Have you ever thought about the nodes and aerial roots on your Monstera?
And what is their purpose?
Monstera plant develops these unique features as it matures.
But you might get a little confused if you haven't observed them before.
So, to make things a little clearer, let's understand more about them in the following guide.
What Are Monstera Nodes?
Monstera nodes are small, fleshy bumps that grow along the stem of this plant.
They help the plant produce new leaves as well as aerial roots.
So, as you can see, it's just an integral part of this plant, which only helps in furthering its growth.
These nodes are also beneficial in propagation, as they can be used to produce new plants.
In case your plant suffers from any damage, you can simply trim the stem a little below the node and propagate it.
That should do the trick and help you grow a completely new plant.
What Are Aerial Roots On Monstera Plants?
Aerial roots are basically the roots that grow out of the nodes on the plant.
These roots allow the plant to climb up trees or any other support structures.
In their natural habitat, these roots can get up to 20 feet long.
But when grown in pots, they are usually much shorter.
These roots can also help the plant absorb more nutrients and moisture from the air.
This, in turn, helps the plant to grow faster and become stronger.
I have shared a detailed guide on the aerial roots of the Jade plant.
Do check it out if you want to learn more about this.
Below, I have listed some of the key differences between the monstera node and aerial root.
I hope this will help you understand these two features better.
Monstera Node vs. Aerial Root
As you know, these are the two important parts of the Monstera plant.
So, let's take a quick look at their differences -
It's one of the main differentiating factors between the two.
Monstera nodes generally appear green in color and look like bumps on the stem.
On the other hand, aerial roots look like small, white threads that grow out of the nodes.
And they turn brown over the period.
Aerial roots are also weaker than nodes and can break off easily if not handled with care.
Another significant difference between the two is their length.
The nodes are quite small.
And as I mentioned earlier, they are not more than little bumps on the plant.
Now, if you compare them with aerial roots, they can grow long.
Since their only purpose is to help the plant climb or reach out for nutrients or moisture, they extend their lengths over the period.
Monstera nodes can be found all along the stem of the plant.
Without nodes, the plant can't produce new leaves or aerial roots.
Aerial roots, on the other hand, grow out of the nodes.
You will find them at the nodes' location only.
Nodes play a vital role in the growth of the plant.
And they are absolutely necessary for the plant's survival.
But you can't say the same thing about aerial roots.
While they are helpful, they are not required for the plant's survival.
The plant can do without them.
Nodes don't require any special care.
All they need is a regular supply of nutrients and water.
And since they are pretty much the part of the stem, you don't have to worry about any damage.
But when it comes to aerial roots, you need to be a little careful.
They are quite fragile and can break off.
Of course, these roots are not so critical for the plant.
But still, you need to keep an eye on them, especially if you plan to propagate the Monstera plant in the future.
Nodes can be used for propagation, as I have already mentioned.
And they can actually help in producing a new plant.
However, you can't just use aerial roots directly for this purpose.
And that's because they don't have any buds or leaves.
Due to this, they can't produce a new plant on their own.
So, even if you plant these roots in the soil, they won't come up with another plant.
Nodes are generally static.
They don't grow or change their position over time.
The aerial roots grow over time.
And that's what they are meant to do.
So, that's another basic difference between these two features of the Monstera plant.
8. Response To Weather Conditions
Since the nodes are an integral part of the plant, they are pretty stable.
And you won't see much effect of weather conditions on them.
But aerial roots are quite sensitive.
If you don't water or fertilize the plant regularly, the roots will start to wither away.
Or you will see stunted growth in them.
9. Effect Of Pruning
Pruning doesn't have any effect on nodes.
In fact, they are the part of the plant that is left behind even after pruning.
So, they will only help in boosting new growth in the plant.
Aerial roots may get a little affected by pruning.
Since they are not very critical for the plant, you don't have to worry too much about them.
Even if they look a little damaged after pruning, they will eventually grow back.
10. Response To Overwatering
Many times we overwater our houseplants without realizing it.
And this can actually lead to problems like root rot.
Now, when it comes to nodes, they don't get affected by such conditions easily.
They might get affected in later stages if the situation worsens.
On the contrary, aerial roots can suffer quickly.
If you overwater the plant, the roots will be the first ones to show signs of distress.
Here's a quick summary of some of these differentiating factors -
|Monstera Node||Aerial Root|
|Color||Green or Brown||White or Brown|
|Function||To Produce New Leaves, Aerial Roots||To Climb Up And Support The Plant|
|Propagation||Possible Through Cuttings||Not Possible Without Nodes|
|Essential For Plant's Growth||Yes||No|
|Pruning||Can Be Pruned For Propagation Or Other Stem Issues||Not Required|
So, these are some of the major differences between a Monstera node and an aerial root.
Now, if you are interested in propagating your plant with aerial roots, do check out the following section.
How To Propagate Monstera With Aerial Roots
Here's a step-by-step process to propagate your Monstera plant -
Step 1: Cut the stem carefully with a sharp knife or scissors.
It needs to be cut at an angle so that there is more surface area for the root to grow.
Also, make sure the aerial roots are intact and not damaged.
Step 2: Place the stem in a jar or glass of water.
You can use any clean jar and fill it with water.
The water should be fresh and at room temperature.
Step 3: Place the jar in a warm, humid place.
Do not place it in direct sunlight.
A windowsill near a bathroom or kitchen would be ideal.
Step 4: Change the water every 3-4 days.
After a few weeks, you will notice the roots growing in the water.
And once they are 2-3 inches long, you can plant them in soil.
So, that's all about the propagation technique.
Do give it a try and see how it works out for you.
For better results, you can try to propagate more stems with nodes and aerial roots.
This will allow you to have more plants in a short period.
And if some of them don't make it, you will still have others to take their place.
Now, let's look at the FAQs below.
No, a node is not the same as an aerial root.
Nodes are the raised areas on the stem from which the leaves and branches emerge.
And aerial roots are the roots that grow from the stem and not from the soil.
Yes, you can propagate Monstera with aerial roots.
You can follow the above guide to do it.
The nodes on a Monstera plant look like raised bumps or ridges.
And they are usually found on the stem.
It's actually a way for the plant to get support.
The aerial roots help stabilize the plant and allow it to climb up surfaces.
No, you cannot root Monstera without a node.
The nodes are the key to propagating the plant.
They help develop new growth from the cuttings.
Over To You
Monstera is an interesting plant when you look at its anatomy.
The nodes and aerial roots play a vital role in the growth and propagation of the plant.
So, if you have been wondering what these features are and what their purpose is, I hope this guide was of some help.
Still, have more questions?
Feel free to ask them in the comments section below.
I would be happy to answer them.
And if you find this guide helpful, do share it with others as well.
It might come in handy for someone else too.