I recently ordered a monstera plant online and the seller mentioned that the plants they send out shouldn't need to be repotted for ~6 months, but when mine arrived, it looked to be root-bound in the pot, with a large root growing out the bottom of one of the nursery pot draingage holes:

root growing out the bottom of the monstera pot

When I raised this to the seller, they replied:

the Monsteras we send out wouldn't need repotting for at least six months. We believe the large protruding root is an aerial root, as in their natural habitat Monsteras like to attach themselves to nearby trees etc. If you find this unsightly, you could trim this back.

I just wanted to sanity check this — my understanding of aerial roots is that they would form near the stem or leaf nodes, and send out a shoot, not that they would be growing out the bottom of the soil. There is no sign of any roots growing into the soil from above, for example.

Have I misunderstood what an aerial root is? Could this be an aerial root?

Also, is their advice to cut the root back correct? My inclination would have been that the plant needs potting-up a size.

EDIT: Here's the view from the top — No sign of anything roots from this view, just the stem itself (and wooden stick on the left-hand-side).

view from top

2 Answers 2


The only way that is an aerial root is if the point of origin is from a node on the topgrowth, with the aerial root located downwards into the soil in the pot, where it has continued to grow as a subterranean-aerial root. If there is no evidence of this when you look at the top growth,then it's simply a thicker subterranean root. Either way, turn it out of the pot to see if there is a solid rootball which could do with more room, and pot on into something larger. If the rootball is not solid and firm with obvious fibrous roots at the edges,then you might just want to clip that larger root off and pot on at a later date.

Info on Monstera and its types of root here Monsteras & Aerial Roots: What Are They & What Should You Do With Them?.

  • Thanks, there's no evidence at all of an aerial root from the top view (I'll try to add a photo when I get a chance). Given the size of the root protruding, I'm struggling to turn it out of the pot easily without disturbing the root. Was thinking of cutting it out of the pot to take a look? Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 15:42
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    You might have to break or cut it off if you cannot cut through the pot,I can't tell how thick the plastic is... sometimes its possible to insert sharp scissors through a nearby hole in the base and cut through to enlarge the hole where the root is.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 15:56
  • Thanks, that makes sense re: enlarging the hole (rather than destroying the pot!) I'll try that. (It's a very thin pot, would be able to cut through with scissors no problem) Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 16:03
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    Those nursery grow pots often are - they degrade quite rapidly over time too, so a proper pot is a good idea ...
    – Bamboo
    Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 16:18
  • If you're having difficulty cutting the pot with a scissors, I recommend using "tin snips", which are a specialized scissors theoretically used for cutting metal, although I've mostly used mine for cutting thick plastic. They look something like this: lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-2-in-1055-Snips/1000594743. I'd carefully cut down the side of the pot (or use a razor knufe to cut it), and then use the snips to cut from the side to the hole. If you do this on two sides, the pot will open like a clamshell and you can more easily enlarge the drainage hole to free the plant.
    – Jurp
    Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 18:22

In principle you do not have to worry, your Monstera will not suffer any damage because roots come out of the pot. At least not in the short term. In any case, it is good to analyze if it is an aerial root or a simple underground root.

In general, if the root is coming out of a lower hole in the pot, as I can see in the attached photograph, it is an underground root. In this case it is evidence that the pot is getting too small.

If so, I recommend that you find a good pot and transplant it. It's also a good time to cut off bad-looking roots. If you don't have a larger pot or don't have room to fit a larger pot, you may choose to prune the roots.

I leave you more information on this topic in this post about pots for Monsteras. There they analyze which are the best pots (material, size, etc).


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