Monstera Aerial Roots: Everything You Need to Know

Jump into the cool world of Monstera plants and their most fascinating feature – the Monstera aerial roots. These intriguing parts of the plant serve important functions in their survival, adaptation, and growth. A natural wonder,the aerial roots can of Monstera often leave plant lovers stumped about their purpose, growth patterns, and maintenance needs. Whether you’re an aspiring botanist, a gardening novice, or simply a curious plant parent, this all-in-one guide will help figure out the mystery of Monstera aerial roots, showing off how important they are in the life of this famous indoor plant. From spotting these roots to managing their growth, learn about the world under the leaves of your Monstera plant, and discover how to use its natural power to create a lively and fit indoor garden.

What are Monstera aerial roots?

Monstera aerial roots are a type of adventitious root that grows from the stem or trunk of a plant, rather than from the ground. They are often found in plants which grow on other plants or objects rather than in soil.

Monstera aerial roots help the plant to climb and anchor itself to its support. They also absorb from the air, which is especially important in habitats where the soil is poor.

In some species of Monstera, the aerial roots also store that helps to keep water. The large leaves of Monstera plants are often increase with holes, which helps to increase the surface area for absorption. Together, these adaptations allow Monstera plants to thrive in thrive environments where other plants would quickly perish.

Monstera aerial roots are a type of adventitious root

What Do Aerial Roots Look Like?

Aerial roots come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all share one common trait: they all have access to oxygen, which is necessary for their growth. As a result, air roots are often white or pale in color, as this allows them to better absorb oxygen from the air.

Aerial roots are often white or pale in color when young

Monstera aerial roots can grow quite thick in the wild, but they tend to stay thin in the home. They can grow quite long and protrude in all directions as your plant seeks support.

If your Monstera deliciosa is producing a lot of aerial roots, attach it to a moss pole. This will provide a base for the roots to attach to. After all, these are climbing plants, and they will grow faster this way. It also reduces the likelihood of branches breaking later on!

What to do with Monstera aerial roots?

Monstera plants produce aerial roots that grow downward toward the ground. These roots aren’t essential to a healthy Monstera, so you can trim them away if they’re getting in your way or are unsightly. However, it’s important not to break or damage the stems or leaves of the plant while removing these aerial roots, as this can lead to fungal infections and rot.

The most important thing to remember when caring for a Monstera plant with aerial roots is that these roots aren’t essential for the health of your plant, clean pruning shears. If you’d like to keep your Monstera’s aerial roots, simply cut away any that are getting in the way or causing damage. However, if these roots aren’t serving a purpose and are just taking up space, trim them away using clean pruning shears to reduce the risk of rot and fungal infections.

If you want to prune monstera roots, please read our article how to prune monstera

How do aerial roots vary from underground roots?

Compared to normal roots, aerial roots look kinda weird. Other differences include:

Aerial roots are adventitious

So, aerial roots not only look weird but also pop up in weird places. The word “adventitious” hints that something is either adventurous or gives a leg up.

Actually, “adventitious” just means a plant part that shows up in a random place.

Everyone knows that plant roots grow underground. But, aerial roots sprout from the plant’s main stem above the ground. So they’re labeled as adventitious.

Aerial roots are mostly used for climbing

Aerial roots can soak up moisture (and any nutrients in that moisture), but this is only a secondary job.

If you give your Monstera enough water, it will use its aerial roots to grab onto any strong pole it runs into and start to climb. Aerial roots can turn into underground roots (that is, if you plant them, they’ll take root), but underground roots don’t pop out from the ground to turn into aerial roots.

Monstera are often described as loving bright, indirect light, even though they can’t figure out what’s best for them. To get as close to the sun as possible, Monstera deliciosa use their aerial roots to climb nearby trees.

What’s interesting is that even if a plant isn’t growing towards the light, just rising up might result in bigger leaves.

As a way to get closer to a tree that they can climb from a young sprout, Monstera grow away from the light. Young plants grow more slowly, but this is offset by the leg up they get by finding something to climb early on.

Aerial roots have more raphide crystal cells than subterranean roots

These crystal cells are in charge of a few processes, one of which is the making of oxalic acid in plant tissue.

Why should you care? Well, it’s actually pretty cool because the plant knows that aerial roots are more likely to be eaten than underground roots. Because the aerial roots have more oxalic acid, critters that eat them will be slightly poisoned and will avoid them in the future.

AND, if the aerial roots are planted so that they start to act like side roots, the number of those crystals goes down.

Aerial roots can develop into lateral roots

Plants with side roots can be stuck to the ground. Usually, they spread out sideways from their vertical roots.

If you plant aerial roots, they can form their own root system and give even more steadiness and support.

Aerial roots are more rounded

They also don’t split or taper like underground roots because they don’t hold up the plant.

They stay rounder and thicker because their outside part lets them grab whatever they’re attached to better.

They also have a thick, barky outer layer that cracks scarily when you try to push the roots back into the substrate; this is normal.

Underground roots are necessary

It sounds like I’m being mean, but it’s the truth. Your Monstera won’t get sick if you cut off its aerial roots. But your Monstera will probably die if the underground roots are cut off.

While both types of roots will try to grow back, nobody will notice if you keep chopping off aerial roots. Your Monstera will definitely die if the underground roots are kept short.

Can you propagate monstera aerial roots?

Aerial roots are special because they grow above ground, rather than below ground like most roots. As a result, monstera can also be propagated using aerial roots.

To propagate monstera using aerial roots, just cut a piece of root that is at least 6 inches long. Fill a planting pot with damp potting mix, and make a small hole in the center. Then, stick the aerial root cutting into the hole, and backfill with potting mix. Water well, and put the pot in a bright place out of direct sunlight. With the right care, your monstera aerial root cutting will soon take root and start to grow.

Propagate monstera aerial roots

How to train Monstera roots on a moss pole?

If you want to train Monstera roots on moss poles, start by cutting a piece of healthy-looking Monstera roots. Stick the roots on your moss pole, leaving about 2 or 3 inches of space between each root. As time passes, the roots will grow bigger and will eventually get stuck on the moss pole. To speed this up, you can use a rooting hormone to help root growth along. Some gardeners also suggest wrapping the moss pole in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help keep the roots damp and encourage them to grow. Before long, your Monstera roots will be attached to your moss poles!

As you can see, training Monstera roots on moss poles is pretty easy and only needs a few basic tools and materials. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to add some lush greenery to your home or garden, consider giving Monstera roots a try!

If you’re interested in learning more about training Monstera roots on moss poles, there’s a ton of help and info online, from garden blogs and forums to YouTube tutorials. Or, you can chat with your local gardening experts for some advice and tips on how to get the results you’re after. Good luck!

Monstera aerial roots Climbing Moss pole

Can i cut monstera aerial roots?

Aerial roots assist the plant to climb or to stick to support. However, some folks choose to cut aerial roots off their Monsteras for looks. While this is generally safe for the plant, it’s important to be careful. Aerial roots are an important part of the plant’s support system, and removing them can make the plant more vulnerable. In addition, snipping aerial roots can also mess with the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. As a result, it’s best to only cut aerial roots if they are causing problems or if you are sure that your plant can still thrive without them.

What are some common problems with aerial roots on a Monstera plant, and how to solve them?

Aerial roots on Monstera plants can be a usual issue, as they may grow out of control and become twisted or rot.

  • One possible fix is to remove the aerial roots with a sharp knife. However, you should be careful when doing so, as you don’t want to accidentally harm any leaves or stems while removing the roots.
  • Another possible fix is to regularly look at your Monstera plant for twisted aerial roots, and clip away any that are beginning to grow in wrong ways. By watching closely on your Monstera plant, you can prevent many problems linked to aerial roots from occurring.
  • Alternatively, you can choose to mount your Monstera plant on a piece of driftwood or another type of big object that can hold its weight. This is an especially cool choice if the aerial roots tend to grow out over your pot’s sides.
  • Another option is to use special types of plant ties to help keep your Monstera plant in place and stop it from growing too many aerial roots. These ties can be attached directly to the main stem or trunk of the plant, helping you to better control its size.

In general, the best way to deal with excess aerial roots on a Monstera plant is to try to keep the soil in your pot moist and well-aerated. This will reduce the risk of overly wet soil, which can lead to root rot and other problems. By ensuring that your plant has plenty of water, air, and nutrients, you can encourage it to grow as well as possible.


Monstera aerial roots are a cool addition to any home or garden. If you’re looking for a unique way to add greenery and interest to your space, consider adding a monstera plant with aerial roots. With right care, these plants can be easy to grow and maintain, making them a great choice for anyone new to gardening. Have you ever had a monstera plant with aerial roots? What was your experience like? Tell FamiPlants in the comments below.

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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