How to Make a Moss Pole?
Climbing houseplants need a moss pole to be able to grow to their full potential. Once they attach to a moss pole they will often mature quicker and develop bigger leaves and thicker stems.
Making a moss pole on your own is easy to do and a fun DIY project. I created many moss poles for my Monstera and climbing Philodendron plants. Therefore I would like to share my complete Step-By-Step Guide on how to make a moss pole. I illustrated it with multiple pictures and also created a video.
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How to Make a Moss Pole
To make a moss pole soak sphagnum moss in water. With a wire cutter cut chicken wire to the desired with. Gently put humid sphagnum moss on top of the chicken wire leaving 1-inch on each side. Roll the chicken wire and form the moss pole either flat or round. Use 7 zip ties to tie your moss pole tightly. Put the moss pole in your container of choice and add potting mix. Tie your plant onto the moss pole and water it every couple of days.
To make a moss pole for your climbing houseplants you will need the following:
- Sphagnum moss
- Chicken wire
- Zip ties
DIY Moss Pole – Needed Materials List
- 1 How to Make a Moss Pole
- 2 DIY Moss Pole – Needed Materials List
- 3 DIY Moss Pole – Step-by-Step
- 3.1 Step 1: Materials needed for a moss pole
- 3.2 Step 2: The Sphagnum moss
- 3.3 Step 3: Put water in a container
- 3.4 Step 4: Soaking the Sphagnum moss in water for 5 min
- 3.5 Step 5: The wire
- 3.6 Step 6: Cutting the wire
- 3.7 Step 7:
- 3.8 Step 8: Arranging the moss
- 3.9 Step 9: A moss pole in the making
- 3.10 Step 10: Rolling the fence
- 3.11 Step 11: The Zip Ties
- 3.12 Step 12: Securing the pole
- 3.13 Step 13: Add additional zip ties
- 3.14 Step 14: Cutting the tie(s)
- 3.15 Step 15: Plug it like it is hot
- 3.16 Step 16: A Moss Pole is born
- 3.17 Step 17: Flex (optional)
- 3.18 Step 18: Put the moss pole into a pot
- 3.19 Step 19: Attach your climbing plants to the moss pole
- 3.20 Step 20: Water the moss pole
- 4 The Benefits of Using a Moss Pole
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions About How to Make a Moss Pole
- 6 Conclusion About How to Make a Moss Pole
DIY Moss Pole – Step-by-Step
Step 1: Materials needed for a moss pole
In order to build a moss pole, you need a medium for the pole. The most commonly used medium is Sphagnum moss. It is great as it retains water well and is soft enough so houseplants can put the air roots into it and attach to the pole.
An alternative you can use is leca balls (clay balls) or if you have really fine mesh potting soil or pebbles.
I however recommend you to use dry Sphagnum moss as it is proven to work great. No wonder it is called a moss pole.
I use New Zealand Sphagnum moss as it is considered to be the best moss for anything related to houseplants. Buy at least 2-3 packs so you can build multiple moss poles.
The chicken wire is essential as this is where your Sphagnum moss will go into. The mesh will add the needed stability, will make sure that the moss stays in place, and will also provide open areas where roots can grow into.
I recommend PVC-coated hardware mesh. As long as you are not using multiple poles and stack them on top of each other, there is no need for wooden or PVC sticks to further stabilize the construction.
The mesh is easy to form and bend and very sturdy.
Look for chicken wire with a 19 gauge thickness, and a mesh size of 1/2 inch (1.27cm).
You will need a wirecutter to cut the wire as well as the zip ties. Regular scissors will not work. It won’t be able to cut the wire and it is a pain to cut the zip ties.
I love zip ties. There is no faster way to close the wire mesh containing the Sphagnum moss once you have the desired diameter and form. Zip ties are what will make this moss pole build so much easier than most other tutorials.
You will want to have a container or bucket that you can use to wet the Sphagnum moss.
In my opinion you can never have to few containers when you are a houseplant lover.
I use PVC containers for pretty much everything. As a saucer, as a propagation box with lid (works great) and to mix my potting mixes.
Compression Sprayer or Pouring Jug
A compression sprayer or pouring jug to add water to the container and to keep the Sphagnum moss wet.
This is optional and not absolutely necessary but I love to use a compression sprayer to keep the Sphagnum moss slightly moist and also to fertilize the moss pole.
This way roots will grow quickly into the moss pole and the plants will attach better. But as I said this is optional as even a dry moss pole will work.
Step 2: The Sphagnum moss
Sphagnum moss has a pore spacing of up to 97% according to the University of Arkansas. It can hold between 60-68% of its volume in water. This is why it is a perfect medium for a moss pole.
Climbing Philodendron such as Philodendron melanochrysum, Philodendron patriciae, and Monstera such as Monstera adansonii, Monstera deliciosa can attach their air roots into it and start getting bigger leaves.
Step 3: Put water in a container
Put the Sphagnum moss in a container or bin that can be filled with water. You can use tap water, distilled water, or reverse osmosis water. I am using lukewarm tap water as this works just fine.
Dry moss is too flimsy and crumbly to use it based on my experience. It will also make a mess.
Step 4: Soaking the Sphagnum moss in water for 5 min
The Sphagnum moss needs to be soaked with water before using it. Put the moss into the water for 5 minutes until it changes its color from a light brow or beige to dark brown.
Step 5: The wire
Lay out the wire and take your measurements. For this I lay the wire flat on an even surface and roll it from one side. This way I determine the thickness I am going to need for the moss pole.
You can make thick, slim, flat, and round moss poles. When I am building moss poles I almost always go for round slim poles. The slimmer the poles the less space they will take in pots. The more potting medium I will be able to provide for my plants.
Some plants that are shinglers such as the Monstera dubia will appreciate a flatter surface. In that case, make the moss pole flatter. It will be very easy to flatten the pole once the moss is in it.
Step 6: Cutting the wire
Scissors will not work. I tried it. I mean you can kind of cut the wire but you will destroy the scissors in the process. It will also be cumbersome to do and you might find yourself swearing along the way. Therefore invest in a good wirecutter.
After soaking the Sphagnum moss take the moss into your fist bit by bit and press the water out as much as you can.
Step 8: Arranging the moss
With your hand-arrange the moss throughout the middle of the chicken wire.
Step 9: A moss pole in the making
When arranging the moss it should look similar to that. You will want to leave some space on either side as you are going to roll the wire and you want to secure it tightly once rolled.
Leave some space at the bottom as you are going to stick the pole into the potting mix later on.
Step 10: Rolling the fence
Roll the chicken wire by using both hands. You want the Sphagnum moss to be tight in there. Because once the moss is losing some of its humidity it will get less dense anyways.
So try to roll and press it so you get a nice round shape or whatever shape you are going for.
Step 11: The Zip Ties
This is the magic trick and why you might like this tutorial more than others. Zip Ties are an extremely effortless way to attach the wire and enclose the poles.
Step 12: Securing the pole
Secure the pole by using 4 zip ties and space them about 10 squares apart. It will of course depend on what height and dimensions of wire you bought.
Step 13: Add additional zip ties
Reinforce the chicken wire by adding additional zip-ties in-between. The more zip ties you are using the more secure the moss pole will be. However, it is a tradeoff between how much material you want to invest into one single pole.
As I am always building multiple moss poles at a time I wasn’t going too crazy with the zip times. Although I have to admit that this is the most fun part for me personally.
Step 14: Cutting the tie(s)
Cut the zip ties using the wirecutter as the ends will look unattractive between all the green lush foliage that is about to grow along the pole.
Step 15: Plug it like it is hot
Add some more Sphagnum moss on top to make it tighter.
Step 16: A Moss Pole is born
Congratulations you have build a moss pole and it is now ready to be placed into a planter. You can then attach and secure a plant onto the pole.
Step 17: Flex (optional)
Flex the moss pole in front of your plants and take a picture to remind yourself that it was yours truly that built this moss pole. Continue to build more moss poles. Trust me you will need them anyways or start to place it into a pot.
Step 18: Put the moss pole into a pot
Now that you have completed the DIY moss pole tutorial you can take one of the moss poles and add them to one of your planters. For this, I always take out all the potting soil and put it back in again. This way the moss pole will hold way better in the pot. Since you left a part empty at the bottom you can fill it with potting soil when putting the moss pole in.
It is also a good opportunity to check on the roots and maybe replenish some of the potting soil or add in some slow-release fertilizer at the same time.
I usually put the pole and the plant into the empty planter before refilling it with the potting soil.
Step 19: Attach your climbing plants to the moss pole
Then it is time to attach the climbing plant to the moss pole. I tried many different ways to attach the plants in the past. I used cord, paper clips for smaller plants, horticultural cord, basically all kinds of things.
But since you already have bought zip ties you can also just use zip ties. The plants will start to attach themselves really quickly and you might be able to remove whatever you used. But you will want to give them some guidance in the beginning.
Step 20: Water the moss pole
Ok, this is a controversial one. Some people argue that only a watered moss pole is a good moss pole. Others say you can leave them being dry as the plants will attach anyways and they will dry out in an instant. Both parties are right in a way.
But the overachiever I am I am in the first camp and will water my moss poles every couple of days. And yes indeed they dry out quickly. But by watering I can add in additional fertilizer just for the air roots and also water my plants. And no question, the plants will root into the pole even quicker. It is just hard to maintain this schedule.
The Benefits of Using a Moss Pole
A moss pole has several benefits for climbing houseplants:
- It keeps them looking nice and attractive
- It helps the plants to mature as they grow
- Bigger foliage
- Get more Holes and slits
- Chance of blooming Monstera, Philodendron etc.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Make a Moss Pole
Do I need to water a moss pole?
You don’t have to water a moss pole as plants will grow air roots into the moss pole even if you don’t water it. Moss poles are drying out very quickly within days and it is hard to keep up the watering routine.
How do I water a moss pole?
The easiest way to water a moss pole and keep it wet is to use a pressure sprayer.
What is needed to build a DIY moss pole?
Sphagnum moss, chicken wire, water, a container, zip ties, and a wirecutter.
Is a moss pole needed for climbing houseplants?
You don’t have to use a moss pole to grow climbing houseplants. The disadvantage is that plants such as Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii will become unruly over time and will not develop mature foliage with slits and holes that much.
Conclusion About How to Make a Moss Pole
Making your own moss poles is a nice DIY project that is very easy to do and you even can have your kids help you along the way if you have any. Just make sure that you supervise them once they start to play with the wire clipper.
A moss pole is almost a must for climbing plants as we all want to give these plants the opportunity to mature and gift us bigger leaves and grow stronger, don’t we?
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.
Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API