Are you looking to provide your indoor plant with a moss pole to help it climb? While moss poles can be purchased from some nurseries and online retailers, they are easy to DIY and make at home (and cheaper too!). Plus, you can customize the height and width of your moss pole to suit the plant that you need it for.
What Is a Moss Pole?
A moss pole is a sturdy stick or pole coated in moss that encourages plants to grow up (rather than down or sideways).
There are lots of different plants that can benefit from a moss pole. Common climbing houseplants include monstera deliciosas, monstera adansoniis, pothos, satin pothos, heartleaf philodendrons, brasil philodendrons, arrowhead plants, and more. Any plant that grows aerial roots can be adapted to climbing up a moss pole, and many plants will grow larger, lusher foliage once they are given the chance to grow vertically.
Create a moss pole for your indoor climbing plant in under an hour with just a few simple tools and supplies.
Before Getting Started
Before getting started on this project, ensure that you have all of your tools and supplies lined up and ready to go, and a workspace prepared. This project can get a little bit messy, so it is a good idea to complete it outside or on a protective surface like a tarp or work mat. You will also want to pre-measure the wooden dowel, pole, or PVC pipe that you will be using as the main support for your moss pole and cut it to size. The finished moss pole should be at least 1-2 feet taller than your plant, keeping in mind that at least 6-12 inches of the moss pole will be beneath the soil in order to hold the pole in place in the pot.
This DIY project uses sphagnum moss, which should always be handled while wearing protective gloves.
Equipment / Tools
- Rubber gloves
- Tarp or protective work mat
- A pole, wooden dowel, or PVC pipe
- Sphagnum moss
- String or fishing line
- Large bowl filled with water
Soak the Sphagnum Moss
Before creating the moss pole, the first step is to pre-soak the sphagnum moss, which will encourage your plant's aerial roots to reach towards the pole as it grows.
Wearing your rubber gloves, submerge all of the sphagnum moss that you will be using into the large bowl of water and allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes. The sphagnum moss will expand as it absorbs the water, so you may need to add more water to the bowl if the moss absorbs it all before the 15-20 minutes are up.
Attach the Moss to the Support Pole
Once the sphagnum moss has been pre-soaked, it is time to attach it to the pole, wooden dowel, or PVC pipe that will be used as the main support for the moss pole. This can get a bit messy, so don't be afraid to do this step outdoors!
First, squeeze the excess water out of the moss as you remove it from the bowl. Using the string or fishing line, slowly secure layers of the sphagnum moss to the pole. It is usually easiest to do this with one long piece of string rather than smaller pieces. Leave the bottom 6-12 inches of the pole exposed as this part will be sitting in the soil.
Use as much string as required in order to secure the moss in place. You will want to have enough moss on the pole that aerial roots can grow into it.
Secure Your Climbing Plant to the Moss Pole
Once you have finished crafting your moss pole, it is time to add it to your plant's pot. Insert the base of the pole into the pot, careful not to disturb the existing roots. If your plant already has aerial roots, you will want to secure these existing roots to the pole. You can use more string or fishing wire to secure your plant to the moss.
How to Care for a Moss Pole
Moss poles require a bit of ongoing maintenance in order to ensure they are effective for your climbing plants. Keeping the moss consistently moist through misting or watering "down" the pole (i.e., pouring water at the top of the pole and letting gravity do the work) will encourage your plants to secure themselves to the moss in order to absorb the water.
Once your plant has secured itself to the pole, it is important that you don't separate the roots from the moss, as this can cause damage to the plant. This means that once the plant has outgrown the moss pole, you should add to the existing pole by extending it at the top rather than creating a brand new moss pole. Additionally, when you repot your plant you will need to bring the moss pole with it to the new pot, being careful not to damage any of the aerial roots.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Fungal Diseases: Sporotrichosis." cdc.gov. N.p., n.d. Web.