I’ve seen several sources advise you to put a bowl of water in the planter for your Monster deliciosa and trail its aerial roots in there. According to the theory, this is because aerial roots may actually absorb moisture. However, submerging them in water nonstop won’t likely accomplish much more than cause them to deteriorate and perhaps put your plant in risk.
However, you can frequently spray the aerial roots of your Monstera. Again, there is no scientific evidence that this makes a significant difference, but it won’t hurt. In addition, since these tropical plants prefer their surroundings to be moist, make sure the air humidity is not too low.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any additional queries regarding Monstera aerial roots or if you would want to discuss your own interactions with these magnificent tropical houseplants.
Can aerial roots be submerged in water?
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t submerge aerial roots of Monstera in water. Although it’s true that they can absorb moisture, they are normally not made to be submerged all the time.
You run a higher chance of causing damage to your plant when you submerge these roots in water. The aerial roots could start to decay.
Through overwatering, this might even indirectly injure underground roots. A Monstera starts to rely on its aerial roots as its primary supply of moisture when they have such easy access to regular water. Due to this, underground roots won’t develop as much and won’t be able to penetrate the soil deeply enough.
When that occurs, the underground roots are unable to absorb soil moisture from the routinely advised watering. Too much time spent with damp soil might cause those underground roots to decay.
You might have seen some claims that submerging aerial roots in water promotes development if you’ve been looking online. This is not supported by any scientific data, and it is most likely the result of correlation rather than causality.
However, some people do choose to submerge their aerial roots in water. But maintaining this precise balance can be challenging. Simply said, the possibility of decay makes this method less worthwhile.
The truth is that aerial roots don’t require any watering at all. They don’t even require misting. Simply simply, for maximum outcomes, keep those roots outside in the fresh air!
What are Monstera aerial roots?
Even indoors, Monstera deliciosa plants eventually have very long aerial roots. What do they do, exactly? Understanding how they fit into nature is crucial.
Simply put, aerial roots are plant roots that develop above the soil’s surface.
In the wild, Monstera deliciosa plants grow higher and more aerially to reach stronger light and to cling to tree trunks for support.
Outdoor aerial roots can cling to walls, trees, and other constructions. Watch the one below as it scales a wall.
Here is another illustration of a Monstera in the Cleveland Botanical Gardens climbing a tree.
What do you do with aerial roots on Monstera?
The thick, brown, cord-like aerial roots on my own plant grew so much that they piled up in a huge heap on the living room floor. My plant got difficult to rotate, so I just cut the roots back until they were no longer in contact with the ground.
Your plant won’t be harmed by this. Just keep in mind that more aerial roots will inevitably erupt, necessitating further trimming.
I don’t totally remove the aerial roots since I like the way they look. However, doing so won’t hurt your plant in any way.
Some may give them direction so they can begin to grow in the dirt in their pot. Although there is no danger in doing this—I myself don’t—doing so frequently enough can make it more difficult to repot your plant in the future.
People have also questioned whether they ought to put their Monstera aerial roots in tiny containers of water.
Although it is possible, it is not absolutely necessary. You don’t need to bother about watering or even misting your aerial roots if you use excellent watering techniques.
Can you propagate monstera aerial roots?
You cannot develop a new Monstera plant from merely an aerial root; I’m not sure where the idea comes from.
Starting with a cutting with a node will allow you to grow a new plant (where the leaf meets the vine). View the image below.
On my own Monstera deliciosa plant, you can see the developing “eye” where the arrow is in the photo above.
Simply cut the vine where the two red lines are, on either side of the node, and plant it either directly into moist potting soil or in water to root.
How can I train Monstera roots into a moss pole?
Although you don’t have to train your Monstera on a moss pole, you may just fasten your vine to the pole.
The aerial root that is growing into the moss is visible above where I tied the vine with a green twisty tie in the image below.
It will be simpler for the aerial roots to develop into the moss if you water your moss post.
Monstera will thrive with its roots submerged in water, but if the container is too small, it risked being root-bound. Move the plant to a bigger container or use a pair of sharp shears to trim off some of the longer aerial roots.
You can cut the stem and roots together to grow another monstera plant if the stem, which has one or more leaves, is attached to a piece of the aerial roots. Put the plant’s roots and stem piece that was cut off into a different container of water, and watch as it develops into a lovely houseplant!
In water, aerial roots will produce conventional roots as offshoots, enhancing the plant’s capacity to absorb nutrients and water. It’s typical for some of the aerial roots’ thick, brown outer covering to peel off and float in the water. Simply take them out when you change the water.
Can aerial roots be used to proliferate Monstera?
This technique works well for tiny cuttings and will appeal to the curious control freaks among us because you can monitor root development over time. Slice a stem just below a leaf node, then submerge it in a glass of fresh water. Water should be changed frequently as you wait for the roots to develop. You have the option of taking the cutting with or without an aerial root attached. The two images below demonstrate the roots that formed in a glass of water after 4-6 weeks, one from an aerial root and the other directly from a leaf node where, over time, an aerial root would have formed.
a cutting’s roots growing after removal without formed aerials. Just above the spot where the parent plant’s material was cut, the roots are starting to show up level with the leaf node.
Do I need to bury aerial roots?
Because they take in moisture and carbon dioxide, aerial roots on orchids are essential to the plant’s ability to develop healthy roots, leaves, and flowers. Even if the roots appear to be dead, this is true. The best course of action is to ignore the air roots.
Extensive aerial roots may indicate that your orchid is overgrown and requires a larger pot. Lower aerial roots can now be buried in the new container. Avoid forcing the roots since they can break if you do.
Can I submerge Monstera in water?
It may cause excruciating pain.
Okay, I have an aquarium so it’s not for me. I don’t do much other than replenish the water with fresh aquarium water around once a week.
On the other hand, if you don’t have an aquarium, you’ll need to add fertilizer and change the water periodically. Although you could just use standard fertilizer, water-grown plants require micronutrients in addition to the macronutrients typically contained in plant fertilizers. On Amazon, you can purchase the General Hydroponics Flora series, which I advise utilizing.
Algae forms as a result.
Although algae is unlikely to harm your plant, it does have a very unpleasant appearance and is virtually impossible to avoid.
NEVER listen to those who suggest that a fish will solve your problem. Keeping a fish in an unheated, unfiltered tank is not only cruel, but it will also do no good.
Take it from someone who has kept fish for more than ten years: very few fish and snails will efficiently consume algae. Instead, they’ll chow down on their wonderful fish meal.
Grow your plant in an opaque pot to prevent algae growth, and wash the container frequently.
Am I able to grow aerial roots?
An excellent example of roots you can plant is the aerial roots on houseplants. One of the most well-known examples of this can be seen on spider plants. Spider plants are frequently cultivated in hanging baskets, where they produce plantlets that dangle from peculiar, wiry stems that extend from the plant. There are numerous aerial roots on each plantlet. By cutting off the plantlets and placing them with their roots buried in the soil, you can propagate the plant.
Windowleaf plants are indoor plants that utilize aerial roots in a special way. Windowleaf vines climb trees in their natural environment, reaching high into the canopy of the rainforest. Aerial roots are produced, which spread outward until they touch the ground. The strong stems are held in place by the stiff roots, which serve as guy wires. These plants can be multiplied by cutting off a piece of stem just below an aerial root and planting it in a pot.
Some aerial root plants cannot be planted in soil. Epiphytes are plants that use the structural support of other plants to grow on them. The purpose of their aerial roots is to remain above ground, where they can collect nutrients from the air, surface water, and debris. An illustration of this kind of plant would be epiphytic orchids. When to water your epiphytic orchids depends on the color of the aerial roots. Aerial roots with little moisture are silvery gray in appearance, whereas those with lots of moisture have a green tint.
Can aerial roots regenerate?
You can, indeed. Your Monstera Deliciosa won’t suffer any harm if the aerial roots are cut, and they will quickly regrow. Although some individuals may find it an eyesore, you can also leave them alone. These air roots have a tendency to grow out of control and resemble wild cables. When cutting the air roots, take care not to harm the Monstera root node. However, remain composed and cut them off.
How long can you submerge Monstera?
You should plan on giving your Monstera cutting around 6 weeks before planting it in soil so that roots can form.
In order to guarantee a strong root system has established for a better chance of survival, I often advise waiting at least 2-3 months.
However, as long as you change the water frequently, clean the roots, and transfer the cutting into a larger jar as it grows, a Monstera can survive in water for many months (if not years).
It is prepared to be put in soil when a lovely cluster of roots fills your container.
You can plant your Monstera cutting as long as it has five roots that are at least several inches long.
Keep the Roots Clean
Keep an eye on the roots as they grow every week, and don’t be hesitant to cut off any sections that seem unhealthy.
You can clip out roots that appear to be rotting as long as there are numerous healthy-looking roots (white, yellow, light green, and light brown).
These are typically distinguished from the others by being dark, mushy, or significantly more slimy.
Which is preferable for Monstera propagation—soil or water?
Even while Monstera cuttings are generally fairly tolerant of the growing medium, location, and conditions, there are still a few things you may change to boost your chances of success or hasten your progress.
Time of year
It is not necessary to timing when you take a cutting, but keep in mind that winter, when plants are often dormant, may cause your cutting to start more slowly.
The first thing to stress is the importance of patience. Some cuttings will immediately take root and quickly produce new leaves. Others may experience a protracted period of inactivity. Spring will frequently revive cuttings that had been dormant.
The best way to determine if your cutting is still in good shape while doing nothing is described below.
Light and warmth
Monstera cuttings thrive in warmth and light, and they will grow the quickest on a warm, sunny windowsill. It has been said that Monstera cuttings should be started with a heat pad, but in my experience, that is not true. A heat pad, however, could perhaps hasten the growth process.
If they are in soil, they must also be maintained gently damp but not wet—wet feet are bad for them and will cause them to decay. Once a week, check their soil and, if it feels dry, give it a little water. It is not necessary to place a plastic bag over them, as is occasionally advised.
Size of cutting
More nodes and longer or larger stem sections tend to produce more new growth, including several new stems. Given that Monstera is a vine plant with a single long stem, this is significant. If your cutting produces leaf sprouts on several nodes, each of these will grow into a stem, resulting in bushier growth at a small size.
The benefit of propagating in water in a glass jar is that any new growth is visible right away. However, it is usually advisable to plant larger cuttings directly in the ground if they have leaves and aerial roots.
You can use conventional tap water, but if it’s particularly hard, use caution and avoid using water that has been artificially softened. Both rainwater and distilled water are acceptable. If you submerge the majority of the stem part in water, leaves and roots will grow rather happily.
Use a light, freely draining potting compost when young plants and a more hummus-rich mixture as they mature.
Planting stems vertically with just the top inch above the soil is the simplest and most space-efficient approach to pot cuttings in soil.
I was concerned that for new leaves to grow, some stem nodes would need to be above the surface, but that wasn’t the case at all. Under the soil surface, new leaves began to emerge and easily pushed their way to the surface to spread out.
If you have many stem cuttings that are housed in the same pot, you should separate them as soon as new growth appears. My own experiences indicate that, if handled correctly, Monstera are fairly resilient and don’t mind being disturbed.
You can bury the entire original stem cutting for a neater appearance rather than having to leave any of it above the soil line.