Monstera dragon tail

Monstera dragon tail DEFAULT

Growing Tips for Epipremnum Pinnatum aka Dragon Tail Plant

My Epipremnum pinnatum plants are growing wonderfully.  Am I biased? A bit hahah.

Last year in September, I shared in a separate blog post about how my husband and I found a huge mother plant of E. pinnatum in one of our walks. I did thought that this evergreen vine was Monstera deliciosa at first. But after lots of interaction with fellow plant lovers, I learned that the correct plant name is Epipremnum pinnatum, commonly called as “Dragon Tail” in English, “Tibatib” in Tagalog, and “Balikupkop” in Cebuano.

This plant is native to the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Australia.The E.P. grows in abundance especially in mountainous and upland barangays. These plants are also present in urban areas and cities, just like where I found mine, but it’s a bit rare though in the lowlands. 

How to Plant Epipremnum Pinnatum Cuttings

This is how I planted my dragon tail cuttings last year 2019. 

I got a long stem cutting taken from the mother plant of Ma’am Net. This long stem was divided into 4 parts, which I labeled Plant A, B, C, and D. 3 of the cuttings were directly planted in soil, while one was placed in a clear glass with water. 

Of the 4 cuttings, 3 survived, all those that were planted in soil. I used regular garden soil, not mix with anything. 

My Epipremnum pinnatum cutting placed in water died eventually. But It was my fault. I let the plant stay in water too long, it was under direct light, and sometimes I forgot to replenish the evaporated water. Plus, I should really have taken the plant off the water and plant it in soil as soon as I saw growing leaves and roots. Lesson learned.

Timeline of Growing Epipremnum pinnatum

I am sharing how my E.P. looked in various times, tracking its growth. This was the first time I tried growing pinnatum from cuttings. Again, I did this last year. 

Day 1 September 26, 2019 – The day I got my cutting of Epipremnum Pinnatum. 

Day 2September 27, 2019 – The cutting was divided into 4. Putting the cuttings in soil and water.

Day 3  September 28, 2019 – I took pictures of my plants A, B, C, D.

epipremnum pinnatum cutting and growing

Day 29  October 24, 2019 – A leaf bud begin to sprout. The old leaves yellowed and eventually fell off the stem after several more days.

Day 72  December 7, 2019 – There are now 3 to 4 leaves on each plant.

Day 263 June 15, 2020 – Almost 9 months of taking care of my Epipremnum pinnatum, it became lush and tall. The plant is outgrowing its moss pole. 

dragon tail cutting to new plant

Notice that the leaves on the bottom portion of the plant looks different from the ones on top. The bottom ones are smaller, some even does not have any splits or fenestration on the leaves. Then as the plant grows more mature, there are more and more splittings on the leaves and they are becoming bigger and bigger. 

I have a Plant Box by Penfires Youtube video about my Epipremnum pinnatum in case you want to see. I focused on Plant D in the video but I also showed Plant A and Plant B. 

Epipremnum pinnatum or Dragon Tail is not a Monstera. This plant is related more to pothos, than it is to Monstera. Pothos is under “Epipremnum” genus just like the pinnatum. 

How to Take Care of Epipremnum Pinnatum

These tips are from my personal experience. I recommend that you also search for more info about the dragon tail plant.

  1. If you get cuttings, make sure each cutting has at least 2 nodes. It’s best if you can get a cutting with 3 or 4 nodes. 
  1. This plant is naturally found in dense forest, enveloping huge trees; it likes shade.
  • Plant A which is on the left side of the garage, gets bright indirect light during morning. I’ve chopped up this growing dragon tail plant just last June and gave away most of the cuttings. I did this because I wanted to place giant golden pothos where it’s located.  
  • Plant B which is on the right side of the garage, it receives harsh, direct afternoon light. It is growing okay although there are 2 leaves with burnt areas.
  • Plant D is placed indoor, with medium light. The one pictured above is Plant D, I focused on tracking it.

Please check my Youtube Video on dragon tail E.P., if you want to see Plant A and Plant B. 

3. On watering – I normally water if the top soil is dry or if I see drooping leaves. After watering, the drooping leaves revives fast and gets upright.

*Some enthusiasts recommend to keep the  dragon tail soil moist and to mist the leaves everyday. I don’t do this.

4. I planted the cuttings without any fertilizer. I think if fertilizer is use the growth will become faster.

5. In its natural state, this plant is a climber, it’s a vine. So having a pole to climb on is best for the Epipremnum pinnatum. You will get bigger leaves with lots of splits if this plant is climbing onto something. 

If you will not give it a pole to climb on and just let it hang, the plant will still grow but the leaves tend to be smaller and then there will come a time (maybe it will take years) that the plant leaves will grow with more and more space in between them and then will stop producing new leaves.

6. If you are rooting the plant in water, it’s best to used filtered or ground water. Or get water from the faucet, let it sit at least for 1 or 2 days so the water’s chlorine content will lessen thru evaporation. 

  • My new 2020 cuttings were first placed in ground water before I transferred them to soil. All 6 cuttings via water propagation were successful. Check this 2020 Tibatib Propagation video wherein I tracked the cuttings progress until they developed new leaves. There is a surprising result from one of the cuttings!!!

7. Have lots of patience. This plant slowly grows but once it is stable, I noticed that new leaf production is now faster.

8. If ever your dragon tail has grown taller than its pole, what you can do is extend the pole, or let the plant hang, or snip-off the newer leaves (with nodes) so you’ll have new cuttings for another plant propagation.

Cutting Up Plant A – Growing New Plant from A Cutting of A Cutting

Plant A was allowed to climb on the moss pole on the left side of the garage. Again, I’ve divided this plant last June 2020 and most of the cuttings I’ve given away to other plantita. I kept 2 cuttings and is now tracking their progress. 

I named the cuttings remaining with me Plant A1 and Plant A2, each one comes with 3 nodes. 

I wonder if you can categorize this new Epipremum pinnatum as ‘3rd generation’?

  • First generation – Mother plant of Ma’am Net.
  • Second generation – Plant A, a cutting from the mother plant of Ma’am Net.
  • Third generation – Plant A1 and Plant A2, cuttings from Plant A. 

Anyhow, 3rd gen or not, the cuttings are growing beautifully. 

So what did I do differently this time from what I did with my dragon tail cuttings back in 2019? 

Day 1 June 22, 2020 – First day, I divided Plant A, got the cuttings, and placed each cutting in a vase half-filled with ground water. 

  • My 2019 successful cuttings were placed on soil right away. 

Day 16 July 7, 2020 – The cuttings has new roots, I now transferred each rooted cutting in a potting mix of garden soil and vermicast with 50-50 ratio. 

Day 18 July 9, 2020 – There is now a leaf bud on Plant A1. The old leaves have dried-up and about to fell-off the plant.

Day 27 July 18, 2020 – Plant A1 with 2 new leaf buds (all old leaves died). 

Plant A2 with 1 leaf bud (the old leaves still has green in them).

Day 29 July 20, 2020 – 2 days shy of 1 month, a new leaf has fully emerge on Plant A1. 

The unfurling of a new left is faster with my dragon tail propagation this 2020 versus the one I did in 2019. I think the nutrient-rich vermicast in my potting mix help in the plant’s faster growth. 

growing epipremnum pinnatum

I will still be tracking progress of Plant A1 and A2 and will upload a new video once these plants reach 6 months. It’ll be interesting to see how the plant will look like then. 

Check here for the 2020 TIBATIB Propagation – Plant DevelopmentVIDEO – surprising result in one of the cuttings. Yeyyyy!!!

For now, I need to find materials so I can make a new diy moss poles for my new Epipremnum pinnatums. 🙂


What’s your challenges in growing dragon tail plant?

Do share your best practices in growing this plant so we all can get more info and perspective. Thank you. 

Filed Under: PENFIRES PLANTSTagged With: Dragon Tail Cutting, Dragon Tail Plant, Epipremnum pinnatum, Growing Epipremnum pinnatum, Growing Tips Dragon Tail, Take Care Dragon Tail, Tracking Growth of Epipremnum Pinnatum


The Epipremnum pinnatum is a species of flowering plant in the family of Araceae and is native to French Polynesia. This plant is commonly called Dragon Tail. The Dragon Tail is an evergreen vine that can grow over 1mtr tall. The Dragon Tail can climb by means of aerial roots which adhere to surfaces. Young leaves are elliptical to arrow-shaped with entire margins. Mature leaves up to 30-50cm long are thick and leathery and are deeply incised along the margins and can resemble a Monstera leaf. Position The Dragon Tail grows well in bright, indirect sunlight but will also tolerate low light conditions. Water Dragon Tails are drought tolerant and don't require a lot of water. Allow the top layer of soil to dry between waterings. Because of its hardiness and low maintenance, this makes it a popular choice for beginner gardeners. Wait until the top 2-3cm centimetres of soil in the pot has dried out before watering heavily. Water less in in the cooler month to replicate the tropical dry season. Temperature As we are mostly from the tropics we like warmth and humidity. That said though we are a fairly adaptable group of plants and can generally handle cooler temperatures, not frost though Fertilizer A good pinch of slow release indoor plant fertilizer in spring is generally all we need. A bit of bone meal may be necessary every now and again as we crave (use lots of) calcium and magnesium – pale new leaves is a good sign that we need more of these micronutrient.

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Epipremnum pinnatum

Epipremnum angustilobum K.Krause

Epipremnum crassifolium Engl.

Epipremnum elegans Engl.

Epipremnum formosanum Hayata

Epipremnum glaucicephalum Elmer

Epipremnum merrillii Engl. & K.Krause

Epipremnum mirabile Schott

Epipremnum robinsonii K.Krause

Monstera caudata (Roxb.) Schott

Monstera dilacerata (K.Koch & Sello) K.Koch

Monstera pinnata (L.) Schott

Philodendron dilaceratum Engl.

Philodendron nechodomae Britton.

Philodendron pinnatum (L.) André

Polypodium laciniatum Burm.f.

Pothos caudatus Roxb.

Pothos decursivus Wall.

Pothos pinnatifidus Roxb.

Pothos pinnatus L.

Rhaphidophora caudata (Roxb.) Schott

Rhaphidophora crassifolia (Engl.) Alderw.

Rhaphidophora cunninghamii Schott

Rhaphidophora dilacerata (K.Koch & Sello) K.Koch

Rhaphidophora formosana (Hayata) M.Hotta

Rhaphidophora laciniata (Burm.f.) Merr.

Rhaphidophora lovellae F.M.Bailey

Rhaphidophora merrillii Engl.

Rhaphidophora neocaledonica Guillaumin

Rhaphidophora pinnata (L.) Schott

Rhaphidophora pinnatifida (Roxb.) Schott

Rhaphidophora rosenburghii Furtado

Rhaphidophora vitiensis Schott

Rhaphidophora wallichii Schott

Scindapsus bipinnatifidus Teijsm. & Binn.

Scindapsus caudatus (Roxb.) Schott

Scindapsus decursivus Moritzi

Scindapsus dilaceratus K.Koch & Sello

Scindapsus forsteri Endl.

Scindapsus pinnatifidus (Roxb.) Schott

Scindapsus pinnatus (L.) Schott

Tornelia dilacerata (K.Koch & Sello) Schott



Tail monstera dragon


Dragon Tail Plant Propagation Process


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