A moss pole is integral for allowing some indoor houseplants to continue to thrive. It will allow them to grow taller and with bigger, more mature leaves, give extra support to the plant and help them receive more light. A moss pole also helps your plants look great and adds to the aesthetic of you home!
What is a moss pole?
A moss pole is quite simply a pole that is wrapped with moss, often sphagnum moss. The pole inside can often be made from wood, bamboo or plastic. This moss gives something for your plants to climb up and attach themselves to.
You can find good moss poles like this one on Amazon.
What type of houseplants need a moss pole?
Plants that like to climb are the ones which will need a moss pole eventually, most commonly, monstera varieties and philodendron varieties as houseplants. These kind of plants have aerial roots which latch on to a moss pole and allow them to grow in an upwards direction whist adding a lot of extra support needed to ensure that the plant doesn’t fall over or have stems brought down by the increased weight of leaves.
How does a moss pole work?
A moss pole works by replicating the natural environments of your plants. Taking a very common houseplant for example, a monstera, will naturally grow up a tree in the wild. This is because it is looking for light and extra support. By adding a moss pole to the pot that a monstera is in, it will provide that extra support to allow it to continue to grow.
But how do plants climb up a moss pole?
Plants that naturally climb up trees will have what is known as aerial roots. These are roots that grow out of an exposed stem of the plant, they are the anchor points for your plant and they cling on to the moss pole. The plant will continue to grow upwards as it knows that support is there.
But why do I NEED a moss pole?
Well, you don’t NEED one, however it will make your plants extremely happy, help them to grow and look great. One would assume that if you have houseplants it is likely for the look and aesthetics of them. So ask yourself, what would look better, a plant that is thriving in what is closest to their natural habitat, or one which cant even hold up the weight of it’s own leaves, is sagging and sad? Seems like an easy choice.
Additionally, if plants grow too big without the required support, they can fall over, have stems snap, stop growing all together and possibly begin to decline and die. So you don’t NEED a moss pole but possibly your plants really do.
How to use a moss pole?
Firstly, you need to understand what size moss pole you need. The easiest way to do this is to get one that is long enough that it raises above the tallest part of your plant. This will make sure that it has plenty of space to climb.
When you have your moss pole, before installing it you must soak it in water until it is completely saturated. This is a very important part in the process as it will help allow the plant to bind.
Next, put the stake end of the pole into the pot, as close to the centre of the pot and base of the plant as possible. Be careful not to damage the roots of the plant in this step.
If you’re using a moss pole for a plant that has vines, wrap them around the pole and secure them with twine, if you’re using it for a plant that grows stems, like a monstera, secure the stem against the pole with twine and be sure to get the aerial roots close to the moss pole so that they can attach themselves easier. It is important that you don’t tie the twine too tight around your plants as that can damage it.
From now on, as the plant grows, the aerial roots that form at the nodes of it’s stems, attracted by the humidity of the pole, will grow into the moss of the pole and the plant will climb on its own.
There! That was easy, wasn’t it?
How to maintain a moss pole
Once your moss pole is in place, it is important to maintain it. It is helpful to spritz your moss pole often or to pour water down the pole when watering to ensure your plants adventitious roots receive water. Most plants will also appreciate the extra humidity! As your plant binds to the moss pole, you can remove the twine. Continue adding up the pole to continue training your plants growth.
When your plant has outgrown your moss pole you may extend it by attaching a new one to the old one and repeating the process, or you can allow your plant to vine back down the moss pole to fill out growth. When your plant has outgrown its pot, replant it with the same moss pole in the new container. Be very careful if ever removing a moss pole, as damaging the adventitious roots could cause issues with the plant’s health.
List of benefits gained from adding a moss pole
- Extra plant support
- Encouraged growth
- Ability to grow bigger leaves
- Ability to grow taller
- Additional light gained
- Increased humidity
- Increased aestherics
- Many more!
Now you know a bit more about moss poles and how they work you can have the confidence to add one to your houseplants and see the continued amazing growth, sit back and enjoy!