Monstera plants will not start to grow aerial roots until they are older, usually over 2 years. They will grow more aerial roots when the humidity levels are above 50%, if they are in contact with a moist moss pole or soil or if the main stem can reach moist soil.
Monstera plants without aerial roots are no problem, they will still grow large and bushy with lots of leaves. You can encourage more and longer aerial roots on your monstera by increasing the moisture contact for the plant, increasing the humidity and spraying the grow pole.
This article will explore why monstera plants are not growing aerial roots, what you can do to encourage them to grow and what to do if they are getting too long.
Why monstera are not growing aerial roots – Top 3
Here are the top 3 reasons why monstera will not grow aerial roots. Have a look through the list and see if you can work out which one is affecting your plant.
1. The plant is too young
Young monstera plants will not grow aerial roots until the plant has grown larger. Monstera plants can be sold as small plants around 1-2 years. After 2 years you can expect your plant to start to grow aerial roots as the vine grows longer and the nodes appear.
Leaves grow from the end of the vine and will continue to get longer and longer. Each node has the potential to grow an aerial root on the outside of the node.
My monstera did not start growing aerial roots until it was over 2 years old. I got it when it was small around 1-2 years but once it was over 2 years old it started growing aerial roots like crazy.
2. Contact with damp surfaces
Monstera stems that are in contact with damp surfaces are more likely to send out aerial roots. These roots grow to absorb the extra water for the plant. If you are growing your monstera up a moss pole for example, it will send out aerial roots to suck out any moisture.
The moss pole needs to be kept damp almost constantly to encourage the plant to grow aerial roots and grip on.
Monstera plants send out aerial roots in search of water, nutrients and to stabilize the vine as it grows. In its natural habitat in the south American jungles, it would climb up trees to reach the light. These aerial roots are perfect for gripping damp and rough tree trunks as it climbs.
3. Higher humidity
Higher humidity levels will encourage monstera plants to grow aerial roots. Once my monstera was older than 2 years and the summer humidity arrived it was growing long aerial roots in search of food and water.
Increasing humidity in your home near the monstera with an indoor plant humidifier can help to encourage the plant to send out aerial roots.
Is it a problem that my monstera does not have aerial roots?
It is not a problem if monstera plants do not grow aerial roots. If the plant is given the food, water and filtered light it needs it will thrive without them. You can stabilize the plant by tying it tightly to a grow pole with flexible plant ties to help it to stay upright.
Aerial roots will form naturally on monstera in humid rainforests or greenhouses where the humidity is high. Mine has grown long aerial roots over the humid summer where we have had high rainfall.
I put my monstera outside for around an hour in the rain and the next day its aerial root had doubled in length. I live in a sub-tropical area that is getting lots of summer rain this year.
How to get your monstera to grow more and longer aerial roots
Here are some easy tips to encourage more rots on monstera or to encourage the small aerial roots to grow longer.
1. Add a glass of water
The popular hack of using a glass of water to encourage aerial root growth actually works. Get a tall glass or plastic cup and place the aerial root inside the water still attached to the plant. This can cause the root to double in size in a few days.
2. Put your monstera outside in the summer rain
Take your monstera plant outside for a summer rain shower. This will help to wash off any dust from the leaves and thoroughly moisten the soil and the roots. It will even feed your plant a small amount of nitrogen that is captured in the rain from the atmosphere.
After bringing my monstera outside in a summer rainstorm its aerial root doubled in length. Remember to take the inner pot outside and allow it to drain well.
3. Dampen the moss pole
Spray the moss pole with some water to encourage the monstera to grow aerial roots. As the stem and nodes come in contact with the water it can encourage the plant to send out aerial roots. The moss pole needs to be kept almost constantly wet for this to work well.
4. Add humidity
Increasing the humidity levels near your monstera will encourage more aerial roots to grow. If you do not live in a tropical area use a plant humidifier or gently mist the plant in the morning.
5. Put small aerial roots in contact with soil
If you have small aerial roots growing from your monstera, put them in contact with soil to encourage them to grow longer. You can direct the root to the soil in the pot or place a whole new pot under the root. Outdoor monstera plants can trail along the ground allowing their arial roots to stabilize the plant in the soil.
No Aerial Roots on Monstera | Summary
Monstera will not always grow aerial roots straight away which is perfectly normal. There is no need for aerial roots on potted monstera plants but they will eventually appear as the plant gets older.
To encourage the plant to grow more and longer aerial roots increase the humidity and moisture available for the plant by misting, moistening the grow pole or taking it outside in the summer rain.