- Monstera Moss Pole Plant Support: Using Moss Poles For Cheese Plants
- How to Make a Moss Pole Plant Support
- Training Cheese Plant on a Moss Pole
- Regular Cheese Plant Maintenance
- Episode 42: Make Your Own Moss Pole Tutorial
- In this episode we learn:
- Mentioned in Episode:
- Follow Tylor and Arium Botanicals X Intent
- Follow Bloom and Grow Radio:
- Make Your Own Moss Pole
- Growing Tips for Monstera
- Watering your Monstera
- Getting your Monstera to thrive
- How big do Monstera’s grow?
- Preferred temperature for growing Monstera’s indoors
- Monstera Deliciosa
- DIY Moss Pole for Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera Moss Pole Plant Support: Using Moss Poles For Cheese Plants
Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is also known as a split leaf philodendron. It is a lovely large-leaved climbing plant that uses aerial roots as vertical supports. However, it has no suckers or adhering roots, like ivy, to pull itself up. In its native habitat, it has plenty of other fauna to grow up and help support it. As a houseplant, however, it needs the help of a pole to train it upward. Using a moss pole plant support helps enhance the tropical appearance and camouflage the woody stake. A little information on how to make and use a support for cheese plant follows.
How to Make a Moss Pole Plant Support
Cheese plants are epiphyte, which means they are vertically growing plants that use the support of other plants in their environment. This means that training cheese plant on a moss pole perfectly mimics their natural state. Using moss poles for cheese plants creates the environment Monstera needs to raise the heavy stem upright and provides a pleasing appearance.
You will need a stout stake a little bit taller than the plant. Use wire snips and cut a piece of fine mesh wire just large enough to go around the stake.
Wood staples work well to attach the hoop of wire mesh around the wooden stake. To finish this support for cheese plant, use soaked sphagnum moss. Fill in around the stake with the moss, pushing it into the mesh.
You can also make a Monstera moss pole without the stake and simply fill a tube made of mesh with the moss and fix the edges together, but I feel like the stake adds to the stability. Some philodendron stems get quite large and heavy.
Training Cheese Plant on a Moss Pole
Using moss poles for cheese plants is an excellent and attractive way to give the climber the scaffold it needs for natural vertical growth. Without the support, the thick stems would end up bending over the sides of the pot and eventually trailing on the floor. This can be damaging to the stems, as the weight of an adult plant will put strain on the untrained branches.
The sturdiest situation will result if you insert the Monstera moss pole into the soil at potting. Push the pole all the way to the bottom of the container and snuggle the plant in close, then fill in with potting soil.
Training is necessary to keep the upright habit. This is easy to do with plant ties as the philodendron stems get longer. Usually, you will only have to train it 2 or 3 times a year to keep new growth in line.
Regular Cheese Plant Maintenance
Regular maintenance of your Monstera cheese plant will provide the best results.
- Mist the moss on the pole regularly. This will encourage the aerial roots to attach to the mesh and encourage the vertical growth.
- Repot the plant every 3 years using a peat-based potting soil. The support for cheese plant may need to be increased in size at each re-potting. Some indoor gardeners even use eyehooks or plant hooks in the ceiling as the cheese plant matures.
- Position your Monstera in bright light but avoid full sun and the scorching rays of mid-day.
- Water thoroughly at irrigation and let water drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Then remove any standing water to avoid sodden roots.
This is a long lived plant that will provide you with beautifully configured glossy leaves for decades with proper care.
Episode 42: Make Your Own Moss Pole Tutorial
I’m so excited to share this tutorial with you, because the idea for this episode came from me being inspired to make my own moss poles after watching a video Tylor made on Instagram. The process was so easy (especially because Tylor’s video was so helpful) and I knew this was something I wanted to share with you guys, because these poles not only look cool, but help replicate our plants natural environment.
So, our guest today, Tylor Rogers is the founder of Arium Botanicals and the #botanicalbro behind the instagram account @urlocalplantboy. Two months ago, when we did this interview, Arium Botanicals was just an online shop that kept selling out of planty product. But Tylor opened the doors to his brick and mortar Plant and Coffee shop, Arium Botanicals X Intenti n Portland Oregon in October. They sell unusual plants, specialty coffee and tea and handmade ceramics. And they are Oregon’s first specialty coffee bar and plant shop- how cool.
We are so lucky to have Tylor walk us through this super easy and fun DIY project and I hope it helps your plant collections keep blooming and growing!
In this episode we learn:
- How Arium Botanicals came to be, and the inspiration for the new Brick and Mortar in Portland, Oregon
- How Tylor became the moss pole expert
- What plants are best suited for moss poles
- What an Aroid is
- DIY Moss Pole Tutorial
- What materials you need (and how shockingly easy it is to make)
- How to prepare the sphagnum moss for the pole before you work with it
- How to put the pieces together to make the pole
- How to pot up your plant and moss pole together for the best result.
Mentioned in Episode:
Maria’s Amazon Storefront (Check out DIY moss pole for all of her materials she uses): https://www.amazon.com/shop/bloomandgrowradio
Follow Tylor and Arium Botanicals X Intent
Instagram: AriumXIntent, UrLocalPlantBoy (Where the IGTV video for moss pole making is!)
Follow Bloom and Grow Radio:
Instagram and Facebook: @BloomandGrowRadio
Garden Club: www.bloomandgrowradio.com/garden-club
Make Your Own Moss Pole
A moss pole is the best way to grow plants like Philodendrons and Syngoniums. Moss poles are really pretty simple to make; let me show you.
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I’ve always wanted a moss pole to grow my philodendron on. They’re naturally epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) so attaching them to a moss pole mimics their preferred environment. Other plants that would love to grow this way are syngoniums, some hoya, dischidia, and anthuriums. You could wire orchids onto the pole as well as staghorn fern and bromeliads.
I couldn’t for the life of me find sphagnum here so I ordered it online. It came in a little bag, looking a lot like cheap plywood, and about as thick. Wow! It really puffed well when water was added! One little flat piece made twice what Hubby’s hand is holding in the picture below. I found it at Stokes Seeds.
We happened to have wire mesh thanks to some recent renovations to the pigeon coops. My husband was kind enough to wrangle it into a tube for me.
He cut the wire in a way that the ends made their own twist ties. He made the wire into its circle and then he used the pliers to fold the long pieces of wire over nice and tidy.
Once we had the tube made he cut the bottom bit into 3 sections and folded them out so they’d fit in the bottom of a pot. We covered those ends with rocks for stability.
We then filled the pot with soil. Then we filled the tube with the wet sphagnum. We didn’t put the sphagnum all the way to the bottom of the pot, just to a bit below the soil line.
The two philodendrons I had were growing in hanging baskets. Those aerial roots were becoming a bit of a pain. They were potted into their new home and I tied them up to the wire with a bit of yarn. They don’t look very pretty now because we had to bend them a bit but they’ll fill in in no time at all and I’ll have a beauty of a plant growing happily on a moss pole.
Hubby thinks we can keep the moss damp just by spraying it. I’m not so sure. I think I’m going to insert a small plastic bottle with a bunch of holes in the bottom into the top of the pole, I can fill the bottle with water and let it drain slowly down into the moss.
I hope you can give this a try. It was a nice little project that took only a wee bit more than an hour and 2 bandages.
Growing Tips for Monstera
The Monstera Deliciosa is a fabulous, striking looking plant. It can grow quite large, and last many years. Its slightly rambly form – it will grow wide as well as tall, can be used to create a real focal point in a room. Here’s our practical guide to caring for your Monstera.
Watering your Monstera
As with most plants, it’s really important to give your Monstera just the right amount of water. This is a plant that doesn’t like too much water, so water sparingly. For best results give the plant a good soaking, maybe a litre for a plant in a 26cm pot, but the key thing is to let all of the water drain out. Don’t leave the plant sitting in a saucer of water, the Monstera doesn’t like having wet feet and the plant can begin to rot.
How do you know when its time to water your plant?
This is a really simple trick, but one that you can use with lots of your indoor plants. Using your finger, dig down about an inch into the pot, if its dry an inch down, then its time to give your Monstera Deliciosa another soaking – but remember let all of the water drain out of the pot.
Getting your Monstera to thrive
The best position for an indoor Monstera is in a bright, well lit room with filtered light. Direct sun in winter is OK, but in summer the large glossy leaves will burn if in direct sun.
It has beautiful large glossy green leaves, and it’s the distinctive holes in its leaves that give rise to some of its names – the Swiss Cheese Plant, or the Hurricane Plant. It’s also known as the Fruit Salad plant but that’s more about when it fruits than its leaf shape. The plant will benefit from its leaves being regularly cleaned with a soft, damp cloth and luke warm water to remove any dist.
How big do Monstera’s grow?
In the garden a Monstera Deliciosa can grow to be a really large plant. When you are growing a Monstera indoors, the size of the pot will dictate the size that your plant will grow to. They are slowing growing though, so repotting isn’t something you’ll need to worry about often.
In the wild, a Monstera grows climbing up the trunks and along the branches of trees. To help the support the plant when it is growing in a pot, tie the stem to a moss covered pole, and encourage the aerial roots to attach to this.
Preferred temperature for growing Monstera’s indoors
The Monstera prefers conditions above 21 degrees Celsius, with some humidity, but it really is a forgiving plant and will do well outside of this temperature as long as it isn’t affected by direct sunlight in Summer or frost in Winter.
Thanks very much to Ruth from Fowlers Flowers , Clifton Hill, for sharing her practical tips on keeping your Monstera plant looking healthy.
If you’re loving indoor plants and are looking for tips on caring for other gorgeous indoor plants, check out our other plant care guides here!
Or discover more pots and baskets perfect for indoor plants like the Monstera Deliciosa.
Thanks so much to the lovely folk at Frankie & Coco in Hampton, Established for Design in Malvern East and Zachloe Lifestyle in South Melbourne for so kindly loaning us some of their beautiful planters for use in this shoot.
We know not everyone has a green thumb, so if you love the look of indoor plants but can’t stand killing another one check our out range of realistic artificial plants.
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The most popular plants in Australia show very little variation between the states, apart from the Northern Territory. Whether in the cool, rainy indoors of a Fitzroy townhouse in Melbourne, an apartment in Glenelg, Adelaide, or a renovated Queenslander in Bulimba, Brisbane, chances are you’ll come across a Monstera.
By far the most popular plant according to sales data from Bunnings Australia, only the Northern Territory bucks the trend instead opting for the Croton.
National greenlife buyer for Bunnings, Alex Newman attributes the Monstera’s popularity to its adaptability.
Listen to episode eight of Somewhere Else:
“Monstera, Spathiphyllum, Calathea and pothos have been some of the most popular choices for our customers so far this year. Monstera is suitable indoors and outdoors for the warm, tropical climate of Queensland, but can only be kept indoors in places like Victoria and Tasmania.”
When planted in a pot indoors, the Monstera is most likely to contain its height at 4-5 metres tall and 2-3 metres wide. Photo: Bunnings
Also known as the Swiss cheese plant, fruit salad plant, Mexican breadfruit and split leaf Philodendron, the Monstera deliciosa has large, perforated foliage that justifies its unusual nicknames. Reaching between 10 and 20 metres high in its natural habitat, it has origins in the rainforests of Central and South America along with the islands of the West Indies.
When planted in a pot indoors, the Monstera is most likely to contain its height at 4 to 5 metres tall and 2 to 3 metres wide. Adaptable to most climates, the only environment that isn’t conducive is extreme cold.
“Monstera deliciosa is one of my go-to plants when it comes to someone starting their gardening journey,” says Jason Chongue, creative director at The Plant Society. “They prefer bright light and it’s best to keep them moist over the warmer months. Reduce watering in the cooler months and allow the plant to dry out in between watering.”
The Croton is one of the most bought plants in the hot, humid climate of NT. Photo: Bunnings
In Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, the Monstera is followed in popularity by the Spathiphyllum (also known as the peace lily).
“Spathiphyllum is a great hardy plant when it comes to indoor gardening,” says Chongue. “They’re easy to care for and they also bear white flowers throughout the year.”
Variations tend to be in the size of leaves, how glossy they are and slight differences in the flowers, though all cultivars produce white flowers. Native to South American and the Indo-Malaysian archipelago, the Spathiphyllum is most likely to thrive when not over-watered and kept out of direct sunlight. It is effective in cleaning the air and can be placed near computers to soak up any toxins, though it is toxic to humans and animals so make sure to keep it well out of reach of small hands and paws.
The fiddle leaf is also great for warmer climates and humid weather. Photo: Bunnings
In both South Australia and Tasmania, the Spathiphyllum comes third after the more popular Calathea.
A highly decorative plant, Calathea is also known as zebra plant, peacock plant or rattlesnake plant due to its distinctive foliage markings. While beautiful to look at, it is less hardy than the other varieties that Australians are buying most. It will wither under direct sunlight and while it needs to be moist at all times, leaving it to sit in water will kill it. The Calathea loves humidity and warm temperatures (between 15 and 21 degrees). Anything less than 15 degrees will spell the end.
In Western Australia and Queensland, the third most popular variety is the pothos, though different varieties. The Scindapsus in Western Australia and the devil’s ivy in Queensland. In Victoria and New South Wales, the Epipremnum takes the bronze medal.
Newman says indoor plants continue to be a popular choice for their customers. Photo: Bunnings
In their typically eccentric style, the Northern Territory has opted for an entirely different top three, throwing the book on popular plants to the wind. The Croton, Aglaonema and Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) are the most popular plants in this hot, humid climate.
“A lot of plants can’t cope with the extreme climates found in Northern Territory,” says Steve Woods of Woods Landscapes. “Especially the dry area to the south around Alice Springs can be hostile to plants. Crotons are colourful, tropical plants that will do well in the humidity of Darwin and surrounds. They’re extremely resilient – just don’t let them sit in water.
While this epiphyte plant – which is native to the rainforests in south America is a flowering plant, it’s primarily grown indoors for its attractive foliage and the height it grows up to. It’s a plant that becomes a focal point of a room once it matures.
The holes and cuts within the leaves are said to form so the plant survives well within it’s natural rain forest habitat when strong winds and heavy downpours (I mean very heavy) appear. Leaves without these cuts and holes would get broken easily because of their size and the force of the weather conditions.
The Swiss cheese plant is fairly easy to care for and maintain, however, if the right conditions and care instructions are not followed the plant leaves can look very unattractive (see plant problems below).
Aerial roots: This species has aerial roots which are there to support the plant growing. These roots which hang from a stem have to be pushed into the compost and they can be placed on a moss stick (plastic tube with netting filled with peat), if you wish the plant to grow very tall.
How it looks: The monstera deliciosa is primarily grown indoors for the lush green and glossy leaves. Each heart shaped leaf that appears starts of as a full leaf and then begins to form it’s slits. These leaves will grow whilst the plant is very young and only a matter of a few inches tall, although they do not produce the slits until it matures more. This species looks similar to a palm tree.
Flowering and fruit: The cheese plant does flower in it’s natural habitat or somewhere that mimics it’s natural habit very well. It’s very rare to see them flower indoors. These flowers are a whitish colored spathe type with a spadix in the center.
The fruit which looks similar to a sweetcorn cone (in shape) are produced after the the flowers have fully bloomed. There is a specific way of knowing these are ready to be eaten, and if they’re eaten before they become ripe enough it has been said they can cause mouth irritation. The name deliciosa comes from the fruit being known as tasting delicious.
Displaying and growing: These look fantastic in large rooms, hallways, within offices and anywhere else that can cater for their size and caring needs. To grow them tall they will have to be trained, which is fairly easy when using a moss stick. If you don’t have the time or materials to make a moss pole you can purchase them online or in garden stores which is probably a cheaper method. In the wild this plant grows by climbing (climbing shrub) trees (epiphyte) so it gains it’s support and moisture from them – which a moss pole is used to imitate.
DIY Moss Pole for Monstera Deliciosa
I have been in search for the right kind of moss pole to help tame my wonderful Monstera deliciosa. I wasn’t having any luck locally and I didn’t want to press my luck online so I decided to make my own moss pole. I have never made a moss pole before and decided to wing it. Other than the crazy mess and raw hands, this DIY moss pole turned out alright. Here is what you need:
- PVC pipe or some sort of pole/stick
- Fishing line or rope
- Sphagnum moss
First, soak your sphagnum moss in water for about 15 to 20 minutes. Start by tying your string around your pole near your starting point. Make sure and leave an area at the end clear of moss for when you place it down in your pot. When the moss is good and moist, wring out a small piece and wrap it around your pole, squeezing it together around the pole. Take your string and wrap it around the moss securing it tightly to your pole.
Keep wrapping moss and securing it your pole with your string all the way up until you reach the top. If you pot already has a plant in it, find a spot where you are less likely to cause root damage and dig out a small spot for your pole. Gently place your pole down in the pot. You might need to add some top soil to secure the pole and keep it from tipping over. Make sure that your pole is secure in the soil before walking away. You don’t want any mishaps that might damage your plant.
For more DIY plant projects, check out this succulent beheading!