Why You Should Trim The Aerial Roots Of Your Monstera: Tips For A Healthier, Happier Plant

Monstera aerial roots closeup

Monstera plants are beloved for their stunning foliage and ability to create a lush, tropical atmosphere in any home.

As a Monstera owner, you may have noticed the appearance of aerial roots, which serve two primary functions in the plant’s natural habitat: acquiring nutrients and water and helping the plant climb up trees and other structures.

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When it comes to caring for your Monstera indoors, trimming these roots may be necessary to maintain its health and aesthetics.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of trimming your Monstera’s aerial roots and guide how to do so without causing harm to your beloved plant.

We’ll also discuss some situations when it may be best to leave the roots undisturbed.

Why You Should Trim The Aerial Roots Of Your Monstera: Tips For A Healthier, Happier Plant

Why Trim Aerial Roots

Aerial roots serve two primary functions for the Monstera in the wild: acquiring nutrients and water and helping the plant climb up trees and other structures.

However, in a domestic environment, these roots can grow out of control and start to detract from the plant’s beauty.

Trimming the aerial roots may not only neaten up your Monstera’s appearance but could also help redirect its energy to essential growth areas, such as new leaves and stems.


Aerial roots are a natural part of your Monstera, but they can sometimes appear unruly, especially when they grow longer and start taking up space in your home.

Trimming your Monstera’s aerial roots can help maintain a neat appearance, and allow you to better control the plant’s growth direction.

Health and Growth

Although aerial roots are mainly for climbing and not for nutrient uptake, sometimes they can become excessively long, taking energy away from the main plant.

By trimming these roots, you can redirect the plant’s energy towards healthier growth and more vibrant foliage.

Moreover, affixing your Monstera to a moss pole can help the roots find a place to attach while supporting the plant’s natural climbing tendency, promoting better overall health and growth.


Over time, aerial roots may become tangled, obstruct walkways, or even pose a tripping hazard in your home. By trimming these roots back, you can prevent such issues and keep your living space safe for everyone.

Remember to use a clean, sharp blade when trimming the roots, as this will minimize damage to the plant and enable faster healing.

When to Trim Aerial Roots

Trimming a Monstera plant with garden scissors

Aerial roots are essential components of your Monstera plant, providing support and additional nutrients as the plant grows. It’s necessary to know when to trim these roots without causing harm to the plant.

Identifying the Time

The best time to trim Monstera aerial roots is during the plant’s growing season, which typically occurs in the spring and summer months.

During this time, the plant is actively growing and producing new leaves and stems, so trimming the aerial roots will not cause undue stress.

Trimming the roots during the growing season can also help redirect the plant’s energy to essential growth areas, resulting in more leaves and a healthier plant overall.

It’s important to note that while trimming Monstera aerial roots can be beneficial, it’s best to avoid cutting too many roots at once.

Removing too many roots can cause stress to the plant and potentially harm its growth. Instead, focus on trimming only the most overgrown or unsightly roots, leaving the rest intact.

Additionally, be sure to use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make a clean cut and minimize the risk of infection.

Growth Stages

The growth stage of your Monstera plant is another essential factor to consider before trimming aerial roots.

During the early stages of growth, the aerial roots aid in anchoring the plant to its support structure, like a trellis or moss pole.

It’s best to avoid cutting aerial roots during this stage, as it could limit the plant’s stability and growth.

As your Monstera matures, its aerial roots become more active in supporting the plant structure. If the roots grow too long and become unruly, you can trim them to maintain the appearance of the plant.

How to Properly Trim Aerial Roots

Remember to always be gentle when trimming your Monstera’s aerial roots to avoid causing unnecessary harm to the plant. Below are the steps and guidelines to follow during the process.

Tools and Preparation

Before trimming the aerial roots, make sure to gather the proper tools and prepare your workspace. You’ll need:

  • A sharp, clean set of pruning shears or scissors
  • A clean work surface or drop cloth to catch debris
  • Optional: gloves to protect your hands

First, sterilize your cutting tools to prevent introducing any harmful pathogens to the plant.

You can do this by soaking them in a diluted bleach solution or rubbing alcohol for a few minutes and then wiping them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Trimming Technique

Now that your tools are ready follow these steps when trimming the aerial roots of your Monstera:

  1. Gently inspect the plant to determine which roots need trimming.
  2. Look for overly long roots, impeding the growth of neighboring plants or blocking access to essential care items.
  3. Using your sterilized pruning shears or scissors, carefully cut the root close to the stem, taking care not to damage the main stem. Leave some wiggle room – don’t cut too close to the stem.
  4. When trimming multiple roots, work methodically to avoid unnecessary stress on the plant.
  5. Trim only the necessary roots to achieve the desired outcome; over-trimming can weaken the plant.


After trimming the aerial roots, you can continue to care for your Monstera as usual; however, consider the following points for optimal recovery:

  • Keep a close eye on your plant for signs of stress or infection. If you notice anything unusual, address it promptly.
  • Make sure your Monstera receives adequate water, light, and humidity to maintain overall health and support any necessary root regrowth.
  • Allow the plant to rest and recover before making any additional changes or stressors, such as repotting or major pruning.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to trim your Monstera’s aerial roots effectively, ensuring the plant remains healthy and maintains its attractive appearance.

Here’s a great video to show you what aerial roots are for and how to trim them off your Monstera.

Possible Outcomes and Expectations

In this section, we will discuss the possible outcomes and expectations of trimming the aerial roots of your Monstera plant.

We will cover the beneficial outcomes as well as the potential risks associated with this process.

Beneficial Outcomes

  • Improved aesthetics – Trimming aerial roots can help maintain a clean and organized appearance for your Monstera plant. This can be especially important if the plant is part of your home or office decor.
  • Directing growth – By trimming the aerial roots, you can control the direction of your Monstera’s growth. This is important in cases where the plant is growing too close to furniture, walls, or other objects.
  • Better access to nutrients – Sometimes, Monstera plants may produce excessive aerial roots, which can compete for nutrients and water. Trimming these roots can help ensure that the remaining roots receive adequate resources for healthy growth.

Potential Risks

  • Stress for the plant – As with any pruning process, cutting aerial roots can cause stress on the plant. It is essential to trim the roots during the plant’s growing season (early spring) when it can heal and recover faster.
  • Risk of infection – Cutting aerial roots can create open wounds on the plant, putting it at risk for infections. Always use sterilized tools and consider applying a fungicide or natural anti-fungal treatment to prevent infections.
  • Loss of climbing support – Monstera plants naturally use their aerial roots for climbing. If you trim too many roots or cut them too short, your plant may lose support and stability.

To minimize potential risks while trimming the aerial roots of your Monstera, it is crucial to follow proper cutting techniques and timing.

Please keep a close eye on the plant after trimming to ensure it adapts well to the changes and maintains healthy growth.

Keep Your Monstera Thriving With Proper Aerial Root Maintenance

A monstera root photographed up close,

Trimming the aerial roots of your Monstera can be beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps maintain a tidy and contained appearance for your plant, especially if the aerial roots become unruly or impede its structural support.

Cutting off the Monstera’s aerial roots will not hurt the main plant, as they are primarily meant for climbing rather than taking up nutrients.

Using clean, sharp tools when trimming the aerial roots is essential to avoid introducing fungi or bacterial infections to your plant. Additionally, consider using a root stimulator or hormone spray to help heal any pruned areas.

Overall, the decision to trim your Monstera’s aerial roots should be based on your aesthetic preferences, practical considerations, and desired plant growth.

By properly caring for and maintaining your Monstera, you can enjoy its striking appearance and lush foliage for years to come.

And while we have your attention, check out these other articles for more pruning tips.

Are Monstera Roots Fuzzy? Unraveling the Truth

How Many Monstera Cuttings In One Pot For Optimal Growth?