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Epiphytic plants, like Monstera, grow on trees but aren’t parasitic.
In their natural habitat, they may germinate in a crevice on a tree and drop aerial roots to the ground for water and nutrients while using their aerial roots to support them as they grow up trees in search of light.
In indoor horticulture, gardeners use structures like a moss pole for monstera support as it grows. The monstera moss pole mimics the tree in its natural habitat, and as the aerial roots attach to the moss pole, monsteras can reach heights of up to 50 feet.
Introduction to Moss Pole Monstera
Moss poles mimic the porous, natural surfaces that Monsteras climb in the wild. Once vines have successfully attached, leaf size typically increases significantly, and fenestration improves.
Moss Pole Monsteras are simply regular Monstera plants potted to include a moss pole in their planter. The Monstera vines can climb the moss pole vertically rather than sprawling out the planter’s sides.
Most monstera moss poles range between 36 to 48 inches tall and are either sphagnum moss or coco coir. Larger monstera vines can be attached with twine or plant tape to aid aerial root attachment to the pole.
Adding a support structure must be an act of vision and faith, providing what is hoped for but not yet manifest. An adequate structure needs to be added to the pot while the plant is still small, in provision for what the plant may become.
Adding a moss pole once the Monstera has grown to its full potential can cause root harm, so I advise including it at the point of the first installation, ideally, or early in the early repotting schedule.
Your Monstera will have support to climb as it grows when you repot it with a moss pole. Support will encourage your Monstera to grow leaf splits and fenestrations and manage horizontal and uncontrolled growth.
Benefits of Monstera Moss Poles
Although Monsteras can flourish without a moss pole, including one more closely resembles their natural environment. As epiphytes, monsteras rely on the support of tree trunks to grow, and they cling by inserting their aerial roots into the structure’s framework.
You may create a more natural growing environment for your Monstera inside with a moss pole. Below is a list of 10 Monstra plants that would benefit from becoming moss pole monsteras:
- M. deliciosa
- M. Adonsonii (though it does well from a hanging basket too)
- M. dubia
- M. obliqua
- M. pinnatipartia
- M. standleyana
- M. silepecana
- M deliciosa spp. Thai Constellation
- M. deliciosa albo variegata
- M. lechleriana
Installing moss poles will have the following benefits:
- Assist the plant, training its development,
- Cause aerial roots to expand and branch – these can be trimmed
- Supply a further source of nutrients and water
- Promote bigger, more developed leaves
- Improve light exposure, improve fenestration
- Have your own sculptured indoor phallic symbol
Monstera Moss Poles to Manage Sideways Growth
It’s not too late to train your Monstera with a moss pole if it has already grown too big or become unruly. A moss pole is an anchor point to bind leaves spilling out of the pot on huge plants spreading in all directions. On the other hand, a moss pole can instruct the stem of your Monstera to turn and grow more vertically if it is growing horizontally.
Because they are natural climbers, monstera plants will happily cling to support if you give them one. Your Monstera plant can sag or climb the pot’s sides if not. While certain Monstera species form lovely trailing plants, most plant enthusiasts prefer to watch them climb.
Monsteras enjoy climbing, although they require a sturdy object to hold onto. A rough surface, such as bark, moss, or jute, is needed for aerial roots to attach the vines to the plant support.
Your Monstera plant’s vines may need assistance to continue their ascent. Most Monsteras strive for the stars on their own when they get going and start climbing.
Alternatives to Moss Poles
Although moss poles are the most popular, Monstera may find support on various climbing poles.
- The most basic type of support, a stake, can be made of plastic, metal, rot-resistant wood, bamboo, or driftwood.
- An alternative is to use sphagnum moss strands wrapped around a rigid core made of wood or plastic to create the traditional moss pole. String, plastic, or mesh wrapping can securely attach the moss.
- A trellis, made of various materials, gives a plant a larger surface area to grow. Small-leafed vining plants are most frequently grown using trellises, and the disadvantage is that they don’t have a medium that can hold moisture like coco or moss poles. Often used where plants are grouped for humidity benefits and to create a tropical feature – in addition to moss poles.
- Similar to a sphagnum moss pole, a coconut coir pole makes a great alternative to peat moss. I prefer this version as peat moss is typically water-repelling and is difficult to saturate once dry, and coconut coir readily absorbs and retains moisture.
- You may also create a slab or pole coated with jute. Start with an appropriate-sized pole or piece of wood for your Monstera plant. Jute should be wrapped around the wood to cover it completely. To keep the jute from unraveling and to help it bind to the board, dab it with hot glue.
Repotting Monstera With A Moss Pole
When you repot your Monstera, use the opportunity to add a moss pole, and it allows you to insert the pole deeply into the pot without causing root damage.
It is easiest to add a moss-covered pole to your Monstera’s pot when you repot your Monstera, and this ensures there is plenty of room for the pole and that tender young roots are not injured.
When purchasing your Monstera vine from a nursery, you usually get a support pole made of a round or triangled strip of hardware cloth and covered or filled with coconut coir. As your plant grows, you will need to adjust it.
Ensure it is anchored in the soil to prevent your vine from growing lopsided. Consider constructing your center pole as a tapering pole, allowing you to extend it as the vine grows.
Filling the center of the pole made of hardware cloth with coconut coir will give the aerial roots something to hold onto.
Selecting Your Moss Pole
Choosing your pole and pot is the first step in repotting using a moss pole.
Choose a moss pole long enough for your plant from the various lengths available. The optimal length should provide room for growth and equal the sum of the pot’s height and the stem’s height above the pot.
If your plant outgrows the initial pole, you may place a new piece on top because specific moss poles are extensible.
Next, choose your preferred pot type from the pot guide. The container should have enough width to accommodate the pole and your Monstera’s root system.
You may remove your Monstera, add a moss pole, and repot it into the same pot if it was recently replanted and there is still plenty of room in the container.
Consider a few factors when deciding where the pole should go in the pot. To make it easier to knot, try first to position it close to the stem of your Monstera. Second, place it near the rear of the pot, where the foliage will largely conceal it.
How To Add a Monstera Moss Pole Without Repotting
Although planting a moss pole with your Monstera is typically more stable, adding support without repotting can still be successful.
Pick a method for adding a support pole to a Monstera that is already potted that will cause the least harm to the roots.
This can be a skinny bamboo stick pole, a skinny pole or trellis with a skinny pointed stake at the bottom, or a skinny moss pole.
Place the support softly where you anticipate the presence of the fewest roots. Don’t push through resistance since it could be rooted; instead, back off.
Attempt again in a different location if the support is not deep enough. You would be better off repotting your Monstera if it is too rootbound to put support somewhere!
Repotting a Monstera with a Moss Pole (Advisable)
Once you’ve chosen the location and orientation of the plant and pole, it’s time to repot. Hold the pole firmly in position, down to the bottom of the pot.
One to two inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of the soil mixture should be added to two inches (or around the pole). Before putting your plant, make sure it is centered.
Add soil mixture almost entirely to fill the container’s remaining space.
If the pole is slightly swaying, do not compact the ground to hold it in place. Watering your newly planted Monstera will help the soil settle and keep the pole in place, and the pole will also become safer in this way.
Training Monstera Moss Pole Growth
It’s now time to tie the plant to your moss pole. Put the leaves and stems where you want them by gently gathering and placing them there. Put the stems where the aerial roots may touch the moss or coco fiber.
The plant will eventually cling to the pole when its aerial roots expand. You don’t have to retain the ties when this happens.
Fixing your Monstera to a Moss Pole
To secure your Monstera to the pole, you can use any fastener, including string, twine, twisty ties, zip ties, or velcro. Velcro garden ties are what I favor using.
They are soft and broad to prevent harming the stem, and the green hue blends with the plant. They may be put on with one hand, trimmed to any length, undone at will, and reused.
Both the pole and the stem of your Monstera should be wrapped in the tie. Position the knot as close as possible to the internode (the part of the stem between nodes).
As a result, the tie won’t obstruct any aerial roots or growth sites.
Keeping Your Monstera Moss Pole Moist
Aerial roots will cling to the moss pole if it is kept wet, and they will eventually expand into the pole and develop into typical roots that can take up nutrients and water. Your Monstera will be able to grow more quickly and produce leaves that are more mature with this extra supply.
If you’re using a moss or coco support, soak it first, so it becomes moist the first time before insertion. The pole should then be sprayed with water every few days to maintain a mild moisture level. The water should be held in place by absorbent moss or coco fiber.
Pouring water on moss poles is one way some people water them, but I haven’t had much luck with it. Most of the time, water merely soaks into the ground.
A self-watering moss pole can also be made or purchased. Some of them have hollow centers that may be filled with water to soak into the moss, and some feature a cotton wick that you insert into the pot to draw moisture from the soil up the pole.
Once the roots are firmly attached, removing a Monstera from a moss pole can be quite challenging, and you risk damaging the roots or the pole.
I advise air layering the aerial roots in such regions rather than letting them attach to the pole if you intend to take cuttings from your plant soon.
The roots can also be left within the moss pole by cutting it when you take the cutting.
If you’re using coconut coir as support, soak it in water before insertion. A moss pole with a textile wick that draws soil moisture up the pole can also be made or purchased.