Plant Care – making a cheap moss pole

Note: These are my opinions and experiences, I am no expert and I have not been paid or incentivised to share my thoughts and reviews of any sellers, products or people mentioned in this post.

EDIT: I noticed that I used forest moss instead of sphagnum moss here. Oops! I should have read the label of the moss. I actually washed the moss in a cloth bag wondering why it was dirty. I still make many mistakes, even after several years of plant care. D’oh. I do recommend sphagnum moss for this!

Here in the UK we are currently still in lockdown due to corona virus. Generally throughout 2020 we have been more cautious and careful when it comes to social contacts (when allowed) and even just going out to buy food. I haven’t been to a town centre since February 2020.

So when I ended up buying a couple more plants that need moss poles I decided to try and make some small ones myself. These were for plants who were small cuttings or young plants, such as my monstera standleyana and siltepecana or my amydrium medium silver.

The standard ones you can buy in online shops seemed too big for the pots I had and I did not want to pot up the plants yet as they had not grown into their pots yet. Overwhelming the roots with a bigger pot too soon, can induce root rot and I wanted to avoid that.

Why would you even need or want a moss pole?

My variegated monstera hugging the pole

Well if we think about a lot of the aroids we might have in our collection, they are vining plants that climb up big trees in the jungle to get closer to the light. Some might also crawl along the jungle floor, but generally, the higher up they get the more mature and bigger their leaves get. So if you want bigger leaves, often this means fenestrated leaves too, using a moss pole or something similar is essential. The benefit of a moss pole over just a bamboo stick, that they can be moistened to aid with humidity levels, and it gives the aerial roots something to root in to. And in theory (I have not tried this myself) you would already have roots if you were to cut the stem to make cuttings. Of course make sure to include the actual node with the aerial roots if you are going to try this.

Aerial roots growing through the pole 💚

Now to make the moss pole. Disclaimer, I just used what is in my house without going out. The absolute best way of making them seems to be the Craig Milran method which, I can’t wait to try when shops are quieter again.

So I had a look around my garage and decided to make do with what I had and make some small moss poles.

To make these cheap moss poles you need:

  • sphagnum moss
  • twine or even better fishing line as this won’t break down
  • a wooden or plastic pole (I have seen people use chopsticks) – I used bamboo and wooden sticks

Step 1 – wet the moss as in the instructions. I made mine quite wet so I could wring it out when patting it around the pole.

Step 2 – Leaving a section at the end of the pole (depth of your substrate) tie on the twine or fishing wire.

Step 3 – Pick up the wet moss and pat it around the pole by squeezing the water out. I would then get the twine and just start winding it tightly around the pole. Then grab the next bit of moss and pat it onto the pole and wind some more.

Step 4 – at the top of the pole, tie a simple knot and pull tight.

Tadaa! You have a moss pole. I placed mine into the pot and loosely tied on the stem of the plant, or runner. I think it looks quite nice and should even contribute to the humidity in my plant room.

You can wet the pole using a shower or just spray it every few days. I find with the pre made coir ones, I need to really wet them in the shower for them to stay moist, so I only do that once a month as I can’t avoid the plant getting a good soaking.

Monstera standleyana and amydrium medium silver
Monstera adansonii

Have you made your own moss poles? Which method did you try?

If you are stuck on where to find the items I have used, then below you can find some products I have used in my home set up, these just provide me a kick back and are not more expensive for you, if you decide to purchase through them. ❤

DIY moss pole

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