Why Are My Monstera Aerial Roots Shriveling? Quick Solutions Explained

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Monstera plants are popular houseplants known for their unique, split leaves and aerial roots. However, some Monstera owners may encounter a common issue: shriveling aerial roots. The primary causes of this can include physical damage, pest attacks, fungal infections, excessive water, insufficient nutrients, or the plant drying out too much.

It’s essential to closely monitor your Monstera for any additional symptoms and ensure it receives the proper care. Addressing the plant’s needs, such as providing filtered light, deep watering with a drying period in between, and using a high-quality indoor plant fertilizer, can help prevent and remedy the issue of shriveling aerial roots.

Causes of Shrivel in Monstera Aerial Roots

Insufficient Watering

Dehydration is one primary reason for shriveling aerial roots in monstera plants. Ensuring the plant receives an adequate amount of water helps keep its aerial roots healthy and prevents them from drying out.

Low Humidity

Monstera plants thrive in high humidity environments. When the humidity is too low, the aerial roots may start to shrivel. Maintaining proper humidity levels is essential for the well-being of your monstera plant.


Applying excessive amounts of fertilizer can cause nutrient imbalances, which may lead to shriveling aerial roots. It’s vital to follow the recommended fertilization guidelines for optimal plant growth.

Pests and Diseases

Pest attacks, such as those from sap-sucking insects like spider mites and scale, can damage monstera aerial roots, causing them to shrivel. Addressing pest issues promptly and using appropriate treatments, such as horticultural oils, can help protect the plant and its aerial roots.

Identifying Specific Issues

Assessing Watering Habits

Your monstera’s aerial roots may be shriveling due to improper watering habits. To keep the plant healthy, ensure it receives deep watering, allowing the soil to dry out in between. A consistent watering schedule helps maintain the right moisture levels for your monstera.

Checking Environmental Conditions

Monsteras thrive in locations with filtered light, as too much sunlight can dehydrate the plant and cause its roots to shrivel. Make sure your monstera is placed in an area with appropriate lighting and temperatures to maintain its health.

Examining for Pests and Damage

Pests and physical damage may also contribute to the shriveling of your monstera’s aerial roots. Inspect the plant for signs of pest infestation or damage that may prevent root growth. In most cases, a shriveled root will be replaced by a healthy one as the plant recovers.

Resolving the Problem

Improving Water and Humidity

To address the issue of shriveling aerial roots in your Monstera, begin by ensuring your plant receives adequate watering and humidity. Increase the moisture level by misting the aerial roots regularly or using a humidifier near the plant. It’s essential to monitor the moisture in the plant’s environment, as dehydration is a primary cause of shriveling aerial roots.

Adjusting Fertilization Practices

Nutrient deficiency can also lead to shriveling aerial roots. To maintain healthy roots, provide your Monstera with balanced fertilizer during its growing season. Limit fertilizing during winter months when the plant’s growth is slower. By following proper fertilizer practices, your Monstera can receive the nutrients it needs to sustain healthy aerial roots.

Dealing with Pests and Diseases

Pest infestations, such as scale or spider mites, can also cause aerial roots to shrivel. Inspect your Monstera for signs of insects or fungal infections. Treat affected areas with horticultural oils like neem oil and ensure the surrounding environment is clean. By managing pests and diseases, you can help maintain healthy, thriving aerial roots in your Monstera plant.

Preventing Future Issues

To avoid aerial roots on Monstera plants from shriveling, ensure your plant’s roots are free from physical damage. Monitor your Monstera for signs of disease or malnutrition, and address any issues promptly. Train the aerial roots to grow up against moss poles or other supports, being gentle with the roots during the process to prevent breakage.