How to Care For The Shingle Plant- Rhaphidophora korthalsii

by | Aug 4, 2020 | 8 comments

I absolutely love this shingle plant (Rhaphidophora korthalsii {syn. celatocaulis}) and have been intrigued by it since the first time I saw it at Frederick Meijer Gardens. I just loved how the plants grew completely flat to the rocks. I found one and purchased it but have no recollection of when or from whom. I don’t even have a tag in the plant, which is unusual.

My Plant

My shingle plant

My shingle plant has never had anything to grow up……

They need something to climb on

I’ve had this plant for a long time, and it should have been climbing up something all along. I had thought about letting it climb the brick wall in my sunroom, but never did. I found out that they don’t mature until they have something to cling to. It is in the aroid family, so I should have known this. Pothos plants are the same way. Notice the long straggly (I like that word) stems that have long internodes (space between the leaves). They are searching for something to climb up. Most of those broke off when I was repotting it, so they are being propagated in water. When they start climbing, so I’ve read, the leaves will develop the shingling properties of overlapping each other and they will become larger.

A fence piece to climb on

So what should I use for the support? I love moss poles, but really like the pictures on Instagram of them climbing on boards. You can see the leaves better, I think. My daughter had taken down a picket fence at her house and I asked for a picket. It is kind of shabby chic and I like it. And isn’t that pot perfect?

Attaching it

I tied the plant on with some twine so it wouldn’t hurt the plant. It will only stay there until the plant attaches itself with its aerial roots and then I’ll remove it. I keep the plant evenly moist and it gets plenty of light in my sunroom.

shingle plant on a picket fence post

Here is the shingle plant on the picket fence post

I’m so excited to finally have this plant growing the way it should be. I’ll post pictures as it grows and shingles.

Have a great week!


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  1. Cathy

    That’s really cool! I’m newly retired and have started collecting plants again. I had quite an assortment of plants when I was a young Mom in the early 70’s. I love reading your articles!

    Thank you,

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Cathy, Thanks for your comments! I love that you have started collecting plants again! Do you have any from the 70s? Lisa

  2. Alexis

    This is so beautiful, Lisa! Thank you for sharing!

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Thanks. Lisa

  3. Carol Jones

    When the shingle plant reaches the top of a board, etc, what should you do? Cut it off often? I just purchased one, but it has already reached the top. We have made another board for it, but at the rate it’s growing, it will reach the top of it soon. Thanks.

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Carol, Honestly I’m thinking the same thing. Mine reached the top and because it has nothing to climb on, it is now growing smaller leaves. I need to figure out what to do with mine, as well.
      Sorry not more helpful.

      • Cheryl

        That was my question as well! I am also relatively newly retired and my interest in plants has been revived. I bought a shingles vine and it has lost hot the top of its. Oars on both sides. I don’t know what to do with it once it gets there and haven’t found any answers online.

        • Lisa Steinkopf

          Mine has reached the top, too. I think we need to get a bigger pole for it to climb or what leaves will get small and it will just hang like a vine. I have experienced this…


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