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How To Trim Philodendron Air Roots (Step By Step)

How To Trim Philodendron Air Roots (Step By Step)

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You’ve probably seen philodendrons hanging on house porches, garages, or living rooms. Not only are they common, but they’re also among the most beautiful tropical plants you can have in your home.

These plants are known for their attractive heart-shaped leaves and roots extending from their stems. Plus, they’re really easy to take care of, and you don’t need any special gardening know-how to maintain them.

So, maybe you’re thinking about getting one to liven up the decor. Or, maybe you already have one or more placed in various areas around your home. Either way, if you’re thinking of how to trim philodendron air roots, you came to the right place!

So, keep reading, and we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on trimming their air roots and more.

Should You Trim Air Roots?

Adventitious roots, or aerial roots, are common in tropical plants like philodendrons. It’s an important mechanism that helps them survive in tropical areas.

So, is it okay to trim your plant’s aerial roots?

It depends.

Is the type that you have in your home a smaller variety of these tropical plants? Then, it should be okay to trim its roots to your liking without harming them.

On the other hand, some gardeners warn against excessively trimming the roots of some vine philodendrons and other large-leaved varieties, like fiddle leaf figs. This is because these types of plants mostly rely on their aerial roots for support and sustenance.

Tools For Trimming Air Roots

Keep in mind that using the wrong tools can cause more harm than benefit for your floras.

So, if you’re thinking of cropping up your house philodendrons, then you should first know the correct tools to use and avoid harming your plant.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 20-20-20 indoor plant fertilizer
  2. A sharp utility knife
  3. Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
  4. Paper towels or newspapers

How To Trim The Aerial Roots Of Philodendrons

If you’re new to these tropical plants and their roots are starting to look untidy, you should probably trim them.

Trimming the adventitious roots of these floras is pretty straightforward as they hang and extend outwards from the stem. Take a look.

  1. Before trimming, water the plant with a solution of 20-20-20 indoor plant fertilizer and water,
  2. On the day of trimming, sterilize your blade by rubbing it with pure hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to prevent infecting your philodendron with diseases.
  3. Next, identify which roots you’ll be cutting.
  4. Prioritize removing excessively long or discolored roots.
  5. While cutting, make sure that you prune the roots down to their base, and avoid cutting the roots holding the body of your vine philodendron to your trellis.
  6. Avoid cutting the vine itself, as it could be a way for bacteria and pests to get inside the plant.
  7. Use your paper towels to dry the area where you cut the roots.
  8. After trimming, water your plant to make up for the lost moisture.
  9. Finally, place the flora near your window, but make sure it’s not getting any direct sunlight.
  10. To help boost their growth, use your fertilizer solution to water the plant for the next few days.

What To Do With Philodendron Aerial Roots

If you like your philodendron air roots and you don’t want to trim them, there are other awesome things you can do instead.

1 – Let Them Climb

It’s no secret that these floras like to climb and attach themselves to anything they can get their roots on. So, why not just let them?

Some people even use trellises, poles, or other frameworks for their vine philodendrons to climb on.

You can do this by giving them enough humidity and light while providing them with something to latch their roots onto. Then, as they grow and start their ascent, you can even control their direction to whichever way you want.

2 – Use Them As Root Anchors

What if you don’t like the idea of plants crawling around? In that case, you can always use their excess roots to anchor the plant firmly to the ground.

You can do this by simply pushing the roots down into the ground. Just make sure that you secure them properly so they won’t be able to crawl back up. After some time, they’ll change into terrestrial roots to help anchor your plant to the ground.

However, this is only possible if the roots are already near the ground. So, you may still need to trim the upper vine roots of your plant first.

3 – Use Wooden Planks

Wooden planks are a great way to control your flora’s adventitious roots. Plus, they easily latched on to other organic materials like wood.

What you need to do is to place the wooden plank behind the plant. You can also bury it in the soil. Yet, before you do that, make sure to varnish it first to prevent it from deteriorating in the soil.

After this, you can now start moving the roots closer to your plank, and they’ll soon be able to work their way toward it.

You can also use bonsai wires to manually direct your plant around the plank.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Everything you need to know about air roots in one convenient post.

So, the next time you notice those unruly roots, use our handy guide on how to trim philodendron air roots. Use our tips, and you’ll have neat and appealing home floras in no time!

With that, we hope you can fully appreciate the experience of caring for these lovely tropical house plants.

Before you go: Now is the perfect time to start tracking your gardening progress, and I created a garden journal to do exactly that. Click the image below to see it in action and to get your own copy.

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