Table of Contents
- Aerial Roots Versus Underground Roots
- Why Does Monstera Grow Aerial Roots?
- How to Encourage Monstera Aerial Roots?
- Repotting Monstera with Aerial Roots
- Propagating Monstera Aerial Roots
- Final Thoughts
Repotting monstera plants with aerial roots is tricky, even you’ve trained them to grow upright. Some of the root sometimes wrap around the stems and the container, so you must cut them before transferring the plant to a new pot.
Perhaps, those who collect Monstera understand that as the plant’s age, they will grow aerial roots that crawl above the ground. Given the growth upright, some wonder whether they should bother the plants with the roots or cut them all off. The good news is you can grow them together! Hence, we are here to offer tips on how to repot Monstera with aerial roots properly.
However, you can also cut them if you feel the aerial roots interfere with the beauty of your plants. In this case, it is crucial to understand the difference between underground and aerial roots so as not to mistakenly cut them.
Considering this matter, we have also included this discussion in the article. Now, bear with us and keep reading to the end, so you won’t miss a thing!
Aerial Roots Versus Underground Roots
Before we get started, we want to ensure you understand the difference between aerial and underground roots. Because many people mistakenly identify both as the same ones. As the name implies, aerial roots are roots that grow above the ground, particularly on the stems and vines of the Monstera plant.
Furthermore, these long aerial roots support the climbing plants’ structure, so they do not bend as they grow upwards. Moreover, the shape of the roots is more like barks, wrapping the stems with a larger and stronger size than underground roots.
On the other hand, underground roots are responsible for absorbing water and nutrients from the soil for your Monstera. Like other plant roots, they have tiny fiber-like parts that make it easy for them to grow and develop underground to optimize absorption.
In addition, the roots also provide a strong structure for the plant. So that your Monstera doesn’t fall down easily, especially when the wind blows hard, there are heavy rains, or they get heavier as they grow.
Why Does Monstera Grow Aerial Roots?
Monstera plants naturally climb on trees and cliffs in their natural habitat. They can even grow up to 60 feet tall! It is possible because they have very long aerial roots supporting the plants’ structure. Not only that, those roots help them to retain humidity by absorbing moisture from the surroundings.
Other than those growing in wilds, potted indoor Monstera also develops aerial roots. It’s just that they are not as long and numerous as those in the tropical rainforests that are home to the Monstera plant. You may notice that your Monstera will tend to lean on the nearby structure or furniture, such as walls or cabinets, then start growing upwards with the help of aerial roots.
If you think they can ruin the beauty of your plants or furniture, it is OK to prune them as they won’t damage your plant. Perhaps you will only notice a slight delay in producing larger leaves.
Therefore, providing support is better than cutting because the roots add a unique touch to the mature plants. You can try moss poles, bamboo stakes, or trellises whose sizes have been adjusted to your Monstera.
How to Encourage Monstera Aerial Roots?
Stimulating aerial root growth is a piece of cake if you know how to handle them properly. Monstera plants are generally not fussy about their growing conditions and maintenance, as they can thrive even in cold temperatures. Of course, with some consequences, like slowing the growth.
But here, we would like to focus more on what requirements you must fulfill to ensure your Monstera happily thrives and produces aerial roots. Let’s check them out!
1. Provide Sufficient Light Intensity
Many assume that tropical plants pasti menyukai sinar matahari terik dan tahan terhadap kekeringan. Well, it doesn’t apply to Monstera. Monstera loves to soak under the bright indirect sunlight because the direct one will crisp the leaves. In contrast, it also doesn’t favor shade despite tolerating such lighting levels.
Moreover, the deep shade will inhibit the foliage growth and make them way smaller than the normal ones that are exposed to proper light. If you plant your Monstera in pots, the best place to display them is in the east-facing of your patio or south-facing window indoors.
2. Watering Is Crucial!
As important as the sun, water is an indispensable component in the care and growth of your Monstera plant. Water can help the tropical plant get water intake for photosynthesis and maintain the soil moist. However, overwatering may result in soggy or wet soil, leading to other issues, such as root rot and fungal diseases.
We recommend watering only when the soil surface (around 2-3 inches above) has started to seep, but the inside is still a bit damp. Or, you can do it once every one or two weeks, depending on the season.
3. Keep The Moisture Checked
Moisture is still related to water. When you have set a watering schedule that goes well, it is almost certain that your Monstera will not have a problem with humidity.
In addition to watering, you can place a tray with pebbles and water to help lock the moisture indoors. In addition, misting the leaves of Monstera will also prevent them from getting thirsty.
4. Offer Additional Nutrients
Although fertilization is optional, it doesn’t hurt to show your love for your precious Monstera by adding more nutrients from the fertilizers.
You can introduce them to NPK fertilizers once per month during its growing season, from spring to fall. Dissolve the fertilizer about half or a quarter strength so that your Monstera plant gets used to it first. And if you prefer natural ones, compost will work great!
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Repotting Monstera with Aerial Roots
Your Monstera needs repotting once a year. But to be honest, repotting Monstera plants with aerial roots is tricky, even if you’ve trained them to grow upright. This is because the roots generally grow thick, making the pot messy. Some of the root sometimes wrap around the stems and the container, so you must cut them before transferring the plant to a new pot.
Even though it’s challenging, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it, can you? We can give some tips to avoid troubles or minimize that from happening. So, stay tuned and read to the end.
- Keep the roots neat and intact. If you grow your Monstera plant with support, leave it be, as it can help keep the aerial roots in shape. You can also try to wrap the roots with a cloth or a sheet, so they won’t poke everywhere.
- Tilt the pot to the side while making sure the stem or the leaves are not crushed by the planter. For the best care, place a pillow on the side of the plant to provide a soft surface.
- Gently remove the root ball. It may be a little difficult as the ball can be attached to the pot. The best way to do it is by carefully shoveling it out of the bottom of the pot. Don’t try to unplug it unless you want to kill your plant.
- Next, prepare a new pot. Fill with fresh potting mix. Make sure the pot is one or twice bigger than the old one to allow proper growth.
- In this step, it is better to ask for help from your family or friend as it is pretty complicated. Now, hold all the plant parts carefully without squeezing them. Make sure you also have the support and the root ball.
- Then, put the root ball into the new pot and slowly add soil. While doing this, don’t let go of the support.
- And you are all set! Some aerial roots or Monstera stems will break during this repotting process. But it’s okay! Your plant will survive with lots of love from you through proper Monstera care.
Propagating Monstera Aerial Roots
Honest speaking, propagating Monstera from the aerial roots is nearly impossible. Well, you may hear stories of success. But, it perhaps happens in one in a million! Instead of giving you tips that won’t work, let us give you some insights into Monstera aerial roots you probably never know.
While it is such a waste of time to propagate from the aerial roots, they are still a good indicator that your plants are preparing their offspring. Aerial roots grow on or near a node, the growing point you need to grow a new plant.
You can take cuttings consisting of one or two leaves, a node, and several aerial roots, then grow them in a pot. With this stem-cutting method, you have a chance of growing a healthy monster. But please consider that aerial roots are not intended for propagation. It is only a good sign that some parts of Monstera might be used to grow new plants.
In addition, you may also try to divide the suckers around 3 meters long. Next, put them in a pot that has been prepared with the soil. Then, carefully press them to ensure it is attached to the soil properly, and wait for them to sprout. After that, you can transplant the sprout into another container you want.
Another method you can use to propagate Monstera is by its seeds. The seeds are harvested from the plant’s fruits. However, you may be unlucky, as not all kernels bring you the seeds. Suppose you find some. In that case, you can simply put the seeds in a pot, then cover them with soil. Then, water the ground thoroughly to keep the soil moist without overflowing it.
Repotting Monstera plants with aerial roots is possible, but it is not an easy task. You will need extra effort and help to transfer them to a new pot. Even though it seems to bother, aerial roots have some benefits for Monstera to grow better. They also indicate that your tropical plant is ready to grow new offspring.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should I remove aerial roots from my Monstera?
It is not necessary to cut Monstera aerial roots from the plant. They won’t damage your living space even though they crawl and grow long. However, if you find them interfere with the appearance of your Monstera plant, you are allowed to remove them as it doesn’t hurt the plant. Make sure you use a sanitized, sharp knife to avoid damaging your plants.
Do aerial roots need moisture?
As your Monstera plant grows older, its aerial roots will start showing up. When it happens, you may need to mist them with water to keep the humidity. Nonetheless, don’t ever try to submerge the roots in the water as they are not designed for it. Too much water can damage your plant because the aerial roots rot.
Can you put Monstera aerial roots into the soil?
You can put your Monstera’s aerial roots into the soil as long as they are close to the ground. And interestingly, those roots will sprout and stimulate new underground roots. Meanwhile, those creeping higher from the base stem can be cut with a clean and sharp knife. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt your Monstera plants!
When repotting Monstera with aerial roots?
Given Monstera can grow big and tall, they need repotting every once a year. However, it is not recommended to repot the tropical plant with aerial roots. This is because those roots generally grow lengthwise, which makes it challenging to transfer the plants to new pots. Hence, it is better to cut the roots prior to repotting.
Can you cut Monstera roots when repotting?
If you are wondering whether it is okay to cut the roots while repotting your Monstera or not, it is totally okay! Losing some roots when you try to transfer the plant to a new plant container is normal because sometimes they are attached to the pot. It also won’t disturb your plant’s growth. But please be careful and don’t be too rash and rough when moving your plants so as not to injure them.