxic to both humans and pets when ingested.

For Humans

According to the amount consumed by humans, it can cause mild to serious symptoms. Minor symptoms may include irritation of the mouth, lips, and throat, while more severe reactions may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

For Pets

Pets, including dogs and cats, may also be affected by the plant’s toxicity. Pets that ingest the plant may experience drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing, just like humans. So, if the plant is handled and kept out of reach by children and pets, it should not pose any risks.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Appearance

Rhaphidophora Decursiva, known as Dragon Tail, exhibits a striking appearance with its large, glossy green leaves that cascade. The foliage often develops fenestrations, adding to its exotic and lush aesthetic.


  • Texture: Thick and leathery with a glossy finish.
  • Shape: Heart-shaped in juvenile form, developing split fenestrations with age.
  • Color: A vibrant deep green that enhances their visual appeal.


The Rhaphidophora Decursiva plant’s infrequent and minimal flowering enhances its striking foliage’s appearance. Its captivating foliage remains the primary attraction, overshadowing its flowering charm.

Size And Growth

Feature                   Description
Growth Habit Climbing or trailing, requiring support for optimal height.
Height Can grow up to 12 feet indoors, potentially taller in ideal conditions
Width Varies, but leaves can spread out to create a full, bushy appearance.

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Vs Epipremnum Pinnatum

Rhaphidophora Decursiva and Epipremnum Pinnatum are both popular, tropical, vining plants from the Araceae family that exhibit similar characteristics. There are some notable differences between the two species when it comes to their appearance, growth habits, and care requirements:

Rhaphidophora Decursiva

  • Appearance: Rhaphidophora Decursiva has distinctive leaves. Young leaves are heart-shaped and transform into split, perforated, large leaves reminiscent of a dragon’s tail.
  • Native Habitat: Rhaphidophora Decursiva is found in the rainforests of Southern China and Taiwan.
  • Climbing Habit: It is a vigorous climber that relies on its aerial roots to attach itself to supports in its climb.
  • Care: This plant prefers bright, indirect light and humidity to thrive. It requires regular watering and well-draining soil.

Epipremnum Pinnatum

  1. Appearance: The leaves of Epipremnum Pinnatum are oval-shaped and medium to dark green. With maturity, leaves develop irregular splits along the midrib, giving them a “pinna” or “feather-like” appearance.
  2. Native Habitat: Epipremnum Pinnatum is found in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, and northern Australia.
  3. Climbing Habit: like Rhaphidophora Decursiva, it also produces aerial roots that help the plant climb and attach itself to various surfaces.
  4. Care: Epipremnum Pinnatum thrives in medium to bright, indirect light and requires well-draining soil. It can tolerate lower light levels than Rhaphidophora Decursiva. Regular watering and humidity are necessary to keep it healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Rhaphidophora decursiva rare?

Rhaphidophora decursiva, also known as Dragon Tail, is a sought-after and exotic houseplant. With its unique leaf shape and ability to thrive in low-light conditions, it has become popular among indoor gardeners. Due to its rarity, finding Rhaphidophora decursiva at local nurseries or garden centers can be challenging.

How do you take care of a dragon’s tail plant?

To take care of a dragon’s tail plant, provide bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. Water when the top inch of soil is dry, avoiding overwatering. Fertilize every 2-3 months with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Regular pruning promotes business and removes dead or damaged leaves.

Is Rhaphidophora decursiva dragon tail toxic?

Rhaphidophora Discursiva dragon tail is toxic to both pets and humans if ingested. Contains calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate the mouth and throat. It’s essential to keep the plant out of reach of children and pets, and if ingestion occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

How to identify Rhaphidophora decursiva?

Rhaphidophora decursiva, known as Dragon Tail or Mini Monstera, can be identified by its unique heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips and deep cuts or incisions. This tropical plant thrives in warm and humid environments and has aerial roots that it uses to climb and attach itself to other surfaces.

How to grow Rhaphidophora decursiva indoors?

Growing Rhaphidophora decursiva indoors is easy with these tips. Use a well-draining potting mix and place the plant near a bright window, but not in direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and mist the leaves. Fertilize every 2-3 months during the growing season.

How to grow Rhaphidophora decursiva outdoors?

Growing Rhaphidophora decursiva outdoors is possible in tropical and subtropical climates. Find a spot with bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged by watering. During the growing season, fertilize every 2-4 weeks using a balanced fertilizer.

How fast does Rhaphidophora decursiva grow?

Rhaphidophora decursiva, also known as Dragon Tail, is a fast-growing plant. The plant can grow up to 1-2 feet per year under ideal conditions. Factors like light, temperature, and humidity play a role in its growth rate. Pruning and fertilizing regularly can help promote faster growth.

How tall does Rhaphidophora decursiva grow?

Rhaphidophora decursiva can reach heights of up to 6 feet indoors, while it can grow even taller outdoors in its natural habitat. Regular pruning can help control its height and promote a bushier growth. Factors like light, water, and temperature can also impact the growth rate of this plant.

Why is my Rhaphidophora Decursiva drooping?

Rhaphidophora decursiva may droop if it is overwatered or underwatered. To check moisture levels, stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If it’s dry, water it. Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight for extended periods. If the problem persists, repotting with fresh soil can improve drainage.


Your Rhaphidophora Decursiva Dragon Tail should be maintained according to its particular needs and characteristics to ensure it grows. This plant features beautiful foliage, and occasional flowering, and can grow to a large size with proper care. Time and fertilizer choice are crucial considerations when fertilizing. It’s worth noting that while this plant is generally safe for humans, caution should be exercised around pets as it can be toxic to them. Identifying and caring for Rhaphidophora Decursiva, Epipremnum Pinnatum, and Philodendron Dragon Tail can also be beneficial. If you’re facing challenges with the growth of your Dragon Tail, it’s important to assess factors such as lighting, watering, and plant health.


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