What are Aerial Roots? 

Have you ever noticed some unusual roots growing above the soil level on your indoor plants and wondered, “What are aerial roots?” You’re not alone! Aerial roots are specialized roots that grow from the stem or branches of a plant, above the ground. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of aerial roots, exploring their function, appearance, and more.

What do Aerial Roots Do?

So, what do aerial roots do? In nature, aerial roots serve various functions depending on the plant and its environment. For some plants, like orchids, aerial roots help attach the plant to a host, like a tree, and absorb moisture from the air. In indoor settings, aerial roots often serve as an indicator that the plant is searching for more moisture or support. Understanding the aerial root function can help you better care for your plants, whether they’re outdoor giants or indoor ornamentals.

What do Aerial Roots Look Like?

If you’re wondering what aerial roots look like, they often appear as thin, spindly growths extending from the stem or branches. They can be the same color as the plant or take on a slightly different hue. Some may have a fuzzy appearance, designed to absorb moisture from the air, while others may look more like tendrils, seeking something to latch onto for support.

Can you Propagate an Aerial Root?

A common question among plant enthusiasts is, “Can you propagate an aerial root?” The answer largely depends on the type of plant. For some plants like the Monstera, aerial root propagation is entirely possible. You can cut the aerial root along with a section of the stem and plant it in soil. However, it’s essential to research the specific needs of your plant species before attempting aerial root propagation.

Plants that Have Aerial Roots

Several common indoor plants typically have aerial roots. Some of these include:

  • Monstera Deliciosa: Known for its beautiful split leaves and aerial roots that seek support.
  • Orchids: These plants often use aerial roots to attach themselves to hosts.
  • Pothos: This popular houseplant may develop aerial roots as it grows longer and seeks additional support.
  • Philodendron: Similar to the Monstera, many Philodendrons will produce aerial roots.


So, what are aerial roots? They are specialized roots that grow above the ground, serving various functions like absorbing moisture or providing support. Whether you’re dealing with aerial roots indoors or in nature, understanding their function and appearance can help you become a better plant parent. 

Thank you for reading this comprehensive guide by LeafWise. If you’re interested in learning more about plant care, don’t forget to check out our website where you can get 25+ FREE quick-care guides for some of the most popular indoor plants.