Those of you who have a Monstera deliciosa at home may have picked up on a few things since bringing it in. One, aren’t those leaves gorgeous? Two, it’s actually expanding quite swiftly. Third, M. deliciosa doesn’t comprehend the need of having sound personal limits. Give this adorable giant of a houseplant a moss totem to grasp onto if you find yourself outgrowing your home. Here, we’ll walk you through the installation process and show you how to control some of your monster’s adorable excitement.
M. deliciosa uses its powerful aerial roots to cling to and take moisture from the rough bark of large rainforest trees in its natural habitat. It is a natural wanderer. A moss totem is an upright pole that is completely covered in sphagnum moss and is staked into the plant’s pot. Its natural surface provides something for a monstera’s roots to grip onto and take moisture from, acting as a stand-in for a tree. A moss totem allows M. deliciosa to act more like it would in the wild while yet supporting those heavy stems and leaves better than a traditional plant stake or wire trellis.
With just a few basic tools, you can train a monstera to a moss pole:
- Your terra cotta monstera
- a ready-made moss totem
- Soft plant ties, yarn, or cotton string are good options for gentle ties.
- A new container that is 1-2 wider than the old one, together with high-quality potting soil for houseplants, if repotting is required.
We like Mosser Lee’s Totem PoleTM Extendable Plant Supports for moss totems. These realistic-looking, tube-shaped supports come in three lengths plus an additional 12 extensions for when your monstera inevitably becomes even bigger. They are packed with moisture-absorbing, long-fiber sphagnum moss.
Start by putting the moss totem in a shallow water container and letting it soak until it is completely soaked.
Before adding the totem, it’s a good idea to check your plant to see whether it has to be repotted while the moss is soaking. You can install the moss totem without repotting your M. deliciosa if the pot is large enough and the roots aren’t too crowded. However, if your plant needs a new pot anyhow, now is a fantastic time to start working on its new totem.
If your monstera has to be repotted, start by removing it from its current container and looking at the roots. If the roots are tightly packed, you may need to loosen them up a bit. As you normally would, repotter the plant into a new pot with fresh soil; however, instead of placing it exactly in the center, move it slightly toward the front of the pot. With the majority of the foliage facing outward, the moss totem can fit behind the plant in this manner.
Installing the Totem
When the plant and container are prepared, deeply embed the strong metal supports at the bottom of the moistened moss pole. Keep the pole upright and tuck it behind the plant just a bit. The totem can then be stabilized by lightly pressing the earth at the base.
Attaching the Plant to the Pole
It’s time to acquaint your plant with its new totem now. Some of your monstera’s stems may be longer and more strong than others, as you may have noticed. Several huge leaves are supported by these thicker stalks, and they may also be beginning to sprout some knobby aerial roots. The stems could potentially start to spread out from the pot like a vine as they develop horizontally. The more slender leaf stalks and their leaves will be allowed to fill in around the bottom once you attach these stems to the totem.
Bring the stem up against the moistened moss and fasten it gently yet securely with a piece of soft plant tie, twine, or cotton string to help it adhere to the totem. If the stem is long, bind it to the totem by tying it to it several times. Repeat this process with any other substantial stems, then take a step back to ensure the plant’s general form is to your liking. Your M. deliciosa will eventually use its aerial roots to cling to the moss and proceed to climb higher on its new support.
With one extra step, caring for a monster on a totem is just like caring for one without. Misting the moss on occasion is a smart idea to keep your monstera interested in its new support. The roots will continue to spread into the moss if the plant detects moisture there.
For routine maintenance, make sure the container drains effectively, let the top inch or two of soil a little amount of soil dry out between waterings, and set your plant where it receives lots of bright, indirect light. Additionally, take sure to turn your wandering plant every so often to keep things balanced if it tends to lean one way or the other while looking for the best source of light.
Some Plants Just Need a Little Guidance
Not just monsteras are helped by a little patient correction in the home. A moss totem is also helpful with other monster species, such as M. adansonii, as well as some philodendrons, like “Prince of Orange” and “Pink Princess.” Ask if you need help caring for any of your “wandering plant pals.” We are always happy to assist.
Does a moss pole need to be damp for my Monstera?
Moss poles not only offer a solid base for the plant but also moisture to the plants.
The plants’ aerial roots will cling to the moss pole and receive water and nutrients from it.
Your plants will be able to take in and release water for their biological activities if your moss pole is consistently damp.
But it is advisable not to constantly moisten the moss pole if plants that dislike excessive humidity are developing in your garden.
Even some plants appreciate extremely low humidity levels. Fungal illnesses can also be caused by excessive dampness.
In general, using a moss pole composed of peat moss is advised so that it can also supply micronutrients to your plant.
When should a Monstera be moss poled?
This is more of a moment for you to evaluate the situation and make decisions about how to direct your Monstera’s growth going ahead than it is a sign from the plant. If you are repotting your Monstera, this is the ideal moment to incorporate a moss pole.
Typically, Monsteras need to be replanted every one to two years into a container that is one size bigger than the one they were in before. But now is the moment to transfer it to a larger pot if you see that you need to water it regularly or that the roots are sprouting out of the drainage holes.
Even if you aren’t presently exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms, I would advise you to add a moss pole when you are repotting your Monstera. Because you can see the roots and avoid severing them when securing the pole in the soil, adding a moss pole to a fresh pot is considerably simpler.
How do I get my Monstera to start climbing?
One of the benefits of growing Monstera deliciosa inside for fans is its capacity to develop into a substantial cornerstone for a jungle-themed home. However, that expansion also creates some issues because a Monstera can quickly outgrow its allotted space. Large Monsteras typically grow outward, unlike other common houseplants with an upward, tree-like growth pattern (such the fiddle-leaf fig or rubber plant). Because of this, many people prefer their Monstera deliciosa to climb rather than trail.
How can I encourage Monstera deliciosa to climb? You can encourage your Monstera deliciosa to grow upright by providing a support system, such as a moss pole, coco coir pole, or trellis. This teaches the plant to follow its innate tendency to climb, which may result in a healthier plant with more leaves.
The good news is that Monsteras are designed for ascent. You can get this plant off the ground and out of the way if the correct circumstances and some encouragement are there. I’ll go through some specifics regarding how and why Monsteras are frequently observed climbing on moss poles throughout this article and provide you with advice on teaching this plant to climb.
Do I need to secure my Monstera?
There are several advantages to supporting your Monstera’s posture with a stake or moss poll. As epiphytes, or plants that grow vertically in nature by climbing on the other plants surrounding them, Monsteras do so in their natural habitats. Yes, they survive with a little assistance from their friends.
When your Monstera is housed in a pot, it can be more difficult to adapt this epiphytic tendency, but stakes are the ideal “dupe” for other plants. Your Monstera will maintain a beautiful posture that maintains them looking their best by clinging to its stake, reaching upward, and holding its heaviest stems straight. Aerial roots are a favorite feature of monsteras; avoid cutting them! These roots are designed to support the bulky base of your plant, but staking the plant helps to lighten their burden, allowing you to tuck them into the soil of your Monstera and let them rest invisibly.