Monstera plants are a favorite amongst houseplant parents. the most popular varieties known for their fenestrated leaves. These tropical beauties can grow quite large, making them perfect statement plants. However, with maturity, monsteras tend to get quite unruly and need support. They tend to do best once you learn how to grow your monstera on a moss pole, mimicing their natural habitat.
In their natural habitat, monsteras climb trees for support. In our homes, providing a similar climbing structure like a moss pole can help your monstera thrive and reach its full potential.
Why Use a Moss Pole?
Moss poles offer several benefits for monstera plants:
- Vertical Support: Monsteras naturally grow vertically, and a moss pole provides the support they need to climb upwards, preventing them from becoming leggy and sprawling.
- Aerial Root Attachment: Monstera plants produce aerial roots, which help them absorb moisture and nutrients from the air. Attaching these roots to the moss pole provides them with a source of hydration and nutrients, promoting healthy growth.
- Increased Humidity: Moss poles help maintain humidity around the plant, which is essential for monsteras to thrive. The moss absorbs and retains moisture, creating a microclimate that mimics the plant’s natural environment.
- Enhanced Aesthetics: A moss pole adds a visual element to your monstera, creating a more natural and aesthetically pleasing arrangement.
Producing Larger Leaves
When you provide a moss pole for your monstera at home, you are essentially replicating its natural climbing behavior. The moss pole provides the plant with a vertical structure to climb, and its aerial roots can attach to the moss for support. This encourages the plant to grow upwards and produce larger leaves.
Studies have shown that monsteras on moss poles can produce leaves that are up to 50% larger than those of monsteras that are not given any support. In addition, moss poles can help monsteras to develop fenestrations, which are the holes or splits that are characteristic of monstera leaves.
Which Monsteras Need Climbing Support
Moss poles are not essential for all monsteras, but they can be very beneficial for many varieties. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a moss pole for your monstera:
- Variety of Monstera: Some monsteras, such as Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii, are naturally climbing plants and will benefit greatly from a moss pole. Other monsteras, such as Monstera minima, are more compact and do not require a moss pole for support.
- Size of Monstera: If your monstera is still relatively small, you may not need to use a moss pole right away. However, as your monstera grows larger, it will start to produce aerial roots that will need support. A moss pole is a great way to provide this support and encourage your monstera to climb upwards.
- Health of Monstera: If your monstera is healthy and growing vigorously, a moss pole is a good investment. However, if your monstera is struggling, you may want to focus on improving its overall health before adding a moss pole.
If you are unsure whether or not to use a moss pole, it is always best to err on the side of caution and provide a moss pole. The worst that will happen is that your monstera will not use the pole, but there is a good chance that it will benefit from the support.
Additional Signs Your Monstera Needs a Moss Pole
Here are some additional signs that it’s time to use a moss pole:
- The leaves are drooping or falling off. This is a sign that the plant is not getting enough support. A moss pole can help the plant to climb upwards and prevent the leaves from drooping.
- The stems are leggy and sprawling. This is another sign that the plant is not getting enough support. A moss pole can help the plant to grow more compactly and upright.
- The aerial roots are long and trailing. This is a sign that the plant is looking for something to cling to. A moss pole can provide the plant with the support it needs.
If you see any of these signs, it is a good idea to consider using a moss pole. Moss poles are a relatively inexpensive and easy way to provide your monstera with the support it needs to thrive.
The Best Moss Poles to Use
The best type of moss pole for monstera is one that is made from natural materials and that has a good moisture retention capacity. Here are some specific recommendations:
Moss Pole Material
- Sphagnum moss: Sphagnum moss is the most common type of moss used for moss poles. It is a naturally absorbent moss that holds moisture well, which is important for monsteras because they need their aerial roots to stay moist.
- Coco coir: Coco coir is another popular option for moss poles. It is a renewable resource that is made from coconut husks. Coco coir is not as absorbent as sphagnum moss. As such, the aerial roots are less likely to really take hold like they would in sphagnum moss. It is still a good, usually least expensive, option for support.
Moss Pole Construction
- Cylindrical or semi-cylindrical: Cylindrical or semi-cylindrical moss poles are the most common type. They are easy to use and provide good support for monsteras.
- Flat: Flat moss poles are becoming more popular. They are a good option for monsteras because they provide a wider surface area for the plant’s aerial roots to attach to.
- Extendable: Extendable moss poles are a good option if you have a monstera that is still growing. They allow you to add additional sections to the pole as the plant grows.
- With built-in ties: Some moss poles come with built-in ties that you can use to secure the plant to the pole. This is a convenient feature that can save you time and effort.
Specific Brand Options
- Mosser Lee’s Totem Pole™ Extendable Plant Supports: These moss poles are great for beginners who don’t want to make their own. They’re made from high-quality sphagnum moss and are available in three lengths.
- Envelor Moss Poles: These poles are made from coco coir and are available in a variety of sizes.
- Duspro Large Moss Pole: These large moss poles are made from unbendable wooden dowels covered in forest moss. They are a good option for larger monsteras.
- THICCLY Grow Poles: These are a popular choice these days and come in a number of different sizes. The sphagnum moss is not included with these poles, so you would have to insert your own.
No matter which type of moss pole you choose, make sure that you follow the instructions carefully so that you can use it properly. With proper care, your moss pole will help your monstera to grow strong and healthy.
How to Attach a Moss Pole to a Monstera Plant
Attaching a moss pole to a monstera plant is a simple process with just a few supplies. If you need to insert your moss into the pole, do that first before following the below directions. If you’re using a pre-made moss or coco coir pole, then go directly to the step-by-step instructions. These are general instructions for inserting a basic moss pole.
- Monstera plant
- Moss pole
- Soft plant ties or velcro
- Potting mix
- Moisten the Moss Pole: Before attaching it to the plant, thoroughly soak the moss pole with water. This ensures the moss is hydrated and provides moisture for the plant’s aerial roots to attach to.
- Position the Moss Pole: Place the moss pole near the base of your monstera plant, slightly behind it. Ensure the pole is stable and secure.
- Attach Aerial Roots: Identify the aerial roots of your monstera plant. Gently guide the roots towards the moss pole and secure them using soft plant ties or yarn. Avoid wrapping too tightly, as you don’t want to damage the roots.
- Secure the Stem: If your monstera has a long stem, you may need to secure it to the moss pole for additional support. Use plant ties or plant velcro to gently attach the stem to the pole at intervals.
- Water and Maintain: Continue to water your monstera as usual. The moss pole will help retain moisture, but you may need to mist the pole occasionally to keep it damp.
More Tips When Supporting a Monstera to a Moss Pole
Here are a few more tips when it comes to supporting and how to grow a monstera on a moss pole:
- As your monstera grows, you may need to reposition the plant ties or velcro to ensure proper support.
- If your moss pole becomes dry, soak it thoroughly with water to rehydrate it. This applies to sphagnum moss poles.
- Coco coir poles are difficult to keep moist and best used as support.
- If you notice any aerial roots that are not attaching to the moss pole, you can gently encourage them by wrapping them with moist sphagnum moss.
Attaching a moss pole to your monstera plant is a simple yet effective way to support its growth, enhance its health, and create a more attractive indoor jungle. Once you learn how to grow your monstera on a moss pole, your monstera will flourish with the support.