Is it true that your plant will get to an age where it NEEDS a moss pole? What if you want to go above and beyond as a plant parent and support your indoor houseplant’s growth with a moss pole? What are the most important signs that your plant needs a moss pole and how can you tell which plants require support and which ones do not?
It can be confusing orienting around the plant world. It seems like every time you get home from the nursery there is a new set of rules and instructions you need to follow, research to absorb and a list of preparations to get ready for your newest plant.
But along your research did you happen to find out if your plant is an epiphyte (grows on other plants)? Or if it will grow a tall heavy flower in the right conditions? What about if its natural growing environment was a swampy coastal rainforest? These are all conditions that can determine whether or not your plant may benefit from a moss pole!
Today we are going to cover what a moss pole provides for your plant, how to tell if your plant would benefit from a moss pole and the best practice for installing one in our blog.
So, without further ado, which plants need a moss pole?
There are many different types of plants in the world. If you caught our youtube video where we interviewed the people of Toronto on the streets, you would know there are about 391,000 vascular species to be exact.
Now plants have something in common, and that is their need to photosynthesize. However, each one of these species requires a slightly different environment to thrive. Especially if they are no longer in their natural habitat.
Think about it! A plant in the wild and a plant in your home are two very different things. There is wind and rain in the wild, two things that can naturally strengthen your plant as it grows from a seedling to adulthood. There are also nearby trees and bushes in its natural growing environment that may provide protection, support, cover from the bright sun, animals and / or other environmental threats. These plants have evolved to adapt to their natural growing environment.
Indoor houseplants have been around for several millennia and were used as status symbols and natural air fresheners. In the 17th and 18th century, flowers would be brought inside when in bloom, adding a delightful fresh scent to the room. Fruit trees such as oranges and lemons were collected as well as status symbols for the rich and well traveled. In the 19th century, indoor houseplants hit their peak of popularity. We began to see large indoor jungles, plant collections from all over the world, custom shelving display units and for the first time, potted plants were available for purchase. The introduction of the nursery.
Now if you’re reading this, I am sure you know the nursery very well!
I mean, what would you do without it!? There would be way too many spare Sunday afternoons without the nursery and I couldn’t imagine not having a 2 hour + plant care routine!
But all that aside, investing love and time into your plants is half the fun of collecting them. Watching plants grow and flourish in the right environment, learning from each plant as an individual and soaking up as much information as possible are just a few joys the plant world can bring.
With all that information, we can discover new ways to support our indoor plants. One of those being moss poles.
Moss Poles & House Plants
If you’ve never tried a moss pole before it's totally okay! A lot of plants don’t require a moss pole. But if you’ve brought home a Monstera or Hoya, you can bet your buttons they will thank you for reading this article.
Plants like the Monstera are known as Hemiepiphytes, they live part of their life cycle as epiphytes. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants for support. They do this by sending out aerial roots to grip onto the nearest support to help climb toward the light, sending out large foliage above them and collecting stored nutrients to feed them.
When we bring Monstera’s indoors, they will send out aerial roots in the right conditions, but we don’t always support their roots in the best ways possible. Aerial roots are your plant's way of saying “I am ready to climb now”. They are looking for a supportive neighbour that they can grip onto and collect stored nutrients from. Ignoring this sign could mean that your plant will get so top heavy that it falls over on the floor. It may even break some limbs without proper climbing support.
You see, when we bring plants indoors we must consider their natural habitats so we can better anticipate their needs. One of a Monsteras ' needs is a supportive structure that its aerial roots can grip onto and collect stored nutrients from. The Monstera will have a very difficult time reaching its full potential and mature state without a support system.
Other climbing and vining plants that require a support system to thrive are various philodendrons and Ivy's. Similar to the Monstera, their natural growing pattern requires a support system to thrive. They dig their aerial roots into the supportive structure and collect nutrients. These plants then use these nutrients to develop larger foliage. If you have a plant that will grow into a fenestrated or variegated variety, setting up an indoor support system will help the plant reach full maturity. You may notice larger leaves with more variegation and fenestration.
Among Monsteras, Philodendrons, and Ivy plants that thrive with a support system, there are also plants like Hoyas, Orchids and coastal swamp trees that send out aerial roots. A reliable way to decide if your plant would benefit from a moss pole is by doing a quick google search. Find out where your plant would naturally grow and see if a plant support would mimic this environment.
If the answer is “yes” your plant would benefit from a support, that’s the perfect time to start looking at a moss pole!
Difference Between Moss Poles & Stakes
The difference between a moss pole and a typical stake is that a moss pole has the ability to store nutrients for the plant. When a Monstera climbs up a moss pole, you’ll notice that it will quite literally dig its aerial roots into the moss. You’ll begin to see the changes in the foliage with regular misting to the moss pole as this mimics the tropical natural growing environment quite well. The pole acts as a sturdy “tree-like” support and the moss becomes the home where your plants' nutrients are stored.
A great upside to Mossify’s moss poles is that they are bendable. This way, you can match your plant's growing environment even more than typical moss poles do. Just bend the pole to the curves of your plant and watch it flourish over the next few months. Make sure to send us photos of the aerial roots digging into the moss (that is our favourite part)!
If you’re unsure about making the jump to a moss pole, just know that the best way to tell if your plant will benefit from a moss pole is to go ahead and try it.
Chances are that if your plant's natural habitat is one where it would normally grow up and alongside large trees, your plant will thank you for its upgrade.
To help you make a decision on which moss pole will be best, we wrote a blog called “How tall should you moss pole be”. You can find more information about how to choose the best size moss pole for your plant here:
And the best practices on how to install your moss pole here:
If you are still unsure if this will be right for you and your plant, why not check out the thousands of customers we have supported on our instagram page!
Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have about moss poles and if your indoor tropical house plant would benefit from one!
Just drop a comment below and we will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible!
Look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to see your indoor houseplant happily supported with a bendable moss pole!