This Is What You Do With Aerial Roots On Monstera

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A lot of houseplants, especially climbing aroids, grow aerial roots, but very few grow them as abundantly as Monstera deliciosa. And so quickly! They can be a foot long in like a week!

You can 100% leave Monstera aerial roots to do their own thing, but you can also cut them off if they creep you out, or develop them into a ‘proper’ root system so you can grow your Monstera bigger.

You can also use them to help your Monstera climb. More details on that in this Monstera deliciosa whistlestop tour.

monstera deliciosa aerial roots attaching to ground
aerial root going walkabout at my local garden centre

What are aerial roots?

Aerial roots are roots that grow in the air.

This article is mostly going to cover Monstera aerial roots specifically because they grow a bit differently (i.e. more) than other plant species. If you're looking for a more general aerial root article, this houseplant aerial roots guide is for you.

Research into aroids is a bit behind compared to other plants (probably because you can’t usually eat them) so there isn’t a lot of concrete information on their aerial roots.

previously buried Monstera aerial root creeping closer to a nearby kratiste pole
My big Monstera’s aerial roots being creepy

Therefore, Monstera deliciosa aerial roots don’t fall into one of the four main types of aerial roots (stranglers, pneumatophores, haustorial roots, and propagative roots).

Instead, we classify them as adventitious roots, but whilst it is true – adventitious roots are roots that grow from somewhere other than the primary roots – it’s not really that good of a classifier.

Rhizomes, corms and tubers are also adventitious roots, but they’re very different from aerial roots.

So all aerial roots are adventitious, but not all adventitious roots are aerial roots.

(Let’s forget about epiphytic orchids – their entire root system is made of aerial roots which aren’t all adventitious, but they ruin my cute sentence.)

ANYWAY

Monstera aerial roots are the roots that grow from the nodes, usually at the back, and the leaves grow from the node but at the front.

When we grow Monstera as houseplants, the back and front of plants doesn’t really matter, but if you’re putting your moss pole on a pole, you need the aerial roots at the back.

monstera aerial root buried in the soil
that pipe cleaner is from a previous air-layering attempt

What are Monstera aerial roots for?

Climbing

The primary function of Monstera aerial roots is to stick them to the tree they’re climbing. They climb so they can get bigger.

Monstera deliciosa are hemiepiphytes.

Epiphytes live their lives in the trees, or on rocks, with their roots out in the open, rather in the ground, as per tradition.

Hemiepiphytes germinate on the ground, and then climb up a tree or rockface, using their aerial roots to attach as they go.

(There are a couple of species of Philodendron that germinate in the canopy and send aerial roots down, but this article is about Monstera, and Monstera start on the ground and grow up).

Once the Monstera seeds have germinated on the ground, they search for a host tree to climb. The seedlings display negative phototropism, so instead of growing towards the light, like most seedlings, they grow towards the shade, in the hope that the shade is indicative of a handy tree that they can climb.

As they climb, they send out aerial roots from each node to ensure they don’t fall from the tree in high winds. The higher they climb, the more light they get, the more they can photosynthesize, the bigger and faster they grow.

Absorbing water and nutrients

Monstera can absorb nutrients and water from the air and the surface of the host tree using their aerial roots, but they’re not parasitic.

Their leaves contain toxic (and nasty-tasting) calcium oxalate crystals, so the host tree is less likely to be eaten. It’s a relationship that benefits everyone involved!

Though Monstera can absorb water and nutrients through their aerial roots, they don’t need to. The vast majority of the water/food they need is absorbed by their underground root system.

Taking over if something happens to the underground roots

However, should something happen, like the stem gets crushed or snapped, the aerial roots can pick up the slack.

Monstera deliciosa differ from similar climbing aroids because their aerial roots get long. In their native Mexico, people make ropes from them. Their purpose is to drop down into the ground and root there, as well as climbing. That’s why Monstera aerial roots tend to be more abundant than they are on similar plants.

Most climbing aroids, Monstera deliciosa included, have the potential to grow three types of roots:

  • Their primary root system

These are just…normal roots. The primary root produces lateral roots which grow out and down and split and multiply in order to maximise the water/nutrients available to the plant and widen its base, thus increasing its stability.

  • Their aerial root system

Aerial roots can absorb moisture, but 99% of their job is to climb and stick to stuff.

Monstera deliciosa aren’t alone in their ability to create a lateral root system, they just invest way more time and energy into creating one than other climbing aroids. and it paid off! They’re an invasive species across most of the tropics because they went that extra mile.

  • An aerial subterranean root system

An aerial subterranean root system is what happens when an aerial root reaches the ground and roots in it. The bit of the root that’s still above ground remains an aerial root, but below ground, it becomes a regular subterranean root system and starts sending out lateral roots.

Again, scientists aren’t really sure how this happens. Roots shouldn’t be able to just change their composition just because there’s been a substrate change.

monstera aerial subterranean roots
this aerial root now makes up the majority of this Monstera’s root system

Current thinking is that as soon as the aerial root hits the ground, the part of the root that grows underground stops producing raphides. Raphides are shards of calcium oxalate (the stuff that makes Monstera toxic).

It makes sense – raphides* are probably there to protect against herbivores, so they’re not needed underground. The lack of raphides tells the root that it’s a subterranean root, so…it is one.

Monstera deliciosa are far more likely to develop aerial subterranean roots in the wild than other plants, but most plants with aerial roots for climbing can have them change to subterranean roots.

*Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is named after raphides (well, the rhaphidophora part – tetrasperma means four-sided seed). I assume by the time they got to RT they’d run out of names because most aroids contain raphides. It’s not like they’re especially toxic.

Do Monstera need aerial roots?

In their natural habitat, they do need aerial roots.

If they can’t climb, then they’ll never get enough light to grow to a decent size, and they’ll get outcompeted by all the other plants. The risk of being trodden on is also probably…not low.

Their leaf size and ability to mature as a plant is dictated by the amount of light they receive and the fact that they’re growing up.

However, they don’t need them in a home environment for a couple of reasons:

  • They don’t have as much competition from other plants for light, water, and nutrients so they can be healthy without needing to climb
  • They can climb without using their aerial roots – you can attach them to a pole with ties or greening pins

They don’t need aerial roots because they have you! You’re the aerial roots now!

Aerial roots are a means to an end. Monstera need them to climb. 

However, we can take care of making sure they have plenty of light and giving them a pole so they feel like they're growing up - they don't actually need them.
I don’t have a Monstera deliciosa on a pole, so this is a Monstera adansonii

That being said, allowing Monstera to create a subterranean aerial root system is a great way to grow it quickly and increase the size of the leaves. You can do this by either directing the roots into the pot or giving it a moss pole that it can grow roots into.

Not only does it grow faster, it basically layers itself, so you can take a cutting with an aerial root, and then separate the root system and pop it up to get another plant.

This is easier to do in a moss pole than with buried roots, but in both cases, the roots tangle up with each other quickly, so it’s not necessarily easier than chopping and propping.

Should I remove Monstera aerial roots?

Monster deliciosa don’t need aerial roots when they’re kept as houseplants, especially when you don’t really want them to climb.

Their roots aren’t parasitic, but they do have a tendency to stick to wooden/painted furniture and walls, and if you rip them off, they can cause (cosmetic) damage.

If you want to cut the aerial roots off your Monstera, that’s fine. A Monstera can live perfectly well with no aerial roots.

Monstera aerial root poking out of the soil
once an aerial root, always an aerial root…until I bury it again

However, when you damage plants, especially when you create a wound by cutting them, you’re opening the plant up to possible infections. Therefore, make sure you use sharp scissors or a knife to cut off aerial roots.

You want to slice through it, so you only damage the cells you cut. If you use a blunt tool, or try to rip or pull it off, you'll end up crushing way more cells than is necessary.

It’s also important to clean the tools you use before cutting your Monstera’s aerial roots. Creating a wound is bad enough for possibly introducing infection, using dirty tools is just asking for trouble.

You can either dunk your knife/scissors in boiling water, clean them with hot soapy water, or clean them with hydrogen peroxide.

The aerial root may well grow back. You can just cut it again.

Throw away the bit you’ve cut off. It can’t survive without any stem.

When do Monstera start growing aerial roots?

When I first got my Monstera, I was interested to know when Monstera started growing roots, and the general consensus was that it was an age thing. Once they’re ready to start climbing, they start growing aerial roots.

This may be the case in the wild, but Monsteras in captivity start growing aerial roots when they’re tiny babies. The vast majority have been grown from tissue culture, so a tiny tissue culture Monstera may have ten leaves, whereas a ‘real’ Monstera seedling may be the same size and have one leaf.

They grow in a different way, and tissue culture Monstera grow aerial roots way before they actually need them. These very early ones seem to be a conscious (insofar as a plant can be conscious) decision to increase their root system, so they grow directly into the ground:

This is my tiny baby Monstera that only has a couple of leaves – it’s so small I have four in a four-inch pot.

Rooting their aerial roots this young makes sense – not only does it increase the size of their root system, but it also helps them stay upright without needing additional support.

I don’t know if they sense there’s no support around, or if Monstera have been cultivated to grow aerial roots younger.

I also have my baby Monstera right in a big south-facing window, so perhaps they’re just preparing for takeoff?

do I need to mark this as nsfw?

What do you do with Monstera aerial roots?

It really doesn’t matter what you do with your Monstera’s aerial roots. It doesn’t need them (as long as you’re caring for it well).

Instead, find something that works for both of you. Here are four things you can do with them, and the likely consequences:

Bury them in the soil

I bury all of my Monstera’s aerial roots in the same pot that it’s planted in. It means I don’t need a moss pole, because the roots are strong enough to keep the plant upright.

It’s not ideal, because it does mean you’ll probably need to repot your Monstera more often, because the pot will fill up with roots much faster, but I don’t like the look of Monstera on moss poles, so I prefer it.

There’s a somewhat pervasive rumour that if you direct Monstera aerial roots back into the soil they’ll just rot, but whilst that can happen, it shouldn’t if you’re looking after it properly.

Aerial roots are likely to rot if you buy them IF your Monstera isn’t getting enough light, or you’re keeping the soil too wet. If that isn’t the case, they should root quite quickly – it usually only takes a couple of weeks for them to start growing under the soil.

Add a pole and convince them to climb it

This is the general advice for Monstera deliciosa – get a pole, attach the stem to the pole (not the petioles) and the aerial roots will attach and help it climb.

How well this works depends on the moss pole you use.

Cheap coir moss poles are fine, but aerial roots don’t like them, so you’ll need to attach the stem to the pole yourself. The aerial roots aren’t likely be of any use.

Proper moss poles (i.e. the ones filled with damp moss) are great, and they’re probably the thing most people recommend.

Controversially I don’t think this is that great of an idea unless you understand just how big Monstera get and how voracious their root growth is. If you want a MONSTER Monstera and you’re happy to keep extending the pole and repotting, then go for it. One good thing about Monstera is that when you repot, they’re pretty chill about you accidentally snapping roots because they just love to grow more.

I use Kratiste poles for my other climbing aroids, and you could definitely use them for Monstera, but you’d have to keep extending it. They don’t develop a full aerial-subterranean root system like they would on a moss pole, but the aerial roots will attach by themselves.

Put the aerial roots in water

This was a hack on Tiktok years ago, and it’s one of those things that can help a bit, but can also be a bit of a double-edged sword. I have a whole article about putting Monstera aerial roots in water here.

I’ll cover it quickly here:

When you put aerial roots in water, they start absorbing the water. This can really benefit big Monstera because their top leaves are a long way away from the subterranean roots.

Plants use water as a kind of hydraulics system – water pressure in the stem and leaves keeps the plant upright. A plant without enough water can be droopy. When you put an aerial root in water, the water pressure – called turgor pressure – reaches its maximum capacity and the plant can hold itself up better.

The reason putting aerial roots in water can cause a new leaf to shoot out is because the plant is able to absorb more water (and potentially nutrients, if you put an aerial root in nutrient water). The plant feels like it can afford to grow more.

monstera aerial root in water
what can I say? I’m a sheep

This is all fine. As long as you keep changing the water (stagnant water will cause rot), the plant will be fine. The only issue is that if you remove the water, the plant may look droopy, and even drop leaves because its root capacity has decreased. If you leave the new roots formed in the open air, they’ll just shrivel up unless you have VERY high humidity. You can use those roots to propagate though – you’ve basically air-layered your plant.

By the way, my Monstera Thai Constellation grows in water, and I direct all her aerial roots back into her jar (her equivalent of having the roots buried in the soil) and she grows at exactly the same rate as the one that’s in soil.

Putting aerial roots into water isn’t the hack – the hack is developing the aerial roots so they provide another root system.

Cut the aerial roots off

We’ve covered this, but I’m going to say it again: Monstera don’t need aerial roots when they’re houseplants. If you don’t like them, chop them off – it’ll grow more.

There’s also option no. 5, which is to leave the aerial roots alone and lt them do their own thing. I do advise you keep an eye on them though, just in case they start climbing your walls.

How do you get more aerial roots?

So, you have your Monstera, and you want it to climb and grow big, but it won’t grow any aerial roots. What can you do?

Firstly, Monstera grow entirely on their own schedule. My Thai Constellation grows a leaf, and then an aerial root, repeat forever. My big Monstera grows about four aerial roots for every new leaf. I direct them back into the soil and they pop out again.

But there are some things you can do to try to convince your Monstera to grow aerial roots. The good news is that doing these things will only help your Monstera, so there’s no downside.

this is going to be an aerial root in either three days or three years

Increase the light

Remember that Monstera do burn if they’re not acclimated (i.e. gradually introduced to higher light) so don’t whack them from low light to bright light unless you don’t mind their leaves frazzling to a crips and having to wait for them to regrow.

It’s a myth that Monstera like bright, indirect light. Mine (even my variegated one, which is more sensitive to sunburn) sit right in a south-facing window and they don’t burn. The more light the better, so long as they’re acclimated properly, the air isn’t too dry, and you don’t let the soil dry out too much.

More light just gives them more energy, so they’re more likely to grow…something. Whether it’s an aerial root or not is up to them.

Increase humidity

Humidity specifically can encourage aerial root growth BUT it needs to be super high to make a sizeable difference – like, 80%.

We don’t really want to live in 80% humidity, so try putting your plant in a big clear plastic box with some same moss in it, or even see if you can find a clear plastic bag big enough for it to sit in.

Make sure it has some holes for air flow.

Grow the Monstera vertically

Obviously plants didn’t evolve to be houseplants, so in their brains (or the plant equivalent) if they’re growing vertically, the light will increase. They weren’t banking on houses being a thing.

Therefore, if you grow a Monstera vertically, whether its on a moss pole or propped up on it’s own aerial roots, it’s more likely to start growing more aerial roots.

Just don’t tell them about ceilings.

Air-layer the nodes

I have an article here on air-layering, but it’s just the process of rooting a cutting before cutting it.

Get some damp moss, wrap it around a monstera node, and wrap it in clingfilm. The issue here is that keeping the moss on will produce subterranean roots, not aerial roots. We don’t want to actually air layer the node – we just want to kind of…wake it up.

I won’t lie, I’ve seen people do it on YouTube, but it didn’t work for me. I just got some roots that quickly perished because I didn’t want underground roots.

Can you use Monstera aerial roots for propagating them?

You can, but they need to be attached to a node. Whether it’s still attached to the plant and you air-layer it, or whether you take a cutting doesn’t matter.

You don’t need an aerial root to propagate Monstera deliciosa. They can grow roots straight out of the node. However an aerial root is good for a couple of reasons:

  1. You know you’ve got a node. Aerial roots emerge from nodes, so as long as you have an aerial root attached to a couple of inches or so of stem, you’ve almost certainly got a node.
  2. The aerial root can grow into a subterranean root system. It’s further along in the ‘being a root’ process than the node.

If you stick the node in water and change it every week or so, the aerial root will probably root a bit faster than the node, but not by much. However, if you try to force the cutting to root quickly, you can get the aerial root growing pretty quickly. Adding a Pothos to the water, using nutrient water, or simply changing the water every day can get your Monstera cutting rooted super quickly*.

*As a lazy person, I don’t do this. Monstera deliciosa are one of the few houseplants that root easily in soil, so I usually just take cuttings and stick them straight into potting mix. I reserve forcing the aerial roots to root for trickier, like Rhaphidophora tetrasperma.

Monstera aerial roots problems

In general, the only aerial roots are creating an actual problem is if they’re rotting. Rot can travel up the aerial root and into the stem, so if your aerial roots are brown, mushy, and smell a bit…fishy? Gone off mushroomy? then cut them off, at least half an inch past the rot so you know you’ve got rid of all of it.

But there are times when aerial roots won’t play ball, so I have some thoughts on that:

They’ve gone brown and hard

Aerial roots do just go brown and hard once they’ve finished. They may have completed their task of adhering to something, and hardened off, or they may have just decided that they’ve stopped growing.

Most of the time, you can crack the outside of the aerial root and peel the brown outer-casing off and find they’re still green underneath.

When I got one of my Monstera, I removed all the outer casings of the aerial roots and soaked them in water to make them more pliable, before directing them back into the soil. A couple snapped, but they can regrow.

They can also go brown and randomly start regrowing, but a bit off centre – they;ll grow the same way if you cut/ break them.

They’ve shrivelled up/are drying out

This is usually a lack of humidity issue, but it can also just be that your Monstera has decided that it doesn’t need any more aerial roots. I have a full article that explains what to do with shrivelled-up aerial roots here.

They won’t grow

This is covered above, but also…Monstera are notorious for just stopping for a rest. Mine usually put out a load of leaves in spring, and then slow waaaay down over the summer,r stop completely over winter and then repeat.

Repotting Monstera with aerial roots

Repotting a Monstera with a tonne of aerial roots can be a pain. I tend to hold the Monstera so that as many of the aerial roots are directed into the soil as possible – this usually means that the rootball and the plant are askew, but that’s fine.

I don’t mind a wonky Monstera stem – I can straighten it out over time, but you can chop any errant roots off if you’d prefer. I have an article on repotting a Monstera with aerial roots here.

In summary

Ok, I *think* that covers everything you really to know about Monstera aerial roots, but feel free to leave me any questions in the comments. Let me just sum up everything we’ve learnt in a few bullet points:

  • Monstera use their aerial roots primarily for climbing
  • Monstera aerial roots can grow down to the ground, into the soil, and become underground, regular roots, used for absorbing water and nutrients
  • The Monster in your living room doesn’t need aerial roots, but you can leave them alone, encourage them to grow, or cut them off.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

46 thoughts on “This Is What You Do With Aerial Roots On Monstera”

  1. It can be a sign of stress – after repotting for example. Check that the roots in the soil are healthy (not brown/mushy), but if your plant is growing fine I wouldn’t worry.

    Some plants, like heart leaf philodendron, have aerial roots that naturally wither after a while.

  2. I put my philodendron xanadu aerial root in another pot with soil and after a few days i noticed other roots sprouting below the soil. I have now cut the aerial root off the mother plant and bumps are appearing onto the top part of aerial root…hope they will sprout into new leaves.

  3. Just found your blog from this post! Fantastic information answered my question!

    Shall be exploring your blog further, keep up the good work!

  4. Interesting read, thank you I like experimenting with propogating to see how things work. I put 2 monstera aerial roots in water with no leaves, nodes or stem. 1 with the tip just bobbing at the top of the water and 1 fully submerged in water. The one bobbing about rotted really quickly and smelled so bad. The other one was fine still and I forgot about it. 5 months later it’s still a fully formed aerial root that hasn’t rotted but hasn’t grown either. I cant find any answers anywhere on the internet so I’m just waiting to see what happens to the remaining aerial root. Plants are amazing little things

  5. One of my Monstera’s old, brown aerial roots has recently started growing again and has planted itself and grown soil roots. It’s still attached to my Monstera because I think if I chop it off it’ll die. I have no idea if it’ll turn into a plant, but I’ll update the post if it does!

    I think there are so many factors that influence propagation that it’s hard to find concrete answers. I’ve had to update this post a few times because there is so much advice out there that I later discovered (through personal experience) wasn’t quite accurate.

    Five months isn’t that long in terms of propagation – it’s probably doing something important that you can’t see. It’s a good sign that it hasn’t rotted – keep us posted!

    You’re right – plants are AMAZING.

  6. Hi! I recently cut a stem with 3 leaves + node for propagation. From the node, there was an aerial root that has rooted in the soil. I accidentally cut the aerial root so it’s now about 1 inch long. I am currently trying to grow roots in water. It has been a week and I haven’t seen any growth of roots (contrary to another one which didn’t have aerial roots to begin with). Should I be cutting the aerial roots to allow new roots to grow? Thank you!!!

  7. I’d leave it as it is – it may just be a slow grower! If you’re impatient (like me)I’ve found that propagating in moss is a bit faster than water, and there’s less risk of rot

  8. Does a cutting need an aerial root attached to be able to propagate? I can’t tell if mine has aerial roots, but my plant is so big so I want to trim it down and make new plants. Thanks!

  9. No – the reason people (including me) recommend taking a cutting above an aerial root is because aerial roots come from nodes. Whilst you don’t need an aerial root, you do need a node, and an aerial root is a great way to tell where the nodes are.

    Nodes are bumps on the stem where the leaves grow from – even if the node doesn’t have an aerial root, there’s usually a nub where one’s starting to form. If you can’t tell, email me a picture and I’ll show you where to cut.

  10. Hi! Just sharing my experience here – I recently received a monstera cutting that was cut just below an aerial root. I placed it in water for about a month and a half, and the ONLY aerial root grew roots – it grew a whole root system purely from the aerial root. I just potted it, so obviously I had to plant the aerial root. Well see how it goes but I thought this was really interesting,

  11. Nice! It’s weird how on some cuttings you’ll get roots from multiple parts of the node, and on others you’ll only get one. I suppose the plant is trying to establish a root system ASAP.

    I planted the aerial root of my monstera and it’s grown roots pretty well – I hope it sprouts a new plant! An older aerial root just rotted though, so I think the age of the root is a factor.

    Maybe they’re like stem cells and settle into their role as they get older, but when they’re young they can switch up their functions. I’ve recently started passive hydroponics and it’s so interesting seeing the water roots grow and the soil roots shedding.

    Just to be clear to everyone though: if you buy JUST an aerial root (rather than a cutting with an aerial root) it’s highly unlikely to do anything other than shrivel up and die. That may sound obvious to some of you, but there are some unscrupulous sellers out there charging a fortune for a bit of aerial root.

    9I’m not saying it’s impossible that a lone aerial root will grow, but it’s highly unlikely.)

  12. Thank you so much for this very informative post! I get anxious
    Of the thought that I might cut way to short or way longer than what’s expected! But your post gave me confidence to just snip snip! I will definitely let you know after a few weeks of how I did propagating my monestera.

  13. Good luck! Remember that when trying to propagate from an aerial root you’ll need to keep the root attached the plant! A snipped aerial root will usually just rot

  14. My daughter had a monstera on which all the leaves died off. I think she over watered it. She brought it to me because she felt bad about throwing it away!
    I have looked and it has healthy roots, 3 healthy stems and quite a few aerial roots. Do you think it may possibly grow new leaves if I look after it or is it a lost cause?
    Thank you for any help you may be able to give me.
    Loraine

  15. There’s (unfortunately) no way to tell. Some plants will grow new leaves really quickly, others…not so much.

    In my experience, the bigger the root system, the quicker the plant will grow once it’s got leaf buds, it just may take while to grow its first one.

  16. I repotted my monstera in the spring, and gave it something to climb. It’s put out aerial roots for the first time. Some of the roots have made it to the ground and have rooted around the pot. Are those not aerial roots?

  17. They are aerial roots – by rooting in the pot they’re creating a bit more stability for the plant. Sometimes they rot, sometimes they just chill, occasionally they’ll turn into a plantlet.

  18. Thank you very much. I would never cut off an attachment to a plant. That would be like cutting an arm off. I heard they were air roots, so I looked them up.

    Will keep transferring it into a larger pot as it grows. I will support it well. Mine is in a shady part of my balcony which is protected from the wind. And direct sunlight. Really growing fast. One new leaf every 3 weeks

    Thank goodness it is not a man eater like Audrey2.

  19. I accidentally snapped one and felt super guilty, but it seems to have healed and is still growing. Phew. Yeah, monstera outside grow super fast – I noticed a difference after mine doesn’t the day outside – even here in the Uk.

  20. My Monstera has just one stim with 4 HUGE leaves and several yard long roots that grow all over my patio. Can I cut them? Thank you for the help.

  21. I honestly don’t realise that I do until I go back and read it! I’m sorry. I think I’m funnier than I am.

  22. It’s hard to say without seeing it. If you email me a picture (caroline@poamethouseplant.com I’ll have a look.

  23. My indoor Monstera has huge leaves and some aerial roots 2 to 3 feet long. I directed 2 aerial roots into the 12″ pot. They have grown into the pot generating smaller aerial roots under the soil to the point that I can’t stick a finger or hygrometer into the soil but what perplexes me is that now I have a handful of aerial root tips growing out of the soil…looks like worms coming out of the soil. Does anyone have an explanation or recommendation? I am worried the aerial roots in the pot may strangle the normal roots and kill my beautiful plant.

  24. They could be pups! My advice would be to grow it up something, like a moss pole or a plank of wood. If you don’t want to do that, you can always just snip the aerial roots off.

  25. A pretty big stem broke off my monstera and I put it in water with the aerial roots submerged. Today I switched out the water and of course figured the roots would. As I was pulling them off, the bark layer came off leaving normal looking roots attached to the stem. Do you guys think they’ll eventually rot away or keep growing?

  26. It’s hard to tell without seeing a picture, but usually, it could go either way. Change the water frequently (or add an air stone) and I don’t see why they shouldn’t keep growing.

  27. You don’t sound passive aggressive at all, Caroline. It was a delight to read, you are funny and it was very informative. Don’t let mean commenters steal your shine!

  28. Thanks for all your information and advice. You have a great way of presenting ideas and information – very enjoyable to read.

  29. In respect to your Rhapidaphora tetrasperma I have found mine to weep the most and I don’t think it is overwatering. As you say it very natural for them, however mine happens to be in “solarium” where the air conditioning air intake is and so is a vent that I keep mostly closed. My plant was given to me at the nursery with two rather thick trunks, some large older leaves and no leads growing at all but healthy it was. After repotting from a 6” pot to a nice large 10” pot the plant quite quickly began to grow from those nodes you mentioned in 4 different places on both trunks, the first of which is just as thick as the mother trunk and has already crawled up two feet. With light from a mostly north facing set of windows in Toronto.

  30. I’ve found RT are pretty generous with their growth points – mine grew in one direction for yonks and now has randomly started growing from a different node. Great for bushing them out. Their roots are pretty strong, so I bet you’ll have a massive plant in no time!

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