Can a Monstera recover from root rot?

Answered by Tom Adger

A Monstera can recover from root rot if addressed promptly and properly. Root rot is a common issue caused by overwatering, which leads to the roots becoming waterlogged and deprived of oxygen. This creates a favorable environment for pathogens to thrive, causing the roots to decay.

To rescue your Monstera from root rot, you’ll need to take a few steps. First, carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently shake off excess soil. Inspect the roots for signs of rot, which may appear dark, mushy, and have a foul odor. Trim away any infected portions of the root mass using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. It’s important to remove all the affected roots to prevent the disease from spreading.

After trimming, it’s crucial to create a clean environment for the plant’s roots. Choose a new pot that is slightly larger than the previous one, as this allows room for healthy root development. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom.

Next, prepare fresh, well-draining soil for the Monstera. A suitable mix could include equal parts of potting soil, perlite or pumice, and orchid bark. These components help improve drainage and aeration, preventing future waterlogging issues. Additionally, adding a layer of activated charcoal at the bottom of the pot can help absorb excess moisture and filter any remaining impurities.

Now it’s time to repot the Monstera. Place a layer of the prepared soil mixture in the new pot, creating a small mound in the center. Gently position the plant on top of the mound, spreading the roots outwards. Gradually add more soil, gently pressing it down to secure the plant. Ensure that the soil level is slightly below the rim of the pot to prevent water runoff.

After repotting, provide your Monstera with appropriate care to aid its recovery. Place it in a well-lit location with indirect sunlight, as excessive light can stress the plant. Water the Monstera thoroughly but only when the top inch or so of the soil feels dry to the touch. This helps prevent further overwatering and allows the roots to reestablish and grow.

It’s essential to monitor your Monstera closely during the recovery process. Keep an eye out for any signs of continued root rot, such as wilting leaves, yellowing foliage, or a persistent foul odor. If you notice these symptoms persisting or worsening, it may be necessary to trim the roots further and repot the plant again.

While root rot can be a serious issue for Monstera plants, it is possible to save them with proper care. By removing the infected roots, repotting in fresh soil, and providing appropriate conditions, your Monstera can recover and thrive once again. Remember to adjust your watering habits and ensure adequate drainage to prevent future occurrences of root rot.