Monstera do not have large or invasive root systems. They will grow aerial roots to help to support the vine as it grows up and reach for water and nutrients. Monstera will grow long stems as vines which can be trimmed off and grown into their own plants by rooting them in water or soil. This will keep the plant smaller and limit the growth of their roots.
Monstera grow well in pots and will often fit in a pot that seems small compared to the size of the plant. When you see roots start to grow out the bottom of your pot it is time to repot it into a larger plant or to cut it back to limit its size.
Monstera stems can grow along the ground and their aerial roots will grow into the soil to stabilize the vine. Monstera can grow large outdoors if you live in a warm sub-tropical area. Find a spot that gets bright light and morning shade to prevent the leaves from burning.
This article will explore all you need to know about monstera root systems.
Are Monstera deliciosa invasive?
Monstera plants can grow rapidly in areas with temperate or sub-tropical climates with high rainfall. Outdoor monstera grown in light, organic matter rich soil can grow 20 feet or more if they are allowed to grow to full size.
Monstera plants are easy to control where long stems can be trimmed to keep them smaller. Decide how big you want your monstera to get to and choose a space to accommodate them.
To keep monstera contained, plant them in a pot outdoors. This will keep their root system contained but remember to check the base of the pot often. Monstera plants will send roots out of the drainage holes once they get large enough. These roots can be trimmed off without damaging the plant.
Do Monstera have deep roots?
Monstera roots will grow deep enough to stabilize the plant. They will not usually grow as deep as the plant is tall but can grow roots along their stems as they touch the ground. The roots will not spread very far beyond the monstera stems but will send out smaller roots instead.
Monsteras are vines so have smaller spreading root systems rather than a deep tap root.
Will Monstera damage walls?
Monstera plants can grow large and rub against walls as they grow. As they blow in the wind the large branches can make marks on brick walls. Keep the large vines trimmed so that they are not close to touching the wall. The large leaves are light and will not mark the wall like stems will.
Monstera stems can grow large and heavy so can pull over a light fence that is not stabilized. Do not grow them up a wire fence because their weight can sag the fence wire over time.
Does Monstera like to be root bound?
Monstera does not like to be root bound but can survive in pots that are small compared to their leaf coverage. I have kept my monstera deliciosa in the same pot for over 2 years and it is still growing strong.
When you see roots appear out the bottom of the pot it is time to repot it into a pot that is one size larger. Do not increase the pot size by any more than 2 inches wide because the extra soil can stay too wet and cold and cause root rot.
Aerial roots on Monstera
Monstera have thick and strong aerial roots which can grip onto nearby trees or branches and help it to grow taller. Monstera stems will get large and heavy so can pull over trees that they grow up if they are not strong.
Monstera can also grow up post support in pots or in the ground. Use a coconut coir post when you replant your monstera to add vertical height.
How to stop Monstera from becoming invasive
Here are a few tips to keep your monstera from becoming invasive at home. In areas with good soil, regular rainfall and sub-tropical weather Monstera can grow large. If you want to keep them small try these 3 tips.
1. Keep them contained in pots
The best way to keep monstera contained is to grow them in pots. They make a great indoor plant and will grow well in a position that gets bright filtered light. Take care not to overwater them because it can cause the leaves to turn brown or black.
You can take stem cuttings to keep the plant smaller. Cut a piece of stem with a leaf below a node. Look out for a piece with an aerial root to help the cutting to root faster. Place it in a jar or water or in some potting soil outside. Keep the soil moist for the first few weeks until the cutting establishes roots.
2. Trim them regularly
Trimming monstera regularly will keep the vine small and limit the root growth of the monstera. If aerial roots are able to find water and soil they will grow large and long. I placed an aerial monstera root in a glass of water and it doubled in size in 2 days.
These aerial roots are useful if you are training your monstera up a grow pole. This will help them to grip on. You can even spray the grow pole to keep it moist and help the aerial roots to grow.
3. Train them up a pole
Training monstera to grow vertically will help to stop them from taking over a space horizontally. They can be grown up a pole outdoors or indoors. This will keep the root system in the pot as small as the leaf width (or smaller).
You can then gradually increase the pot size over every 2 years or cut the plant back to keep it happy in the same size pot. It is important every 2 years to refresh the potting soil even if you are not increasing the pot size. Shake off any excess and add fresh soil to replace the nutrients and prevent the soil from becoming compacted.
Do Monstera Have Invasive Roots? | Summary
Monstera do not have invasive roots but can grow large and quickly take over a space. If you live in a warm, tropical area with good soil then your monstera will be happy and grow large. Keep them small by trimming their stems regularly. You can make new plants for free by taking node cuttings and rooting them in water.
For more on how to take monstera node cuttings, check out my article here: Propagating Monstera Without a Node | Can it be done?