Monstera aerial roots - is cutting allowed?

Monstera aerial roots - is cutting allowed?

Why do aerial roots grow on the window leaf?

Monstera species thrive in the tropics as evergreen climbing plants. With increasing size, the roots of the earth no longer cover the need for water and nutrients. For this reason, after a while, additional aerial roots will sprout between the leaf axils. These serve as supply lines and detention organs alike, so that they play a key role in growth.

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Truncation is only allowed in exceptional cases

In view of their function as lifelines, the aerial roots should not be removed. As long as a root strand thrives tight and vital, you weaken the constitution of a Monstera if you apply the scissors here. An exception to the rule is if an aerial root wants to anchor itself in the ground behind the baseboards or if it comes to grips with neighboring indoor plants. Furthermore, cutting off is allowed if a root is completely dried up and dead.

Please use a sharp knife disinfected with alcohol for the cut. Cut off the affected aerial root directly on the stem axis. Ideally, dab the cut with some rock flour (€ 14.95 at Amazon *) or charcoal ash to regulate the flow of sap.

Prevention is better than cutting off - this is how it works

Extremely long aerial roots indicate that the cultivation of a Monstera is not going in a regular way. If your window leaf lacks water, nutrients or a climbing aid, it sends its roots desperately in search of them. How to effectively prevent this behavior:

  • Regularly water the substrate with soft water
  • Spray the leaves and aerial roots with water every 2 to 3 days
  • Fertilize every 2 weeks in summer and every 4 to 6 weeks in winter
  • Offer the window leaf a climbing aid proportional to the growth

If a window leaf is cared for with the appropriate care, it sees no reason for the growth of unnaturally long aerial roots.


Do not reach for scissors on the window leaf without first putting on gloves. As the arum family, all Monstera species contain a poisonous sap. Sensitive people have to pay for mere skin contact with unpleasant irritation.