Tips & Tricks

What Are Aerial Roots?

A large anthurium potted in a tall vase with long aerial roots trailing down.

Ever notice those weird, worm-like appendages growing from the above-ground parts of your plants? These are called aerial roots, and they’re a natural part of your plant’s growth. They are usually seen on plants that climb in the wild, (think: monsteras, anthuriums, and philodendrons, etc.) as they allow them to latch onto trees and boulders their search for more sun, moisture, and stability. 

Still not sure what we're talking about? Here's what they look like: 

Close-up image of an aerial root on a philodendron hastatum 'silver sword'.

Now that you know how to identify aerial roots and how they function in the wild, you can start using them to your advantage. Using moss poles or wooden planks, you can train your plant to grow upwards, using its aerial roots for support. Doing this can benefit the plant, as it helps receive more light, resulting in faster growth and larger leaves. Using plant ties, latch your plant onto the stake, and secure it. Once in awhile, you can spritz the pole or plank. The roots will seek out the moisture, helping them latch on and start crawlin' on up!

A monstera dubia growing on a wooden plank.

Usually, aerial roots are found growing nearby a node. If you didn't already know, plant nodes are a key ingredient for a successful propagation. Because of this, propagating plants with aerial roots is significantly easier than others. Use the aerial roots on your plant to help you identify where to cut, and thank us later.

Not a fan of the way aerial roots look? Not to worry. You can remove these easily without harming your plant. Simply take a pair clean pruning shears or scissors, and snip them at the base. No promises they won't grow back, but at least you can keep them maintained. If you have any other questions about your aerial roots, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 

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