Do Monstera like to be root bound? How to get rid of it

When growing Monstera plants, you may experience when the roots are around the soil. At this point, you will be confused and don’t know how to handle it. Do Monstera like to be root bound? Let’s answer this question with Dig Nursery in the article below.

What is root bound?

Plants cultivated in pots will ultimately run out of room as their roots develop.

When roots try to escape via any drain holes in the pots, plants become root bound (also known as ‘pot bound’). They may try to escape out of the soil and cover the pot’s lip in some situations. In almost every case, the roots will begin to develop in overlapping rings that follow the container’s inner walls.

As roots take over the container’s interior area, there is less capacity for soil to store water, which can lead to root death. Allowing root-bound plants to continue to develop in this manner would not only limit their growth but will also likely result in their death.

Root bound Monstera
Root bound Monstera

Do Monstera like to be root bound?

No, Monstera don’t like to be root bound

When planting Monstera, young roots develop, deep penetration into the ground to help the plant grow well. Suppose it is accidentally rooted. It will be difficult for Monstera to absorb water and organic matter in the soil. The lack of a comprehensive and deep diet of the roots will make the plant grow poorly, difficult to stand, gradually wither and die fully.

Moreover, the stake roots when encountering obstacles will be bent, and inadvertently its feature becomes horizontal roots – making the tree easy to fall when the wind is strong. Besides, you also need to pay attention to the depth or distance and bury potting soil on the road surface. According to experts, depending on the size, you will dig a hole of 2-3 times the height of the potting soil. It will help keep your potting soil straight, firm, and easier to grow.

Related Post: White spots on Monstera leaves? Causes and treatment

The reason why Monstera’s root bound

Some reasons make Monstera be root bound. They are hard soil, lack microorganisms, excess minerals, watering methods, and lack of cultivation.

Soil is too hard, not soft enough

Monstera’s soil is too hard, and not porous enough, so the roots do not have enough space to grow evenly. The best soil for growing Monstera needs a lot of humus. Humus is a critical element in the process of soil structure formation.

Humus compounds are characteristic organic colloids in the soil, capable of forming a film around soil particles, which can bind inorganic particles together. Humus consists of organic substances formed by decomposing microorganisms, disappearing when mineralized. Humus cannot remain in the soil forever. Therefore, if we stop providing organic matter, it will degrade the soil structure.

Lack of microorganisms in the soil

The activity of microorganisms will help the soil always be porous, creating space for plant roots to develop. The lack of microorganisms causes the ground to become dry, and the roots cannot find room to grow.

Soil has an excess of iron, aluminum, and calcium.

Iron, aluminum, and calcium are groups of nutrients that increase the cohesion of the soil together. Excess dirt of this group of substances causes the cohesion of the earth to improve and makes the roots hard to grow in the ground. Consequently, it causes Monstera root bound.

Watering method

If your water is vigorously and much at a time, this will significantly affect the change in soil texture. It causes the soil to become more cohesive and causes the roots to become encased in the ground. You should water moderately, gently, a little to not affect the aeration of the soil.

Lack of land cultivation

Even planting Monstera, if you lack, dig up the soil. After a while, watering plants or excess nutrients increase the cohesion of the ground. You should actively dig the soil to plant a few times a month to help the ground loosen and aerate.

How to fix Monstera’s root bound

Six steps to fix Monstera’s root bound

You should follow six steps to take care of Monstera after being root-bound. 

  • Make space for roots
  • Remove Monstera from the cover of the nursery
  • Place the sapling in the center of the hole/pot
  • Water supply for newly planted trees
  • Cleaning and pruning Monstera
  • Fertilizer

Step 1: Make space for the roots

You should make a space 3 – 4 times wider than the roots of the young Monstera to facilitate the growth of the roots. The size of the pot also needs to be 4 times larger than the young Monstera.

Step 2: Remove the plant from root bunching

Carefully remove the outer covering of the root, but keep the young roots intact. If any, loosen knots, then carefully slide the plant out from the soil. Do not forcefully pull Monstera out of the pot as this may break the roots.

Solve the problem of the roots bunching together or wrapping around the potting soil. Sometimes young plants have the phenomenon, or the roots look in circles around the potting soil. In this case, cut the bottom of the potting soil and extend it lengthwise up the sides of the pot with a sharp knife to preserve all the young roots.

Step 3: Place Monstera in the center of the hole/pot

Avoid planting too deep, you should bury a little more soil underneath to raise the top pot slightly higher. Make sure the seedling is in a straight position perpendicular to the pot, then fill the hole with the initially dugout soil. Pay attention to sealing the ground tightly but not compressing the soil too hard. Continue backfilling until the soil covers the entire top layer of roots.

Moved Monstera Plant to a larger container
Moved Monstera Plant to a larger container if the poss is too small

Step 4: Water supply for newly planted Monstera

Create the hole and provide Monstera with sufficient water. After soaking in soil, spread a mulch 6-12cm high on the top or in an area 60cm in diameter around the plant. The soil and humus around your Monstera should be kept moist but not soggy. 

During the first year, it is essential to young water plants. When the weather is dry, water your Monstera in small amounts at regular intervals for the first few days. Remember to water slowly around the plant base without having to run it directly onto the trunk, and avoid over-watering when you see standing water. It will help if you understand how to care for Monstera to provide the right amount of water for irrigation.

Step 5: Cleaning and pruning Monstera

Pick up pieces of paper scraps around the base of the tree or trunk because they can cause Monstera not to grow. Use scissors to prune away dead branches and leaves.

Step 6: Fertilizer

Do not use any harsh, chemical fertilizers on your new pot of Monstera. These products will kill your young Monstera. You wait for the roots to stabilize before adding fertilizers and tonics to the tree.

Sylvia Matlock

Sylvia Matlock

Hi, My name is Sylvia Matlock, and I'm the creator of the website. I graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, which shows in everything she does, from adding depth, texture, and color to selecting the best plant for the job. For the retail store, I curate plants, garden accessories, indoor and outdoor furnishings, and gifts. Plants that are suited for the site or environment are used in landscape design and installation for both commercial and residential customers.

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