What are the aerial roots on Monstera deliciosa good for, and what should you do with them? Whenever the name “Monstera deliciosa” comes up, the first vision in everyone’s mind is broad leaves with unique holes in them.
The Monstera deliciosa belongs to the Araceae family, known for its unique flowers that bloom before the fruit on the plant starts to develop. The flower on Monstera Deliciosa has a leaflike appearance surrounding the fruit and is most commonly known as a spathe.
Table of Contents
What To Do with Monstera deliciosa Aerial Roots?
You can trim aerial roots back or put them into the soil. The aerial roots are responsible for supporting your plant. They can also take in water and nutrients. Support such as a pole and humidity will encourage aerial root growth.
Why does a Monstera have so many Aerial Roots
The aerial roots of your Monstera deliciosa have the main job of supporting your plant and helping it to attach to other plants and objects.
Apart from to other plants and objects, they can take in water from the air humidity and rainfalls as well s nutrients.
Things You Can Do with Aerial Roots on a Monstera
Some plant owners do not like the look of aerial roots present as they are long, stringy, and messy. If your pot has aerial roots falling onto the ground, you can trim them back.
Trimming the aerial roots close to where they are attached to the stem will not harm your plant, but they will eventually grow back.
Monstera Deliciosa is a climbing plant that continuously tries to support itself. If the aerial roots bother you, you can also look into other plants that do not need support, such as Pothos.
Why Aerial Roots are Important
The plant can snap from the stem area if it becomes too heavy. It is recommended you use a totem pole to support. It can be covered in sphagnum moss so that your Monstera Deliciosa can attach to it and grow.
Once you have put the support into its place, you will have to gently tie up the stem to the pole, encouraging the aerial roots to attach to it.
You will have to mist the pole to keep it moist occasionally. Misting it will create an environment similar to the one your Monstera Deliciosa maybe have gotten if it was grown on trees in the wild.
Some owners of Monstera Deliciosa also thread the most grown aerial roots through the moss pole. You can also try doing this, but it is not necessary, as your Monstera Deliciosa will not have any change in growth.
Moss Pole for Aerial Roots on Monstera
Providing your Monstera Deliciosa with a moss pole will encourage the aerial root to grow upwards on the pole rather than staying on the ground. This will also give your plant a cleaner look and encourage it to grow tall instead of wide.
Aerial Roots Support Larger Leaves
The taller your Monstera Deliciosa grows, the larger the leaves will get. You can also tuck the aerial roots around the plant, and it will make the plant look less wild.
Your chosen method is to your taste and the space you have for your plant. But remember, not providing enough support to mature Monstera Deliciosa slightly will hinder its growth and cause the heavier stems to snap off over time.
Indoor Monstera Deliciosa
When Monstera Deliciosa are kept indoors, they do not need to compete for natural resources, which would be evident if grown in the rainforest. However, a well-established plant will still grow aerial roots from its stems and nodes.
How do Aerial Roots Look Like?
The aerial roots on Monstera Deliciosa can be of many colors, such as green, white, and brown. As the aerial roots keep getting older, they will become darker and darker in color.
Eventually, they will develop offshoots that will have other aerial roots on them. When the first aerial root begins to form, the young aerial root can look small with knobs or growth on the side of the stem.
After a little time passes, these small knobs will grow much longer. Some Monstera Deliciosa owners have even reported growing their aerial roots up to three feet long when kept indoors.
When you propagate your plant, these aerial roots indicate that the node on the plant would be a good choice. You should cut beneath the node, where several aerial roots are present.
But it is important to remember that aerial roots will never grow into regular underground roots. These aerial roots are different than the everyday roots found underground.
Aerial roots are uncommon on young indoor Monstera Deliciosa plants. But as the plant ages, the aerial roots will eventually grow because the larger the plant gets, the more support it will require.
The Purpose of Aerial Roots on Monstera Deliciosa
The main purpose of aerial roots is to help Monstera Deliciosa grow up trees or other surfaces. Monstera Deliciosa and some other plants use their aerial roots once they are older and become heavier.
This is a natural occurrence for the plant as it is an important feature they developed in their natural habitat. This is because Monstera Deliciosa needs to compete for sunlight with larger tropical trees in the wild.
Aerial roots can also take moisture from the air and provide water to the plant. These allow Monstera Deliciosa to thrive in the rainforest since larger trees often occupy most of the water.
Aerial roots are not the same as underground or lateral-subterranean roots because they are exclusively used for growing taller. Underground roots help the plant stay uprooted and absorb water from underground and nutrients from the soil.
Although aerial roots take moisture from the air to water your plant, it is not their main function. Aerial roots alone cannot provide sufficient water for your plant, so it is important to water your plant as usual.
Should I put Aerial Roots on Monstera in Water?
You can put aerial roots in water. They will shed and transform into water roots. There is a recent trend going around on Social channels where people put aerial roots into water to promote faster growth and larger leaves.
I have tested it myself for several months. People claim that the roots will rot and that it doesn’t work. I have not found this to be true. My Monstera deliciosa borsigiana that I tried it with, produces larger leaves and is growing faster than my other plants.
I put one of the air roots into the water. It did not rot, but the tip transformed into a water root that can now absorb extra water and nutrients.
I exchange the water frequently so it stays fresh and the root does not start to rot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I cut off all of the aerial roots on my Monstera deliciosa?
You can trim off some of the aerial roots if they have become too long, but cutting off all of them is harmful to your plant. These aerial roots are present to support your plant, and not having any can be damaging.
Why won’t my Monstera Deliciosa grow aerial roots?
Monstera Deliciosa will naturally develop aerial roots once it becomes more mature.
Are aerial roots a bad sign on Monstera Deliciosa?
Aerial roots are a good sign, showing that your Monstera Deliciosa is growing well.
The aerial roots on Monstera deliciosa can:
- Support the plant
- Take in water
- Absorb nutrients