Monstera roots need good space to grow and spread. Monstera root bound is a serious issue and it needs to be fixed quickly.
The first sign of root-bound is visible roots over the top surface of the soil. They also come out of the drainage holes.
Yellow leaves, Stunted growth, Curling leaves, Dry stems, and Weak plant are also signs of root problems in monstera plants.
In this post, we will find how much space do monstera roots need to grow perfectly fine. What to do if your monstera is root bound.
Let’s dive in:
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What is the Root Bound Condition in Plants?
Root bound is a condition in which the monstera plant roots grow long and the container becomes small for them.
The monstera roots fill the plant pot and hold the potting soil tightly. When they did not find space to grow further. The roots start growing towards the drainage holes.
You see them coming out of these holes.
This condition of roots directly impacts the overall monstera health. Because the roots become unable to absorb the required amount of water and nutrients.
Because they fill the entire space of the pot and the pot holds less amount of water and nutrients.
Once the plant did not get the proper nutrition it gets weak and stops growing. This turns the leaves into yellow color due to the absence of enough water.
Root bound also increases the risk of root rot. This is a root fungal disease that eats the roots ball of a plant.
To avoid all these common and rare problems you need to prevent the root bound in monsteras.
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How to identify root bound in your monstera plant?
Below are things that you need to check to identify this condition.
Root Bound Monstera stops producing leaves and stems due to the lack of nutrition. Because the tightly packed roots cannot absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
In the absence of enough nutrients, your monstera will get weak and the leaves start turning yellow color.
Even if you fertilize your plant with the best fertilizer, still your plant will not show new growth. Because the roots entangle into each other and this stops their functioning.
So, once you see no growth in your plant immediately check the bottom of the plant to see roots and also check the top surface of the soil to check root bound.
Sometimes you may need to dig 1 inch of the potting soil to see the root bound.
Roots coming out of bottom holes
In some cases, it is normal to see monstera roots coming out of the drainage holes. They do so when the plant owner does not give proper water and nutrients to the plant.
The plant stretches its roots to absorb the moisture from the air.
But it also means that your monstera has some problem with its roots.
Yellow or Curled Leaves
In root bound situation the monstera plant become unable to absorb the required amount of water.
This turns the leaves into yellow color and if the problem continues for more days, then the leaves edges start curling.
Monstera leaves store a good amount of water. This water/moisture gives them a bright green color.
When leaves did not get proper water, they try to save the stored water. The immune system of the plant cuts the water supply to the leaves.
It tries to save the main stem of monstera because if the main stem gets damaged you cannot revive your plant.
This is the natural defense system of plants.
Visible Roots Above Ground
Monstera sends roots towards the top surface of the soil to get some more space to grow. Also, to absorb moisture from the air.
At first, the roots come out of the topsoil surface and then they go towards the drainage holes.
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Do monstera plants like to grow in Root Bound environments?
In general, monstera plants like to live little on the root bound side. But you need to learn the difference between danger root bound and good root bound.
As long as the monstera gets a good amount of water and nutrients the root-bound is not a problem for it.
But once it stops growing and you see yellow leaves. This is an alarming situation and needs to be fixed immediately.
How to check the Monstera Roots?
To check roots, you need to take the plant out of its container. The roots in the root bound condition become fragile.
To avoid root damages, you should water the plant 24 hours before the root check. This adds some moisture to the roots and improves their elasticity.
Then on the next day tap on all sides of the plant pot to loosen the soil and gently take the monstera out of its pot.
Closely inspecting the roots, a little bit of root bound is not a problem. But if you see the roots are more like Noodles. This means your monstera is suffering from root bound.
It is hard to take out the plant if you are using clay or terracotta pots. Whereas in plastic pots you can easily pull the plant out.
How to save the life of Root Bound Monstera?
Repotting is the only option left that can save your dying monstera due to root bound. For repotting choose the 2 inches wider pot than the old pot.
The material of the plant pot does not matter. Monstera grows well in all types of plant pots. Choose which is affordable for you.
After that, you need fresh potting soil. The soil must be well-draining and lightweight that give enough room for roots to grow.
Once you collect the good potting soil and wider plant pot.
Then follow the below-repotting steps.
Water your plant 24 hours before repotting to loosen the potting soil
Fill the bottom of the new pot with potting soil to 2 inches
Tap the old pot to take out the plant without any damage. Remove the old soil from the roots. Here you can cut the dry and damaged roots.
To properly remove the old soil, you can rinse them with normal tap water
Then plant the monstera in the new pot and fill it with fresh potting soil
Give water to your plant and stop when it starts coming out of the draining hole. Place it on its location and come back after 30 minutes to empty the saucer.
How to control the monstera growth?
Monstera plants can grow large in size which can be a problem for most growers. Because large plants are not easy to manage.
The first option is to divide the monstera roots and propagate them. This gives an excellent opportunity to have some more monstera plants.
You can give some of them to our friends and neighbours
Gently take the plant out of its container, remove the potting soil, inspect the roots
Cut the dry and damaged roots with the help of clean and sharp shears
Then place the plant in the new pot and fill it with soil
Give some to the newly potted plant and place the propagated plants in the final location
How to prevent Root Bound in Monsteras?
Root Bound Monsteras can be avoided by repotting this plant on time. In the first few years, you need to repot it once in a year.
Because the new and young plants grow quickly.
The middle-aged or mature plants need repotting because the soil in pots becomes depleted over time.
To refresh the growing environment, you need to repot them in the new soil. This repotting must happen once in 3 years.
Give proper care and attention to your monstera to avoid root bound in monsteras. These plants are very beautiful and can be grown easily in all types of growing environments.