Monstera deliciosa plants are known for their unique and striking appearance, a large part of which is due to their aerial roots. These roots form above the surface of the soil and higher up on the plant, often starting out green in color and gradually becoming covered in a brown, woody layer. They serve as a support system for the plant, allowing it to climb and reach brighter light in its natural habitat.
Characteristics of Monstera Aerial Roots
Appearance and Structure
Monstera aerial roots have a distinctive appearance, often resembling thick, wood-like vines. These roots are pliable when young but become more rigid upon maturation. They form above the surface of the soil and grow higher up on the plant, serving as an anchorage mechanism that enables the plant to climb.
Growth and Development
The growth of monstera aerial roots is triggered by their natural climbing habit. As they grow, these roots have the ability to attach to various surfaces, such as tree trunks, walls, and moss poles. This attachment helps the plant reach brighter light, collect moisture, and obtain nutrients from its surroundings, fostering healthy growth and development.
Functions of Aerial Roots
Support and Anchoring
Aerial roots in Monstera plants play a critical role in helping them climb. As the plant matures, nodes near the base of leaf petioles elongate, forming aerial roots. These roots latch onto the base of host trees or other structures, providing structural stability to the climbing plant.
Nutrient and Moisture Absorption
Another important function of Monstera aerial roots is to absorb nutrients and moisture from their surroundings. Aerial roots that make contact with the forest floor convert into normal roots underground, known as aerial-subterranean roots. These roots help the Monstera obtain vital nutrients and water for its growth and development.
Caring for Monstera Aerial Roots
Pruning and Training
It’s essential to gently prune and train Monstera aerial roots to maintain a tidy appearance and support the plant’s growth. Regularly clipping unruly roots and guiding them towards a support structure can contribute to the plant’s overall health and aesthetics.
Monstera aerial roots require sturdy support to grow and climb effectively. Providing a suitable structure, such as a moss pole or trellis, encourages vertical growth and allows aerial roots to anchor themselves, benefiting the plant’s overall stability.
Ensuring a proper level of humidity is critical for the health of Monstera aerial roots. Maintaining indoor humidity levels between 40% and 60% can contribute to the successful growth and wellbeing of Monstera plants and their aerial roots.
Common Issues and Solutions
Yellowing or Browning Roots
One possible issue with Monstera aerial roots is the appearance of yellowing or browning roots, which could be attributed to inconsistent soil moisture. To address this, ensure the plant’s soil is neither too dry nor too wet, and maintain a consistent watering schedule.
Poor Growth or Attachment
Another problem Monstera plants may face is poor growth or attachment of their aerial roots. These roots naturally attach to tree trunks or other support structures for stability and to reach brighter light in the wild. Encourage proper attachment by providing a moss pole, trellis, or other suitable structure for the roots to cling to and guide them as needed.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.