Root Rot vs Healthy Roots Monstera: All The Differences Discussed!

Monstera plants, known for their lush green foliage, can be confronted by root rot, a common but severe disease. This article explores the stark contrast between Monstera plants’ root rot and healthy roots.

We delve deep into the root rot vs healthy roots monstera, all the causes, symptoms, and cures, seeking to help you ensure the long-term wellbeing of your houseplant.

Understand how to keep your Monstera thriving, spot early signs of trouble, and respond effectively.

Root Rot vs Healthy Roots Monstera

Root rot vs healthy roots monstera

Monstera plants are popular indoor plants famous for their elegant and unique foliage. However, like other houseplants, they can be susceptible to health issues, notably root rot.

In this guide, we compare healthy roots with those plagued by root rot, explore the causes and symptoms, and share preventative and treatment advice.

Healthy Roots in Monstera: A Closer Look

A healthy root system is the key to your Monstera plant’s flourishing growth and resilience. Here, we delve deeper into the characteristics of healthy roots, highlighting their unique qualities and appearance.

  • Characteristics of Healthy Roots: The following traits are commonly observed in a Monstera plant with a healthy root system:
  • Color: Healthy roots can range from light to medium brown, with new roots often appearing white. Their consistency and color mirror their role in effectively absorbing water and nutrients for your Monstera.
  • Texture: A firm and pliable structure indicate a healthy Monstera root. This elasticity expands roots as they grow, enabling them to resist breakage when faced with environmental stressors.
  • Moisture Content: Maintaining moderate moisture levels in the roots supports water and nutrient balance. Overly dry roots may impede nutrient absorption, while overly moist roots can lead to root rot. Healthy roots should feel slightly damp but not soggy.
  • Odor: A musty or earthy smell indicates healthy roots in Monstera plants. This scent can be attributed to the natural decomposition of organic matter occurring in the soil, which provides an essential source of nutrients. However, a foul or rotting odor could indicate a problem like a root rot.

In addition to these characteristics, Monstera roots often produce aerial roots, a normal part of the plant’s growth process. These roots can extend above the soil surface and provide extra support for the plant or seek out additional moisture and nutrients.

By recognizing the signs of healthy roots, you are better equipped to cater to your Monstera’s requirements, ensuring optimal growth and overall vitality. Understanding the characteristics of healthy roots also enables you to identify potential issues early and take remedial action to keep your Monstera thriving.

How do you know if a monstera has root rot?

Detecting root rot early is crucial for treating and rehabilitating your Monstera plant. In this section, we’ll delve deeper into the signs associated with root rot, emphasizing the importance of close observation and rapid response.

How do you know if a monstera has root rot

Symptoms of Root Rot

Root rot can manifest itself in various ways. Being vigilant and attentive to these symptoms can significantly affect your Monstera’s health.

  • Mushy, Black, or Dark Brown Roots: When root rot sets in, the roots lose their structure and turn mushy, black, or dark brown. The compromised roots cannot absorb water and nutrients efficiently, leading to a steady decline in the plant’s overall health.
  • Unpleasant, Rotting Smell from the Roots: A foul odor emanating from your Monstera’s roots is often an indicator of root rot. This odor results from the decomposition processes caused by fungi and bacteria that break down the affected roots.
  • Yellowing or Drooping Leaves: Root rot can adversely affect a Monstera plant’s leaves, causing them to turn yellow or sag. As the roots fail to provide adequate nourishment, leaves may lose their vibrant color and vitality.
  • Slow or Halted Growth: When root rot affects your Monstera plant, you may notice stunted growth or an abnormal lack of new leaves. Since the roots struggle to fulfill their nourishing function, growth slows down or entirely stops.
  • Wilted Leaves, Despite Watering: With compromised roots, your Monstera may exhibit signs of water deficiency, such as wilting leaves, even when adequately watered. Root rot damages the roots’ ability to absorb water and transport it to the rest of the plant, leading to this seemingly paradoxical symptom.

Closely monitoring your Monstera for these symptoms can help you detect and address root rot in its early stages. Understanding these signs and seeking timely intervention can improve the chances of your Monstera’s full recovery and ensure its continued growth and health.

Causes of Root Rot

Root rot usually occurs as a result of overwatering or poor drainage. Some common reasons include:

  • Excessive water intake or inadequate draining of the pot
  • High humidity levels and poor air circulation
  • Continuously damp soil, leading to fungal infestation
  • Unsterilized tools or containers increase the risk of infections

Preventing and Treating Root Rot in Monstera

To hinder root rot from affecting your Monstera, follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure proper drainage by selecting well-draining soil mixes and a pot with appropriate drainage holes
  • Water your Monstera carefully by letting the soil dry out between watering sessions
  • Use sterilized tools and containers to lower the risk of infection
  • Monitor and maintain humidity levels and air circulation around the plant

Monstera Root Rot Treatment: A Step-by-Step Approach

When identifying root rot in your Monstera plant, it’s crucial to promptly restore its health. Here, we elaborate on the corrective measures to be taken, providing both context and helpful tips to ensure the success of your plant’s recovery.

Addressing root rot in Monstera plants involves the following steps:

Monstera Root Rot Treatment

Step 1: Remove the Plant

Gently dislodge your Monstera from its pot, carefully loosening the outer soil to expose the root system. Avoid causing additional damage to healthy roots during this process.

Step 2: Trim the Affected Roots

Utilizing sterilized scissors or pruning shears, excise the rotten roots from the plant without compromising the healthy roots. Sterilizing tools prevent the spread of infection and promote a healthy recovery. Focus on removing the black or dark brown, mushy sections to halt further decay.

Step 3: Clean the Root System

Rinsing the remaining roots under lukewarm water helps remove any lingering fungus, rot, or soil residue. Ensuring all decay is washed away is vital for preventing re-infestation and fostering a clean environment for recovery.

Step 4: Repot in Fresh Soil

Select a clean pot with well-sized drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and facilitate optimal moisture levels. Fill the pot with fresh, well-draining soil—consider a mix that includes perlite, bark, or other airy components.

Carefully replant your Monstera, ensuring it’s securely anchored and arranged in proper alignment. Water the plant sparingly to promote root growth without over-moistening the soil.

Step 5: Observe and Adjust Care

Stay alert and monitor your Monstera’s response to treatment:

  • Closely watch for new growth, recovery signs, or potential recurrence of root rot
  • Adjust watering routines to avoid overwatering, ensuring that the top inch of soil dries out between waterings
  • Provide an environment with ideal temperature, humidity, and light conditions to support recovery

By following these comprehensive treatment steps and being attentive to your Monstera’s needs, you can maximize the chances of your plant recovering from root rot and returning to a strong, vibrant, and healthy state.

Monstera Root Rot Propagation: Salvaging Affected Plants

When dealing with a severely affected Monstera plant, propagation is often a viable approach to save the plant. This method involves growing a new plant from the unaffected parts of the diseased plant. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide for propagating a Monstera with root rot.

Monstera Root Rot Propagation
Monstera Root Rot Propagation

Step 1: Choose a Healthy Leaf

Identify a healthy leaf on your Monstera plant, preferably one with a visible aerial root or node (the swelling part on the stem from which new roots emerge), as this can facilitate faster root formation.

Step 2: Make the Cut

Make a clean cut below the node or aerial root using a sterilized pair of scissors or a sharp knife. This cut piece, known as a cutting, is what you’ll be propagating.

Step 3: Clean the Cutting

Rinse the cutting under running water to remove any residual soil, potentially harmful bacteria, or fungi that can prevent successful propagation.

Step 4: Start the Rooting Process in Water

Place the cutting in a container with water, ensuring the cut end is submerged but the leaf isn’t touching the water. This stage allows the Monstera cutting to develop its new roots.

Step 5: Monitor Root Development

Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on your cutting in water. Within 1-2 weeks, you should see roots developing from the submerged node. Change the water every few days to prevent bacterial or fungal growth.

Step 6: Pot the New Plant

Once the new roots are a few inches long, your cutting can be planted in the soil. Use a pot with good drainage and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Plant your new Monstera in the soil, ensuring the roots are adequately covered but the leaf and stem remain above soil level.

Pot the New Plant

Step 7: Monitor Growth

As with any new plant, monitor its growth and adjust care as needed. While it may take time for your propagated Monstera to adjust to its new environment and begin growing, with good care, it can thrive and become as lush as the parent plant.

Propagation is a fantastic way to salvage your beloved Monstera plant if root rot has taken over. Although it requires patience, the process can give your Monstera a second chance and allow you to enjoy it for years.

frequently asked question (FAQs)

Can monstera recover from root rot?

Yes, a Monstera can recover from root rot with proper care and treatment. The recovery process involves identifying root rot’s primary cause, usually overwatering or poor drainage. You should remove the plant from the soil and trim the rotten roots. After that, treat the remaining healthy roots with a fungicide or hydrogen peroxide to remove any remaining pathogens. Allow the roots to dry for a few hours, then repot the Monstera in fresh, well-draining soil.

Can hydrogen peroxide treat root rot?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can be used to treat root rot, as it helps to eliminate the fungi and bacteria associated with root decay. Hydrogen peroxide breaks into water and oxygen when used correctly, providing the plant roots with much-needed oxygen while killing off harmful pathogens. To treat root rot with hydrogen peroxide, mix a solution of one part 3% hydrogen peroxide to 2-3 parts water and use it to dampen the roots. Allow the roots to rest in the solution for a few minutes before transferring the plant to its pot with fresh soil.

Should I water a plant with root rot?

No, you should not water a plant with root rot until it has shown signs of recovery. Overwatering is often the primary cause of root rot due to waterlogged soil that lacks proper aeration, promoting fungal growth. Therefore, it’s essential to let the soil dry out and follow a proper watering schedule, considering the plant’s specific needs. If treating the plant for root rot, focus on creating a well-draining environment for the roots and monitor the plant’s progress.

Can you wash off root rot?

While you can physically wash off some root rot by rinsing the roots with clean water, it is not enough to cure the problem. Root rot is caused by a fungal infection that affects the root system inside the soil. To treat root rot, you’ll need to remove the affected plant from its pot, trim away rotting roots, and treat the remaining healthy roots with an appropriate fungicide or hydrogen peroxide solution. After treating the roots, it is crucial to repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

Does cinnamon stop root rot?

Yes, cinnamon is known for its antifungal properties, and it can help stop root rot when used as a natural remedy. Its natural compounds can inhibit fungal growth and prevent the spread of root rot. You can sprinkle cinnamon powder on the affected roots or mix it with water to form a paste before applying it to the roots. However, cinnamon should be used as a supplementary treatment, and it is always best to combine it with proper care, like improving drainage and avoiding overwatering, for the most effective results.


Understanding the differences between root rot and healthy roots in Monstera plants is crucial for these beautiful tropical plants’ successful growth and development.

By detecting signs of root rot early and treating the problem effectively, gardeners can ensure the longevity and overall well-being of their prized Monstera specimens.

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