Using Moss Poles for Houseplants: A Complete Guide

Moss Pole in plant pot

Your plant will receive the much-needed support from a moss pole, which will also encourage the natural environment that tropical plants are suited to.

Climbing plants will produce larger, healthier leaves as a result of using a moss pole, and the pole will support the plant as it climbs. As the plant develops, aerial roots anchor the plant by growing onto the moss pole. Using ties or cords, you can train plants to cling to the pole.

In this post, we clarify any ambiguity regarding the use of moss poles for indoor plants and demonstrate how to create your very own using only a few basic tools.

What is a Moss Pole and What is it used for

A coco coir or sphagnum moss-wrapped cylindrical length of strong material is called a moss pole. Tropical and climbing plants are supported by the staked-in pole in potted plants that stand vertically.

In addition to providing support, moss poles are used to beautify plants by allowing them to grow vertically rather than horizontally or bent.

The poles replicate the natural environment to which tropical plants have evolved. The plants tend to grow more healthier and produce more lush, green foliage as a result of the friendly environment this creates for them to develop.

Maintaining the moisture level of the moss pole greatly aids in simulating a forest tree covered in moss, where the moss is frequently extremely moist owing to the surrounding humidity.

If you want a moss pole that is both affordable and effective. Clicking here will take you there!

Please take note:

The plants must be either positioned in a position that admits light from above, or a light source must be installed above the poles for them to follow and grow upwards.

They may continue to stretch out sideways in response to alternate light sources coming from the sides.

Plants that Need a Moss Pole for Support

The Monstera genus of plants is one example of a plant whose natural habitat is in tropical rainforests. These plants require moss moles. However, you can use a moss pole to help keep a leaning plant upright if you have one.

Typically, plants that climb or have aerial roots work best for moss poles.

These are the plants:

  • Adansonii Monstera
  • The delicious monstera
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos

These plants constantly look for light in their natural habitat. Larger trees often have more overgrown foliage, which prevents light from reaching the forest floor.

Monsteras and other long-stemmed plants may develop a lanky appearance as a result of this lack of light. In our article about the causes of a leggy monstera, we went into great length about this.

Additionally, consider the impact porch lighting may have on your inside plants.

These plants have evolved to cling to the moss-covered branches of these trees and ascend to the top, where they can get light.

The plant uses photosynthesis to produce food as a result of the light.

It’s important to give balanced illumination, and we’ve located a reliable artificial grow light on Amazon that does the job by offering the proper spectrum of light. Clicking here will take you there.

Materials

Moss poles are constructed from strong materials like:

  • PVC material,
  • wood,
  • either sphagnum moss or coco coir.

Wood – 

The wooden stake is formed into a spike so that

  1. It is simple to install into the ground.
  2. To raise the overall height, it can be inserted into another length of moss pole.

The diameter of the wood allows it to fit tightly inside the top, inner portion of another section of moss pole (made of PVC pipe). They can be stacked as a result.

PVC material –

the interior (not wood). This creates the hard framework for which the coco coir clings. The moss pole is stackable and can accommodate stake wood thanks to its hollow design.

Coco Coir – 

The coconut seed’s outer layer and everything in between are referred to as coco coir. It is a sturdy, brown fibrous material that can be weaved into any shape, such as the one required to create moss poles.

Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss, both of which are sometimes referred to as peat moss, are frequently mistaken for the same growth substance.

Both professionals and laypeople use peat moss to create growing media or as a soil conditioner in gardens and landscapes. This method is also applied to moss poles, creating a carpet-like moss material all around the pole so that plants can cling to it.

Dimensions

Weight

The quantity of moss poles utilized determines the weight of the moss poles (stacked up together).

One portion of the moss pole typically weighs around 8 ounces. For a total weight of 24 ounces or 1.5 pounds, use three of these.

Height

The height can be anywhere between 12 and 24 inches high. Depending on the height of the plant they are being used for, moss poles can be stacked on top of one another and linked tightly.

The Befano Moss Pole on amazon is the largest item we’ve seen, measuring 89 inches in total.Grow Organiks, which is a single unit and is 12 inches high, had the smallest length that we saw.

Thickness

Depending on the manufacturer, moss poles can range in thickness from 1.5 inches to 2.0 inches in diameter.

Our search yielded a 2 inch thick moss pole from growing organics on Amazon. Clicking here will take you there.

Color

Depending on the stage at which the fibers were taken from the dried coconut, moss poles can range in color from light brown to dark brown.

A lighter shade denotes extraction before the coconut shell had dried or matured. Due of their moisture content, these are frequently more flexible than the more brown fibers.

Accessories – What does it comes with

When purchased, moss poles typically have a way to hold the plant onto it while it climbs.

Climbing plants are taught to cling to the moss pole as they grow using ties or tape.

  • Plant Ties
  • Tape
  • labels on plants

If you want a moss pole that is both affordable and effective. Clicking here will take you there!

What are the benefits of Using a Moss Pole

  • provides assistance
  • maintains plants’ upright growth
  • increases plant leaf strength
  • prevents sideways sagging of plants

See our post for more information on why plants grow sideways and how to fix it.

Sphagnum Moss poles Vs Coco coir Moss Poles

Moss Sphagnum Polecoir made of coco
  
better holds moistureBut it doesn’t hold moisture as well.
lasts for two to four yearslasts for 4 to 6 years
more realistic-lookingnot that mossy appearance
Moss is less resilient.The more resilient coco coir
lacking in beautyLooks good
inexpensive and uncommoncheaper and more prevalent

How Long does a Moss Pole Last

A moss pole has a lifespan of four to six years. This is as a result of the sturdy materials used in its construction. Coconut coir’s fibrous structure can withstand a lot of use for a very long time.

However, if there is outside intervention, moss poles can be readily snapped.

For instance, animals like cats can easily climb a moss pole and, using their claws, tear the thread or net holding the fibers to the pole or dislodge the fibers.

If the plant they are supporting grows overwhelmingly too heavy for the pole to support, this is another reason why a moss pole could appear to bend or break.

The pole may consequently have a propensity to bend or twist to the side.

The wooden stakes that hold them together at their joint will be where the pole breaks if it needs to.

The majority of moss poles should be drenched or maintained damp so that the plant may absorb water. This may shorten the pole’s lifespan by one or two years.

So in this instance, anticipate a lifespan reduction to 3 to 4 years.

When should a Moss Pole be Changed

Every three to four years, a moss pole needs to be replaced. Even though they can live much longer, if proper care is not performed, leaving them there for a very long time will eventually lead to bugs and fungus developing.

Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can be used monthly or quarterly to prevent the colonization of pests or fungus on utility poles.

Best time to Add a Moss Pole

Repotting is the ideal opportunity to add a moss pole to a potted plant. When the plant is replanted, the moss pole can be positioned so that it can be wrapped around the pole by first being centered and lowered to the bottom of the pot.

A well-draining mixture, often made up of 50 percent potting soil, 40 percent cactus soil, and 10 percent perlite, should be used to repot the plant.

Additionally, unlike if it were to be inserted next to a plant that has already established itself in a pot with soil, the pole or stake used during repotting won’t run the risk of breaking roots.

Can a Moss Pole Bend

A moss pole can flex as it becomes taller. Shorter parts may be more challenging to bend since the main support is so rigid.

This might not be a good thing, though. As they ascend or are affixed closer to the top, heavier plants or plants with hefty stems would typically force the moss pole to bow.

A studied length of wood that runs the entire length of the moss poles can be tied to one side of the pole to strengthen the rigidity of the moss pole.

This will stop the sagging and bending.

There are certain features that allow a moss pole to bend anyway you want it to on purpose though. In this instance, a flexible or bendable material is wrapped in moss or coco coir.

On Amazon, we also discovered some bending moss poles that look fantastic. By clicking here, you can access them.

How High can a Moss Pole be

A moss pole is capable of standing up to 6 feet tall without bending. Even though it may go higher, it bends because of its increased flexibility as height increases. The moss pole may need to be fastened in some other way if it is taller than 6 feet in order to keep it from bending and tipping over.

See our article for more information on what can cause plants to topple over and how to avoid it.

When purchased from a store, moss poles are typically stackable and can be piled to any height.

If you are creating one for yourself, you can adjust the height to suit your needs and, in that case, add additional supports to help keep it upright when put into a pot.

How to Keep a Moss Pole Moist

Moss poles not only offer a solid base for the plant but also moisture to the plants.

Tropical plants with aerial roots along their stems, such as the monstera and other climbing plants, will drink from the poles.

By providing a source of moisture to the pole, which can raise the pole’s moisture content over time, a moss pole can be kept moist.

To provide a constant stream of moisture over time, a wicking system or a continuous drip system can be employed.

Because they raise the humidity levels surrounding the plant and moss poles, humidifiers are also very helpful in this regard.

On the moss pole, the humidifier’s moisture will condense into droplets, creating the appearance of a forest. It will also be a hit with the plants.

In-depth instructions on how to properly maintain a moss pole utilizing a variety of economical approaches are provided in a post we wrote on the subject.

What are the Downsides of Using a Moss Pole

The drawback of utilizing a moss pole depends on how sturdy the pole is. The pole might easily bend or break if it is made of flimsy material or is too thin. In some instances, the earth may also be disturbed, and roots may be broken.

The disadvantages of a moss pole are listed below, along with an explanation of each.

Bending

Due to the weight of the plant, certain moss poles are prone to bending. This is particularly valid for moss poles with lower diameters.

Additionally, the likelihood that the moss pole may bend to the side increases with height.

This bending decreases the support needed for the plant while also giving the moss pole an unattractive appearance.

Bugs

Gnats and fungi, which enjoy damp conditions, can quickly establish a home on a moss pole over time.

Spraying neem oil or a solution made of neem oil and soapy water on the moss pole is an easy way to control it.

Azadirachtin, the active ingredient in neem oil that kills and repels insects, is present. It will decrease insect eating and hinder insect reproduction. Additionally, it will make an insect less able to consume.

Can potentially disrupt soil drainage

By staking the pole into the ground, you may make a channel for water to flow into.

The stake or wooden component should be firmly planted in the ground to avoid this.

When the plant is watered, spaces created by the pole shaking may allow water to seep into the spaces. This will lower the soil’s moisture content.

The Moss Pole Can Damage Roots

Roots may sustain some harm if the moss pole is staked into the ground. However, the quantity of root damage can be limited, inflicting little harm to your plants, due to the narrow diameter of the wooden stake.

Moss Pole Alternatives

Sphagnum moss can also be used to create moss poles, although this is less common. This moss can make the moss pole feel more like the plant in real life. similar to trees in the forest that have moss on them.

The sphagnum moss can maintain your climbing plant well-hydrated while attached to it because it holds moisture efficiently.

The sphagnum moss pole may not have the same aesthetic appeal as those constructed of coco coir, but it serves the same purpose.

Dried palm bark can also be used to create moss poles. These are often thicker and, with time and watering, can produce their own moss.

The fact that moss poles produced from tree bark are thicker and more durable than their more often used counterparts is a definite advantage.

Consider using pegs or cages, which are rather effective at supporting plants, if your main goal is to support the plant.

Check out our article on moss pole alternatives, which provides 5 simple techniques to make cost-effective support poles for your plants, for a better knowledge of how to make your own moss poles.

How to Make a Moss pole

A lot of fun may be had creating a moss pole from scratch. The supplies are affordable and easily accessible.

On the plus side, you can make moss poles for practically all of your plants using the materials you first buy, and they will be considerably less expensive than ones you would buy from a store.

Materials:

  • PVC hose
  • the coco coir or sphagnum moss
  • synthetic netting or string
  • timber stake (optional but sometime necessary)

Procedure:

  1. Put your coco coir or sphagnum moss in water to soak.
  2. Cut a length of synthetic or plastic netting that is at least as long as the desired circle.
  3. Over the netting, equally distribute the sphagnum or coco coir.
  4. Put the wood over the moss in the center.
  5. Over the post, form a cylinder out of the netting containing the moss or coconut coir.
  6. Trim the extra netting.
  7. With synthetic string, assemble the cylinder.
  8. Use scissors to cut away extra strings and moss.

Notes:

  • Cut the netting to an 8-inch width so that it will fit within a 2.5-inch diameter pole.
  • The netting is typically 4 feet long.
  • Make use of monofilament fishing line (these lasts a very long time)
  • – Coir poles.A lot of fun may be had building your own moss pole. Cheap and easily accessible materials are also available.
  • The good news is that you can make a moss pole for practically all of your plants with the supplies you first buy, and it will be considerably less expensive than one you buy from the shop.

Admin and IT consultant and blogger, I love my Greenhouse and Indoor Plants