Best Planting Tips: How To Get Rid of Root Bound Monstera?

Monstera is a fast-growing foliage plant from tropical climates. With huge leaves that grow in an oval shape, this plant is becoming increasingly popular for its exotic appearance. Unfortunately, compared to some of the other plants in your collection, monstera can outgrow its pot more. Usually you’ll find the monstera root gets tangled or usually called as root bound monstera. And if you don’t catch your monstera’s overgrowth in time, it could seriously harm your plant’s health.

Like other plants, monstera dislikes being root-bound, so you should be aware of this potential issue, especially if you notice that your plant is less robust than usual. Therefore, our garden experts are here to help you solve this issue! Root-bound monstera is not something to worry about, but does help get your monstera re-started in a better place.

You can prune some of the roots before repotting it. It is important to note that the roots are extremely susceptible to rot, so make sure your pot has the correct drainage holes before planting it in there!

How To Deal with Root Bound In Monstera?

Fortunately, separating root-bound in your monstera is rather easy to do and won’t require much effort on your part. You need to divide or repot your monstera into two or more smaller plants in order to free it from its root-bound condition.

root bound monstera
How To Deal with Root Bound In Monstera

Either way, this will make sure that your plant’s roots grow long and have enough room to spread out. Besides, you may simply prevent this problem in the future by incorporating an occasional root check into your usual plant care routine.

To give better understanding, let us give you some information in the following points below.

What Does “Root Bound” Mean For A Plant?

Root bounding usually happens since roots growing of mature plants completely fill the container and eventually run out of room. The plant then becomes “root-bound” as there is no area for root to breathe.

Moreover, plants will try to slit out through any drain hole in the pots. Sometimes they will attempt to elude the soil and go over the pot’s lip. And in almost every circumstance, the roots will start to spread out in overlapping circles that cling to the container’s inner walls.

Furthermore, less area for soil to store water as roots fill the container’s interior could cause the roots to die. You’ll find that the growth of root-bound plants will be stunted. And, if this is allowed to continue, it may even lead to the eventual death of the plant.

How Do You Know If Monstera Is Root Bound Only From Its Look?

It’s time to repot your monstera if you pull up the pot and notice that the small roots are sticking out the bottom through the drainage holes. Use a well-draining houseplant soil mix for repotting these plants. Be careful not to increase the pot size too much.

Another simple way is by examining the root ball of your monstera. Carefully slip the plant out and pull it out. Your monstera plant is obviously root-bound if its roots are entwined and have assumed the shape of its container, leaving only a little amount of soil inside.

If you pick up the plant by the root ball and find little to no soil in or around the roots, this is also one of root bound symptoms. Meanwhile, large white roots and a lot of loose soil will surround a healthy root ball. If it’s anything else, the root system is unquestionably the problem and needs to be fixed.

What Causes Monstera Plant To Root Bound?

The natural root growth of monstera plants makes them root bound. Since monstera can grow larger and taller like trees in the wild, they have fast growing roots naturally. Therefore, if you put your plants in pots, pot bound monstera will happen if you don’t prune and repot them regularly.

When the roots become too large, there is no room left for the soil. As a result, because there isn’t any soil around the plant, water passes straight through it rather than being retained. Damaged roots or stunted development may result from this.

Like other plants, your monsteras require soil, water, and oxygen to survive. It means, you will have a problem on your hands if the container your monstera is placed in starts to limit its access to those things. Therefore, you must either thin out the monstera’s root system or move it to a bigger pot.

What Causes of tangled root
What Causes Monstera Plant To Root Bound

Problems and Diseases That Came From Root Bound Monstera

If you wait too long to address root-bound monsteras, they can develop into problems and diseases. Fortunately, if you continue reading and understand the root causes, they’re all simple to correct and avoid.

Let’s examine the most frequent root bound issues monstera owners encounter in further detail, along with their underlying reasons.

Dehydration

Dehydration is the most dangerous potential side effect of being rooted, by far. The plant might survive at first, but over time it will start to lose its health and become extremely stressed. Root bound monstera won’t be able to develop and support itself if there isn’t room for the roots showing and reach additional nutrients and water in the soil.

Stunted Growth

Sometimes being root-bound causes stunted growth. As previously discussed, root-bound plants are weaker and have less room for new growth since they are unable to absorb enough water or nutrients. Verify if any roots are protruding through the drainage openings. It’s time to repot into a larger pot if there are any.

Black Leaves and Rot Roots

Black leaves are a sign of rot root disease which is caused by underwatering or over watering. In fact, pot bound roots may block water inside, causing overwatering and rot roots. So, you may find black leaves in your monstera. 

The root rot of your monstera plants becomes oversaturated and soggy when there is too much water in the pot. This condition may damage some of the roots due to the rotting bacterial environment that wet media grows on. This typically occurs when a plant has been overwatered or if the drainage hole in the pot becomes plugged.


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How To Examine The Monstera Root System?

Sadly, many monstera plants cultivated inside or outside in pots never achieve their full beauty and size simply because their root systems are confined in containers that are much too tiny for them. Moreover, this condition may impact your plants’ health because of root bound.

In addition, soil and water play an important role in the monstera plant’s root system. If you want to examine your monstera root system and get a happy plant, let us give you some tips in the following points below!

root bound monstera
How To Examine The Monstera Root System

1. Check The Leaves

You can notice something wrong with the root system from monstera leaves. Because the bottom leaves are the first to absorb extra water and any fungus or bacteria that has infected the roots, you’ll notice dark brown to black blotches on them.

2. Prune Roots Regularly

The simple way to examine your monstera root system is by trimming them regularly. By cutting back the root, the monstera fits more comfortably in its current pot. In addition, you can free a plant that is root-bound. Simply use clean, precise scissors or clippers to carefully cut back the bottom half of the root ball. It can also be a smart way of loosening the roots.

3. Replant with The Fresh Soil

To keep the root system healthy and prevent root bound, your monstera can be repotted in the same container with new soil after the roots have been trimmed back. One important thing to keep in mind is that pruning the roots will only give you so much extra area to work with and should only be done as a one-time fix.

How To Fix Root Bound in Monstera?

It is best to act sooner rather than later if you find that your Swiss Cheese plant is root-bound. Whether it’s to divide or repot your monstera into smaller plants, your plant might return to growing and producing strong leaves and new stems as soon as you allow it more area to expand.

Therefore, we have compiled some solutions you can do to fix your root bound monstera!

root bound monstera
How To Fix Root Bound in Monstera

1. How To Get Out Monstera Plant From Its Planter Pot?

Taking your monstera out from its planter pot is a little bit challenging when it has root bound. You may not want to make your monstera stress during this process. Therefore, you can follow these simple tips to make your gardening life easier.

  • Take it out manually. Turn the pot over and gently pry the monstera plant out of it to remove it from the container. You can try shaking the pot a little bit if it still won’t budge, but don’t tug on the plant.
  • Be gentle. Whatever you do, avoid trying to remove it from the pot immediately! That is an effective approach to break leaves, stems, and roots.
  • Use additional tools. To help push the root ball out, you might need to insert a chopstick or a dowel into the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Even if you have to break the container to get the plant out, be careful not to hurt the rootball.

2. How Do You Split Root Bound Monstera?

Splitting is the best way to separate root bound monstera. Besides, it’s also a great chance to give your monstera plants new soil and nutrients. If you are going to split your root bound monstera, let us give you some helpful tips below:

  • Water first. The day before splitting, you can water the monstera plant well to assist loosen the soil and make sure the roots are untangling. This will prevent you from starting to stress it more by cutting it.
  • Use sharp tools. You don’t want to break the roots or stems, so we recommend you use sharp tools. You can divide the root ball into two or more plants using a clean, sharp knife.
  • Split carefully. To ensure that each new plant has lots of roots and stems, look for natural sections and divisions in the existing plant. This is something you kind of have to eyeball and look for any locations where the plant has already divided up. After that, you can keep it in a smaller pot.

3. How Do You Repot Root Bound A Monstera Plant?

After you get a nice split monstera, you should place them into a new pot. Moreover, we also recommend repotting your monstera after trimming the root bound. Here’s some tips you can do to get the best repotting results!

  • Prepare a larger pot. Before repotting root bound monstera, you need to prepare a new pot first. Start by choosing a larger pot size that is several inches deeper and wider than your old one.
  • Fill it with soil. After that, fill this pot about 1/3 of the way with a well-draining potting mix.
  • Separate the roots. Before planting your monstera in a new pot, simply take the plant out of the pot, then delicately unwrap some of the roots to prevent further round, constrictive growth.
  • Repot it carefully. After that, carefully hold the plant while you begin to fill its pot with fresh soil. Be careful not to remove all the air pockets as you tap the earth down to support the plant. According to our garden experts, be sure not to bury the plant too deep in the pot. Simply fill the pot with soil up to the top of the plant’s root ball and stop.
  • Give supports. If you also want to encourage your monstera to climb while growing in its new pot, water the plant and add support posts or a trellis.

4. How Long Does It Take for Monstera To Recover From Repotting?

In monstera, transplant shock might linger for several days up to two weeks. Therefore, you should keep the soil moist during the recovery process, but watch to see that the plant has proper drainage and is not submerged in water. Furthermore, if you give it some time and treat it normally, it can return on its own.

Typically, monstera requires repotting every two years or if its development has been inhibited by being root-bound. For the greatest results, choose a pot with a 2 inch bigger diameter and plant it in aerated well-draining soil.


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Tips For Growing Monstera To Not Get Root Bound

People said that prevention is better than cure. Although getting root bound may happen in all monster plants in pots, the following tips below may help us to prevent them from becoming root bound. Check this out!

Monstera Roots
Tips For Growing Monstera To Not Get Root Bound

1. Repot Your Monstera

We recommend that repotting should be done on your monstera approximately every two years to prevent it from getting rootbound. In addition, for monsteras that grow incredibly quickly, you can re-pot them once a year.

2. Limit Its Light Source

You can inhibit the rate of growth of your Monstera Deliciosa by limiting its access to the light source. Simply place the plant into less access to light, but you need to still maintain its nutrition. If you put your monstera indoors, simply avoid the window to prevent direct sunlight. Or, you can also place your monstera outdoors but with a proper shade. This is a smart way to prevent your monstra from growing too fast.

3. Split Monstera Roots

Make sure that each new plant you cut off has enough roots and leaves to flourish. Take your new pots, fill them with potting soil, and if you’d like, add a slow-release fertilizer for your monstera.

4. Monitor Root Growth

Examining the root growth regularly is a simple way to prevent your monstera from root bound. You can trim the roots before they get too tangled. After that, repot your monstera if it’s getting larger as you find the roots are sticking out the bottom through the drainage holes.

Final Thought

As a beautiful and precious plant in your house, monstera roots should get a regular check up to prevent the root bound. This is because root bound can lead to bigger problems if you can’t take care of your monstera properly. If you understand some planting tips above, root bound monstera is no longer a main problem. Besides, you may get more knowledge to prevent the same issue in future.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should You break up roots when repotting Monstera?

Well, it depends on how complicated the root bound is. You can simply trim monstera roots so that it can fit into a new pot. Or, you can also split the monstera root if the plant is growing too fast in the pot. If the plant is crammed, you might also need to break the container or cut it off.

Do Monsteras go into shock after repotting?

Yes. After being moved, repotted Monsteras frequently experienced transplant shock. This is typical and happens to some extent after plants have been transplanted in many cases. When trying to revive a dying monster from transplant shock, it’s crucial to mimic the parameters of its natural habitat, which include temperatures between 60°F and 85°F, humidity levels of about 30%, bright indirect sunshine, and an appropriate watering schedule.

Can a Monstera recover from Root bound?

Of course! You can separate the root bound by repotting or splitting the monstera. After that, make sure to take care of the repotting plants with proper moisture, light, and nutrition. After a few days of recovery, your monstera plant will be back to normal.

Why is my Monstera dying after repotting?

After repotting, you’ll find the monstera leaves droop and look to be dying. A monstera dying after repotting is caused by the roots being ineffective at absorbing moisture and nutrients. It’s because the roots have not yet been established in the new soil.

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