5 Signs Your Monstera Deliciosa Needs a Moss Pole
Have you ever looked at your Monstera and wondered, ‘Does my monstera need a moss pole?‘
If it looks flat and not growing as you hoped, these are telltale signs your monstera deliciosa needs help. And a moss pole can be the perfect solution to provide extra support.
In this guide, we’ll be walking you through the signs to look for in your Monstera and answering those burning questions surrounding monsteras and moss poles.
So take off those gardening gloves, grab a coffee, and pull up a chair to the Garden Bench Top, because we’re about to begin!
Garden Bench Top Added Bonus
For those that prefer to watch and learn, we’ve translated the important details of this article into a helpful YouTube tutorial below:
Do Monsteras Need a Moss Pole?
Monstera plants and moss poles are like cheese and crackers. On their own, they are good, but when you combine them, it’s like a match made in heaven!
But do monstera plants always need a moss pole?
Even though we may be biased (because we will pair a moss pole with our Monstera at any opportunity we get), the fact is that Monsteras Deliciosas do not always need a moss pole to grow into a healthy plant.
Depending on your plant’s growth structure and pattern, some Monsteras can thrive as a standalone plant.
On the other hand, if you want to encourage the innate epiphytic instincts of the Monstera, you don’t need to use a moss pole to achieve these looks.
There are many options for alternatives to moss poles, such as planks of wood, old fallen tree branches, bamboo sticks, or even abstract structures such as PVC pipe or metal piping.
All that said, there are many benefits to using a moss pole with your monstera deliciosa. So if you see any signs we discuss in this guide, we recommend installing a moss pole or moss pole alternative.
Does My Monstera Need a Moss Pole?
We had a monstera deliciosa in our indoor plant collection for approximately a year and a half that was healthy and happily growing new leaves.
However, it started to exhibit signs indicating that it was struggling to continue growing and needed help. To assist our Monstera Deliciosa, we decided to install a self-watering moss pole.
This section will discuss those signs and explain how moss poles would resolve the issues.
Reason No. 1 – Monstera Developing Aerial Roots
A sure sign your Monstera is ready for a moss pole is when the main stems of the Monstera begin to develop aerial roots.
You can see an aerial root nodule (or nubbins, as we affectionately call them) beginning to form in the image below.
As the name suggests, aerial roots are parts of the Monstera’s root system that develop above ground.
In the wild, Monstera aerial roots grow and attach to surfaces like tree trunks and crevices in rock faces. This helps to support the climbing plant as it continues to grow and mature.
Aerial roots also serve another essential function for Monsteras. They can absorb any surrounding moisture and act as a secondary water source for the plant.
If you notice aerial roots forming on your Monstera, it signals that it is ready for its next development phase.
And, as you guessed, a moss pole is the perfect solution for supporting your Monstera in many ways:
- the sphagnum moss is soft enough for the aerial roots to anchor themselves and support heavy stems, as well as
- the moss retains moisture that the aerial roots can use as a water source.
Reason No. 2 – Monstera Flat Growth Structure
One of our primary concerns for our Monstera Delicosa (also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant) was the growth structure that it was adopting as it grew bigger.
Here is a picture of our Monstera BEFORE we added a moss pole.
As you can see, our Monstera was beginning to fall over and grow horizontally (sideways) rather than the normal vertical growth we are accustomed to seeing in our tropical plants.
And the primary reason for our Monstera falling over is that the leaves were beginning to grow too large and become top-heavy.
Fortunately, there is an easy and immediate solution – installing some support.
Attaching the Monstera to a sphagnum moss pole with soft plant ties or velcro helps support the heavy leaves while allowing the aerial roots to grow and eventually anchor themselves to the moss.
Reason No. 3 – Monstera Outgrowing Plant Pot
Another indication that our Monstera was ready for a moss pole was the increased rate of watering required to keep it well-hydrated and thriving.
Over the period we had the Monstera in our possession, we noticed the soil became dry sooner than usual, indicating that the Monstera had outgrown its pot and become thirstier.
Monsteras don’t require a large pot to remain happy, and our pot size was suitable. But only when supplemented with a moss pole.
And it is essential to note that only a moss pole made out of sphagnum moss or coco coir (coconut fibers) would be suitable in this situation.
The sole reason is that these two mediums can retain and provide enough moisture for your Monstera to sustain the large plant.
Reason No. 4 – Monstera Not Maturing
Okay – this reason is going to sound superficial and materialistic. However, we know many monstera plant enthusiasts can relate to our predicament.
Another reason we wanted to install a moss pole for our Monstera Deliciosa is to accelerate the maturation process and achieve those elegant fenestrated (split) leaves we all desire.
When we received our Monstera, it was a baby. It only had full heart-shaped leaves with no signs of fenestrations or mature leaves.
However, as we nurtured it with tender love and care, one leaf grew with a split. Oh, the excitement!
But since then, it is grown 5-6 new leaves, all without any sign of any fenestrations.
So, to speed up the maturation process, we installed a moss pole. The extra growth and support will help it achieve maturity, and hopefully, it will begin to develop those quintessential Monstera leaves.
Reason No. 5 – Monstera Experiencing Stunted Growth
The last and final reason we believe our Monstera was screaming out for a moss pole is that the growth rate started to slow down.
As we mentioned in our video at the start of this guide, we were used to seeing 1-3 new leaves growing each month—a healthy growth rate for a happy Monstera plant.
However, closer to the time that we installed the moss pole, it was only producing a new leaf once every couple of months.
We knew it wasn’t seasonal growth patterns because we had other Monsteras growing a couple of leaves per month at the same time.
Installing a moss pole allowed us to change over the old soil with a fresh Monstera soil mix and provided more support and room for the growth of larger leaves.
Does My Monstera Need a Moss Pole – Key Takeaways
As you can see from our experience, if your Monstera is experiencing similar symptoms or signs to ours, such as aerial root production, soil quick to dry, constantly falling over, or not growing as you would expect, it may be time to consider installing a moss pole.
Not only will a moss pole help support and keep it happy and thriving, but we think they also look fabulous and create a tropical collection of larger plants inside.
Let us know if you have installed a moss pole for your Monstera and the changes you noticed after the installation.