Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound? 4 Common Signs To Check!

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With its lavishly patterned leaf, Monstera is among the most tolerant herbs. It makes no difference if you neglect it regularly. They proliferate, so knowing when to repot them can help them develop faster by preventing them from becoming root-bound. Some people assume that keeping these plants in small containers will encourage development because they prefer to be root bound. Do Monsteras like being root bound?

The short answer is no! Root bound can increase many risks including root rot or plant death. Though they might be satisfied in their tiny pots, they still require space to develop and soil to store nutrients and water. If you are a newbie gardener, it’s best to learn more about how to take care of this plant variety so that they grow at their best. Scroll down for details!

What Are Monsteras?

They belong to the Arum family. They can be easily found in southern Mexico and Panama, where they can grow 20 meters tall.

In Southeast Asian forests, they use their fleshy fibrous roots to cling on to rocks, tree trunks, and soils.

Monstera deliciosa is the most well-known species. The word ‘deliciosa’ relates to a tasty 20 centimeters diameter fruit once popular in Central America.

Due to its fast-spreading aerial roots and leaf-bearing vines, Monstera deliciosa signifies suffocation.

That’s why many people love to interpret their connotation depending on Chinese symbolism in which the Monstera represents a longer lifespan and respect for seniors and respectable people.

Monsteras are easily identified by their huge green leaves, but there are several variations.
Young leaves have a heart shape. If supplied with sufficient water and light, the leaves flourish and form deep incisions. Adult ones can grow up to 1 meter in diameter.

Monstera deliciosa - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
Monstera deliciosa

What Does It Mean To Be Root Bound?

The planted pot constrains the stem of a root bound monstera. Although it is seeking to extend and flourish, it is confined and unable to accomplish so.

Roots that curl around themselves or circle around the bottom of the container create a fully covered of twisted stems that provide no place for water, oxygen, or soil.

The roots are also compressed. They squish together till they create one solid block.

Roots develop into tiny spaces of leaves or even other detritus lodged in the crevices of stems, in which they can survive and flourish.

When they expand their extent, all these roots frequently develop out from the drainage holes underneath the container.

Being a root bound monstera has several negative impacts; the most serious is dehydration.

The soil is supposed to contain nutrients and water for the plants. However, once the roots grow too large, the ground can no longer hold them.

As a result, the shortage of soil allows water to drain directly through it rather than water retention. It might cause root damage or restricted growth.

Further reading:

This phenomenon occurs when roots don't have enough space to develop - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
This phenomenon occurs when roots don’t have enough space to develop

Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound?

The short answer is no! Monsteras don’t like being root-bound. That means they dislike growing in small containers since it restricts rhizome growth.

Being root bound makes the rootlets clump together since they don’t have enough area to flourish.

As a result, the clustered stems completely submerge the nutrient solution. It causes a lack of moisture, water, oxygen, and nutrients in the root system, causing severe problems like stunted growth or root rot.

The phenomenon can bring about the worst outcomes, including the death of the ornamented herb.

Without a doubt, finding out if your Monsteras need to be repotted is undoubtedly a difficult task.

Yet, if the plants get root bound, you must quickly relocate them in a larger pot.

Sadly, most unskilled horticulturalists believe that the beautiful Monstera plants prefer to be kept in a small pot with their vivid foliage.

Because root bound Monstera lacks sufficient potting material and breathing space, the plants lack water, minerals, and oxygen.

Furthermore, the crowded rootball cannot absorb moisture from the soil surface. As a result, the plant’s growth is limited; the roots decompose, and the leaves become shriveled and pale.

Read more: Monstera Sweating: 3 Main Causes & What To Do

They like growing in large pots - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
They like growing in large pots

How To Check If Your Monsteras Are Root Bound?

As shared earlier, figuring out whether your Monsteras are root bound or not is a challenging task. How do you know if they are root bound plants?

If you notice any signs below, you should consider repotting them.

Roots Infiltrate Drainage Holes

Monstera roots frequently spread out of drainage holes in the bottom to obtain the necessary nutrients and water.

Yet, unfortunately, this also indicates that their roots have no space to breathe.

The Plants Stop Growing.

If the root-bound rhizome continues, the Monstera will not create new branches. If it survives to develop at all, it’ll be weak, slow, and malformed.

All new production necessitates using many nutrients and minerals from the growing substrate.

If any nutrients are remaining in the soil in the container of a root-bound vine, they might well be lost. The new growing leaves will exhibit symptoms of mineral shortage. There would also be signs of root rot.

Monsteras that are imperfectly formed, awkwardly shaped, or undersized suffer from lacking the luscious tropical green.

Leaves Wilt And Curl

Monsteras that grow root-bound lack the ability to extract moisture from the ground.

Because roots are squeezed against each other, there isn’t enough open surface space for them to absorb nutrients.

They’ll gradually grow strained, and all functions they possess left will be lost.

The structure and biological function of Monstera are both dependent on water.

Whenever the roots aren’t functioning correctly, dehydration occurs. As a result, the leaves wilt or curl.

Roots Grow Above Ground.

When there’s not enough space in the container, the young roots will grow upward instead of downward as they should normally.

Your plants will seek a greater living area by spreading out stems above the surface of the ground.

The roots grow on the ground surface - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
The roots grow on the ground surface

What Should You Do If Your Monsteras Are Root Bound?

Although Monsteras dislike being root bound, they are tolerant species that do not mind getting pressed into small spaces.

However, they do grow much faster and have large rhizomes that enjoy plenty of room to expand. As a result, it’s critical to know when to switch from the same pot to a bigger pot.

When your Monstera appears to be alright despite being root bound but in good health condition, you may still let it grow in that pot.

If the roots keep growing, the plant will grow. At that point, it’s better to consider repotting it so that it has a chance to develop normally.

However, waiting until your plant exhibits symptoms of becoming pot constrained is not a good option since it may bring unnecessary pressure.

For the most excellent results, keep an eye on your herb, know what’s going on with its rhizome, and replace the container after every two years.

It's best to repot when noticing some signs - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
It’s best to repot when noticing some signs

How Do You Know When To Repot A Monstera?

Although there is no specified or standard timeframe for repotting your Monstera, it’s best to change the container every two years, as mentioned above.

The time to repot also depends on factors such as plant variant, soil type, climate, or the age of the plant. For instance, whereas a grown plant doesn’t need to get repotted frequently, a young one will need repotting more regularly.

If you keep a young with pierced leaves in your home, you should inspect its root systems regularly.

Because clustered roots restrict the beautiful Monstera plant from steadily growing, you should repot a rootbound rhizome as soon as possible, right after noticing the above signs.

Symptoms to change the container - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
Symptoms to change the container

How To Repot Monsteras?

If your plant is about to get root bound, it’s time to move it to a bigger pot. If you are a newbie gardener, it will help to follow the steps below:

Preparation

Choose a container that is not over two inches broader from across the top than the previous one.

The new container must include at least three holes in the bottom. Monsteras require good drainage.

Ensure you have an excellent growing medium to compensate for the volume imbalance between the new and old plants.

Besides, other necessary tools and accessories should include:

  • shears (or scissors)
  • a garden trowel (or small shovel)
  • clean water

Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Water the Monstera a day before you intend to change its pot. This will help to safeguard the roots.
  • Layer a growing medium to create a base in the new container. A 1/3 of the height of the container is preferable, but at least one inch is sufficient.
  • To remove the plant out of the pot, tap it. You might have to cut any stray roots that have grown out of holes in the bottom first.
  • Carefully loosen the root bulk. It is excellent to use clean water to wash off remaining leftover soil.
  • Take your time and be patient while easing poorly rootbound rhizomes sufficiently for it to operate.
  • Cut any branches and roots that are excessively long, discolored, or damaged.
  • Fill the new pot halfway with the growing medium and insert the plant.
  • You can also use a stake to support your Monstera.
  • To make the mixture set, tap the container on a hard floor once or twice. If needed, add a few mediums to the container.
  • Before relocating the plant, give it plenty of moisture and let it drain.

Repot the plants
Repot the plants

How To Propagate Monsteras?

It’s easy to propagate Monsteras if they are actively developing at any time of year. Typically, you can grow these plants using two methods: air layering and leaf bud cutting.

Method 1: Air Layering

Step 1: Observe the bushy stem of your plant to determine where you want the new root systems of plants to develop.
Select a location at approximately 6 to 8 inches underneath the point where leaves growth starts.
Step 2: Cut its upward diagonal clip around 1/3 of the distance across the stems at the location you choose with a sharp, clean knife.
Step 3: To hold the wound open during the rooting procedure, put a toothpick diagonally into it.
Step 4: Wet a large bunch of sphagnum peat moss and bind it with a rope around the root cut. This will provide a medium for the young stems to develop.
Step 5: Wrap a piece of plastic around sphagnum peat moss hop to keep the humidity in.
Step 6: As usual, take care of your plant. You may notice new growth sprouting out of the moss in the next few months.
Step 7: Carefully pull wrap once you observe young plants and trim through the root underneath the young shoots.
Grow the new plant in an appropriate-sized container with a clean all-purpose growing medium, placing the mosses on the stems.
Step 8: Trim the parent plant slightly after cutting the air layer. Just underneath this cutting, young trees will emerge.

Method 2: Leaf Bud Cutting

Step 1: Fill a pot with clean all-purpose soil mix big sufficient to contain 3 to 4 clippings.
Step 2: Cut a slice of good monstera root from the parent plant with sharp, clean scissors. Select a leafy section of the stems.
Step 3: Divide the stems into smaller segments, each with a leaf. Aerial roots may also be linked to elements.
Step 4: In a container, plant these stem segments. This will give it a bushy, decent look.
Before planting, you may multiply the root pieces in freshwater in a few days—the junction where the leaves and stems touch will produce new branches.
If you want to know more about growing Monsteras in water, you can watch this video:

Propagate Monsteras - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
Propagate Monsteras

What To Consider When Propagating Monsteras?

Before propagating Monsteras, turn into these considerations over your mind:

  • When choosing a stem, search for segments with at least one node.
  • Not all portions of the plant will reproduce and produce new Monsteras.
  • The more stem components included in cutting, the sooner it will be self-contained.
  • The optimal period to grow a cutting is in the spring and early summer when the herb will most certainly be proliferating.
  • A leaf that is propagated from a node will not gain a foothold.
  • Humidity is also crucial for seedlings and cuttings.

Considerations when propagating - Do Monsteras Like Being Root Bound
Considerations when propagating

In A Nutshell

This article has eventually got to the bottom of your question: Do Monsteras like being root bound? In short, these plants need space to grow their root systems and develop.

That’s why you should repot them every two years to make sure they are always in good condition. Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you. If you want to gather further information about gardening tips, check this site to fully observe valuable details!

Thanks for reading!
Related articles:
Propagating Monstera Deliciosa
3 Ways To Propagate A Monstera To Promote Growth

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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

I’m Kelly Lawrence, two years after graduating with a Journalism major, I had the opportunity to apply my experiences to become the founder and executive content writer of this gardening blog.