Complete Tutorial for Building a DIY Self Watering Moss Pole
Moss poles are great. But…a common irritation for indoor plant lovers is that it becomes another thing they must maintain with misting and watering. Luckily there is a solution called a self watering moss pole. And we will show you how to make one in an easy-to-follow tutorial.
We must be upfront about why we are building a DIY self watering moss pole.
Our project is not entirely selfless. We have a Monstera Deliciosa that is currently looking very slanted and is in desperate need of some support.
So we figured, why not document how we make our self-watering moss poles and share the love so you can level up your indoor plant game?
So if you are ready, put on your DIY gloves, grab a coffee, and let’s dive in.
How to Make a DIY Self Watering Moss Pole – Easy-to-Follow Instructions (with Pictures)
Moss poles are a fan favorite at the Garden Bench Top.
So whenever we get the opportunity to add a moss pole to a plant, we take the opportunity to jump into DIY mode and build one using this easy method.
First things first, this is what you will need to construct your DIY self watering moss pole.
- PVC pipe 3cm diameter (choose a length suitable for your plants’ needs)
- PVC pipe end cap
- Sphagnum moss (pre-soaked with excess moisture squeezed out)
- Craft cotton rope
- Cable ties
- Gutter guard plastic mesh
- scissors or a cutting blade
1. Prepare your PVC Piping
This step is a simple reminder to ensure you have taken ALL your measurements and considered every angle of the project before you begin the process.
In particular, consider how tall your moss pole will be above the soil line. How far up do you want your climbing plant to grow? Will it fit in the space with a moss pole? Or is it going to stick out like a sore thumb?
Also, consider the balance of the entire plant. Will your houseplant become top-heavy, causing it to fall with the slightest breeze?
At the other end, how deep will your moss pole sit in the pot? Will it reach the bottom?
It may feel tedious to answer these questions. However, we know from experience it can be frustrating to replace a moss pole shortly after installation because we wanted to jump right in.
Once you have established a good length for your DIY self watering moss pole, cut your PVC pipe to the required size.
NOTE – DO NOT fit your end cap onto the pipe yet. Don’t worry; we haven’t forgotten about it. We’ll be fitting it in the next step.
2. Coil and Cut Craft Rope to Length
Take your craft rope and carefully thread it down from the top to the bottom of the PVC pipe until you can see it coming out the bottom (can you see why we didn’t place the end cap on?) 😛
While holding the rope from the bottom of the pipe, coil the craft rope around the PVC pipe from the top down.
Continue coiling the rope until you reach the point of the moss pole sitting at the soil’s surface. At this point, tie your rope firmly and securely with a cable tie to prevent it from slipping.
It is important to note that part of the PVC pipe will extend into the soil. This will help stabilize your moss pole and prevent it from toppling.
You can now fit the end cap onto the bottom of the pipe.
GARDEN BENCH TOP TIP
Through capillary action, the rope will draw the water from the PVC pipe and feed it down into the moss pole to keep the sphagnum moss moist for our monstera. You can read more about the mechanics of self watering moss poles HERE.
3. Measure and Cut Gutter Guard
With the PVC piping ready, the next step is to measure (twice) and cut the gutter guard to form the outer casing of our moss pole.
The length of the gutter guard should cover from the top of the PVC piping to the soil’s surface.
Cut two (2) sheets of gutter guard to this length
4. Secure the gutter guard with Cable Ties
Lay the two gutter guard sheets on a table and carefully secure one side of the two sheets of gutter guard together with the cable ties.
We find using cable ties at 1-2 inch intervals sufficient to keep the gutter guard secure while not unnecessarily over the top.
5. Layer the Sphagnum Moss and Pipe
Place a layer of sphagnum moss approximately 2-3 inches thick on the gutter guard.
Lay the PVC pipe and rope lengthways in the middle of the sphagnum moss and roll one side of the gutter guard until it meets the opposite side.
6. Complete the DIY Self Watering Sphagnum Moss Pole
Holding the gutter guard with one hand, secure the opposing ends with a cable tie in the middle. Then connect either end with two other cable ties.
The structure should now hold itself, leaving your hands free to finish the job with more cable ties along the edge of your moss pole at 1-2 inch intervals (like you did on the other side).
Your pole is now ready to be inserted into the pot with your plant, and your PVC pipe is topped up with water for a self-sufficient DIY self watering moss pole!
How Dense Should the Moss Be?
The density of the moss within the moss pole should be light but dense enough to allow the aerial roots to grip onto for support.
If your moss is too dense, you risk the moss being over-saturated, leading to aeration issues and mold growth on your moss pole.
Monstera Moss Pole BEFORE and AFTER
As mentioned earlier, we had an ulterior motive behind constructing this moss pole. We had a Monstera that was in dire need of support and structure.
We are happy to report our monstera is looking much more comfortable and healthier with its new sphagnum moss pole friend.