Monstera aerial roots | Should you remove them?

Monstera plants will grow aerial roots in search for nutrients and water to expand their size. Aerial roots that find soil will grow into the soil to stabilize the plant. Aerial roots can grow 10 inches long if you let them or can be snipped off to tidy up the plant. Cuttings taken with aerial roots will grow quickly when placed in water and can be transplanted to make new plants.

This article will explore all you need to know about monstera aerial roots, what you should do with them and when you should cut them off.

Find out how to deal with monstera aerial roots.

Why monstera grow aerial roots

Monstera will grow aerial roots to reach out for more water, soil and nutrients to expand. The roots can help the monstera to climb and can absorb water and nutrients to feed the plant. In their natural tropical habitat aerial roots can absorb moisture from the air as the humidity rises. 

What to do with aerial roots on Monstera – 4 Options

There are 4 main options when it comes to managing aerial roots on monstera plants. Here are the 4 ways you can deal with these roots.

1. Leave aerial roots on

Aerial roots will not cause any harm to the plant even if they never find soil. They can capture condensation on humid days and help the plant to grow. These roots are long, brown and will grow out longer until they find soil or water.

Other than looking a little unsightly, aerial roots can be left alone and the plant will be fine.

Aerial roots can grow long in search for water and soil.

2. Snip aerial roots off

Monstera aerial roots can be snipped off if you choose. If they become too long, are getting in the way or start to look messy they can be removed to tidy up the plant. Take some sharp secateurs or sharp kitchen scissors and snip off the aerial roots close to the stem.

Wash off the scissors or secateurs after you use them to remove any sap. Removing aerial roots on monstera will not cause damage and can make your plant look neater.

Wash secateurs with warm soapy water and an old sponge. Use vegetable oil on the secateurs to prevent rust after cleaning.

3. Use aerial roots to grow monstera cuttings

Look for an area of stem on your monstera that has an aerial root to take a cutting. Aerial roots usually grow below or near the stem node where a cutting from a new plant can be taken. Snip the stem 2 inches below the aerial root and use this piece to grow a new monstera plant.

Place the cutting with the aerial root attached into a jar or glass of water and wait for 4 weeks. New roots will grow and the plant will be ready to plant out into soil.

Cut the stem below the aerial root and that whole piece can be grown as a cutting.

4. Help stabilize the plant

Aerial roots can be a fantastic support for your plant to grip and grow onto a grow pole. Monstera are actually climbing plants once they get big enough and can be trained to grow up a coconut coir pole. The aerial roots will help the monstera to climb and absorb moisture Spray the grow pole with water and the aerial roots can absorb this when they grow. 

Aerial roots that can reach the soil will dig in and absorb water and nutrients.

Where to cut aerial roots on monstera

When removing aerial roots on monstera, snip them close to the base of the stem to tidy up the plant. This will keep the stems neat and green and remove the dark brown aerial roots that can make them look messy.

Always use sharp secateurs or strong scissors to make a neat cut and snip the root off completely. Any damage or broken roots can allow diseases to enter the plant.

Snip aerial roots as close to the stem as possible to create a neat finish.

Are monstera aerial roots bad?

Monstera aerial roots are not bad and are a natural way for the plant to expand and absorb more water and nutrients. If the aerial roots find more soil or water they can help the plant to grow and can stabilize the base of the plant. Aerial roots can also help you to grow faster cuttings when the stem is snipped off and placed in a vase of water.

Should I mist monstera aerial roots?

Monstera roots can be misted if they have attached themselves to a grow pole. This can help to give the plant water and help it to grow quicker. Coconut coir grow poles that are moist can help to expand the growth of the aerial root and hold the plant up on the pole.

While I don’t normally mist my monstera because I live in a humid area, misting on the aerial roots will encourage them to grow longer and provide the plant with more water.

Should I cut monstera aerial roots?

You should cut monstera aerial roots if you find that they becoming messy, if you don’t like the look or if you want to keep the plant smaller. The monstera can grow larger more rapidly if its aerial roots find water or soil as it will have more points to absorb.

Cutting aerial roots off monstera plants will not cause any damage to the plant. Take the time to consider whether or not you want to take a cutting from a large monstera as leaving the aerial roots on will help this process.

My neat and tidy monstera with aerial root removed.

Monstera aerial roots | Summary

Monstera will naturally grow aerial roots from the base of the nodes where the leaf splits or on the base of the plant near the soil. These roots can help to stabilize the plant, absorb more water and nutrients to help it grow quicker. If you mist aerial monstera roots they will grow longer. Snip off aerial roots if you find that they are growing too long or look messy.

Happy growing.