Best Guide For Growing Rhaphidophora Hayi In Your Home

Rhaphidophora hayi is a great climbing tropical house plant that is very popular in recent years. It is lovely, green, and relaxing with qualities that many homeowners find to take their stress and throw it away. But, like other houseplants, it does require certain conditions to grow healthy and full. 

This article covers:

  • What Rhaphidophora hayi is and what it looks like
  • How to care for it including the proper light, temperature, and water as well as how to mount it
  • Common problems that you may encounter and what you can do about them 

Let’s begin!

What is Rhaphidophora Hayi?

rhaphidophoroa hayi on the wall

Rhaphidophora hayi is also known as a shingle plant or a shingle vine. It is a tropical, shingling houseplant and rainforest aroid that is native to Papua New Guinea, Indonesian Papua, Queensland, and Australia.

Shingling means that the stems will grow close to a climbing surface. The leaves will lay down flat, which makes it look like roofing shingles and that’s where it gets the not-so-creative name. 

It is quite attractive and people generally love the oval, symmetrical, and dark-green leaves. It looks tropical, but also goes with most aesthetics and has an appearance that almost anybody likes.

Plus, it is air purifying, and just having houseplants around is a great way to reduce stress! 

Check out this cool video to learn more about the history of the plant and how it became so widespread!

How to Care for Rhaphidophora Hayi 

Rhaphidophora hayi plants can be grown in pots, hanging baskets, or in terrariums. They can also be grown in any room.

Despite this, there are certain conditions that it prefers if you want to keep the leaves dark green and healthy and the growth rapid and climbing.

Let’s look at the perfect conditions including the right amount of light and water as well as soil and temperature for your Rhaphidophora hayi plant. 

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Rhaphidophora hayi plants like bright indirect light, but can still prosper in lower light, as long as it isn’t too low. To prevent legginess, you want to make sure they get plenty of light daily.

They can do good in windows facing any direction as long as it isn’t dark. The main thing is that you want to avoid any direct sunlight.

Warm or hot direct sunlight can fade the leaves and burn the plant. This can make them crisp, brown, and even kill the plant in extreme situations.

If you want to grow Rhaphidophora hayi outside, then you want shaded or filtered light. You can use a 30 or 40% shade cloth for optimal conditions. 


apartment gardening houseplant potting soil tools

Rhaphidophora hayi needs soil that drains a lot because too much moisture for too long can cause some issues, including root rot.

The best soil for Rhaphidophora hayi is slightly acidic between a pH of 6.0 and 6.5. You should also try to use soil that has a lot of organic matter and nutrients. 

You can buy products that will work like aroid mixes, sphagnum moss, coco peat, and others.

However, you can also make your own mixture for best results out of equal parts potting mix, perlite, and peat moss. Perlite adds draining qualities while peat moss raises pH. 


Rhaphidophora hayi doesn’t need a ton of water, but you definitely want to avoid letting it dry out too much. They love moist soil that isn’t soggy.

What that means is that the leaf, stem, and root systems always want to be able to suck up water constantly, but don’t like sitting water. 

Usually, you will want to water again when the top 2 inches of soil becomes completely dry, or soon after. This is every week in most places during the growing season, which is Spring and Summer.

During the Fall and Winter, you may not have to water more than once every two weeks. When you water, make sure that the soil is soaked thoroughly until some drips out of the drainage holes.

If you have a sphagnum moss pole, then you want to mist it regularly as well. 

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Temperature and Humidity 

Rhaphidophora hayi prospers in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12. They cannot withstand much lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and should not be at 50 degrees Fahrenheit for very long either.

They do best when the temperature ranges between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Most interior household temperatures are just fine for growing Rhaphidophora hayi indoors.

They cannot withstand frost or freezing temperatures at all. 

Rhaphidophora hayi plants also like above-average humidity around 60% to 70%. They can do well in higher humidities as well.

They are pretty good at thriving in lower humidities as well, but you don’t want it to dip down below 40% for a prolonged period if you want healthy growth.

You can use a humidifier, pebble tray, or other plants to increase humidity. You can also mist the leaves regularly if you live in a dry region. 


adult woman using fertilizer on her houseplant

Fertilizer and plant food will make your Rhaphidophora hayi grow faster and healthier and may encourage faster climbing and better foliage.

Every other week during the growing season, you can use all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Just be sure to carefully follow any directions on the package. 

If you prefer, you can use slow-release fertilizer solutions and apply them at the very beginning of Spring. Regardless of the type of fertilizer that you choose, you don’t want to use any during non-growing times of the year, which are the Winter and Fall months. 


Shingling plants like Rhaphidophora hayi don’t usually need difficult pruning, but it is a good idea to remove the dead, yellow, or damaged leaves occasionally. This will allow for more lush foliage to fill in the spots and also allows light to reach the leaves and stems underneath.

You always want to avoid cutting over 30% of the plant at any time because it can weaken it and make it ill. 

How to Mount Rhaphidophora Hayi

mounting a rhaphidophora hayi in a brown pot

If you aren’t used to mounting shingling plants, then you surely want to know-how for your Rhaphidophora hayi! It is not very difficult to do, but we still wanted to let you know how to do it for yourself. 

If it has been mounted before and overgrown your prior mount, then you first have to unmount the Rhaphidophora hayi plant.

While they are pretty tough, you do want to be careful not to damage the plant when doing this. Carefully pull each portion off and make sure that you don’t rip off any of the aerial roots. 

After taking the plant off the mounting pole, you will need to remove the mounting from the soil.

Gently rock the pole back and forth and pull with a stern, but gentle force until it pulls out. This will ensure that it doesn’t excessively damage the Rhaphidophora hayi root systems. 

Now,  you should check the aerial roots for any organic matter and if there is some, you will want to hose the plant down with gentle water streams to remove it. This is because the leftover organic matter will prevent adherence and grasping to the new mount pole. 

Next, you can install the new pole. Carefully lay the plant so that the stem is near the mount. Use floral tape or soft string to tie the stem close to the mount.

Later, you will remove this tape or string after the plant is attached to the mount. 

Make sure that you only attach the stem using the tape or string so that the leaves are free. Otherwise, you can create an environment perfect for rot when you water or mist your plant.

While the tape and string are good to secure the plant very close to the mount, you do want to avoid tightening it too much because it can strangle the stem. 

If you use a sphagnum moss board or pole, make sure that you mist it before mounting and then do so regularly afterward. This promotes better growth and better attachment to the mount. 

That’s it! Now just enjoy the wonderful plant! 

Common Problems with Rhaphidophora Hayi

There are some common problems and things to keep in mind with your Rhaphidophora hayi to keep it safe and to avoid any hazards to you and your family. When you encounter these problems, you need to know what to do! 


Rhaphidophora hayi is toxic to humans and animals because it contains calcium oxalates called raphides. If you, a child, or a plant, chews these, then they will cause irritation and burning sensations.

They can also contribute to gastrointestinal distress, swelling of the mouth and lips, drooling, and other issues. These problems go away on their own, but the best option is to keep the plant away from children and pets.


aphids on the tree branch

Pests aren’t as common with Rhaphidophora hayi as they are with some other houseplants, but you can still end up attracting mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, or scale. It is best to use insecticidal soaps and remove the plant away from any other plants you have.

Heavily infected leaves can be removed and you can also use a hose to spray the pests off of the surface of the plant. Neem oil can work wonders for this plant as well. 


Rhaphidophora hayi can develop root rot, especially if you provide it with too much water. It can also be infected by a mosaic virus, southern blight, botrytis, or red leaf spot.

To prevent these infections, always wash your hands before touching the plant and sterilize any scissors or pruning equipment before use. 

rhaphidophora-hayi mini trivia info

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves are usually a sign of overwatering, especially if combined with mushy stems, mold, and wilting. If you don’t reduce the water, then it can lead to root rot as well.

In some cases, you will have to remove the plant from the soil, take off the rotting part of the root system, and then place it in new healthy soil. 

Curling Leaves

Curling leaves are usually due to underwatering of the plant. However, if the leaves seem dry and brittle, it could also be because of direct sunlight or low humidity.

Just make sure that you give the plant indirect sunlight that is bright and that you water when the first couple inches of soil dry out.

Then, if the humidity is too low, spray it regularly with a mist or invest in a humidifier. 

Final Thoughts on Rhaphiodophora Hayi

Rhaphidophora hayi is a great shingling plant that can grow expansively with dark green, attractive leaves. The appearance and its ability to withstand many different types of environments make it a great choice for any home.

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