How to Keep Moss Pole Moist?

How To Keep Moss Pole Moist

Have you ever wondered how to keep your tropical climbing plants growing upwards? A moss pole could be just the solution you are looking for!

A moss pole is a great accessory for any vining plant, as it helps control the plant’s direction of growth. It also helps prevent the vines from bending and possibly being damaged due to a lack of structure. With a moss pole, you can provide physical support for your climbing plants and ensure that they grow just the way you want them to.

However, moss poles can be difficult to maintain, because they can dry out quite easily. They need a consistent water source to stay moist and healthy.

This guide will show you the various ways you can keep your moss pole moist at all times, and your plants well hydrated.

Why a moss pole needs to be moist

A moss pole mimics the moist, mossy bark on trees that support vining plants in the wild. Vining plants like Pothos, Monstera, and Philodendron are best grown with moss poles if you want them to grow upwards instead in random directions or flat across the floor. Moss poles can also help you keep your vining houseplants looking neat if you do not intend to plant them in hanging pots.

However, you do need to keep your moss pole moist to prevent it from dying. Furthermore, if it is too dry, the aerial roots of your plant will not attach to the pole. In their natural habitat, tree bark would be somewhat moist and provide a secondary source of water for the vining plants. Hence, keeping the pole damp by watering it at least three times a week will ensure happier vining plants. 

Should I water my moss pole?

Yes, watering your moss pole regularly will keep it healthy and will also benefit your vining plants. If you leave it to dry out for too long, it will not look good and will be useless to your plants. Dried moss poles are also difficult to revive, so make sure to water yours regularly, as you do with your houseplants.

There are several ways to keep your moss pole moist. The easiest is to pour water directly into the pole, but there are also some other creative ways to do it, especially if you are forgetful. These are explained further below.

How to keep your moss pole moist

1. Water your moss pole

It is best to water the moss pole at the same time as you water your houseplants. Watering the pole will also allow some water to drip into the soil, hence keeping your plant hydrated, too. 

However, do keep your watering habits in check to prevent overwatering! When excess water pools at the bottom of the pot, the plant’s roots become vulnerable to root rot and fungal diseases. Make sure that the pot has sufficient drainage holes for the excess water to escape. You can also use a soil moisture meter as a guide to determine whether your plant needs watering or not.

2. Regularly mist the moss pole

Another easy method to keep your moss pole hydrated is to spray it with water every day. Most growers prefer to mist their moss pole in the morning, before the oppressive heat from the sun dries it out.

Make sure to spray the entire pole, from top to bottom. A mistake that some gardeners make is to mist only the top portion of the pole, leaving the bottom dry. Keep in mind that the whole length of the moss pole must remain moist to keep it green and useful for your vining plants. 

3. Make a drip water bottle

We all sometimes forget to water our indoor plants, especially on the busiest days! However, leaving your moss pole dry for long periods can have irreversible effects. As mentioned, if it becomes too dry, it will be very challenging to revive it. So, instead of worrying about your regular watering schedule, why not automate it? 

A simple DIY method to keep your moss pole and plants happy is to create a slow drip system. You do not need any fancy tools or special skills to do this – all you need is an empty plastic bottle and some tape or wire. Plus, it is a great way to recycle unused plastic bottles, instead of throwing them away!

Here are the steps to make your own drip bottle:

  • Get a clean, empty, plastic bottle with a cap. You can use any size you like, depending on how large your moss pole is.
  • Grab a needle and heat it over a flame. Use this to make, at the most, four holes in the bottle cap. You can also use a soldering iron with a fine tip to do this.
  • Fill the plastic bottle with clean water and put on the cap (with holes).
  • Attach the bottle, in an inverted position, to the moss pole. Secure it using tape or a piece of wire. Make sure that you place the set-up away from any disturbances like household pets.

4. Set up a wicking system

Another popular way to keep a moss pole moist is to set up a wick watering system. All you need is a wicking cord and a planter filled with water to create this simple DIY project.

A wicking system is highly recommended to keep your indoor plants and moss pole moist without overwatering them. Since most houseplants require moderate watering, this automated system will help fulfill the basic watering requirements for your moss pole and your plants. 

Here is how to do it: Tie one end of the wicking cord to the moss pole and dip the other end into the planter (or any container) filled with water. The wicking cord will absorb water from the planter and remain moist, hence keeping the moss pole hydrated throughout the day. This simple system will also help keep the aerial roots of your vining plants healthy and hydrated.

5. Use a humidifier

Placing a humidifier in your growing area will benefit your moss pole-supported houseplants. It works by heating water and releasing the water vapor into the environment. This keeps the air moist and a bit humid, which is a perfect growing environment for your plants. The device is especially helpful during the cold seasons where the air tends to be drier. 

Most plants need at least 50 percent humidity to thrive. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to maintain the appropriate humidity level indoors, due to varying temperatures and weather conditions. With a humidifier, however, you can easily set your desired humidity level in your living space, no matter what the weather is outdoors. Just be sure to keep the humidifier away from any furniture made of wood!

6. Use pebble trays

Although there is some controversy regarding the effectiveness of pebble trays, you might still want to try this method if you do not have a humidifier at home. Pebble trays can help add moisture to the environment through the water that evaporates from the tray. 

Just fill some trays with pebbles and water and place them under your plants. Make sure that the water does not reach the roots, to prevent root rot! 

7. Keep the plant in the bathroom

If you have enough space for your plants in the bathroom, it might be a good place to keep your moss pole moist. The bathroom (as well as the kitchen) can get quite steamy when hot water runs from the taps, and when the steam makes contact with a cold surface like tiles or leaves, it creates moisture, or water droplets. This is why bathrooms provide an ideal humid environment for your plants.

The only downside is that bathrooms tend to become cooler and less humid when not used at night. This temperature fluctuation can cause plant stress so the bathroom might just be a temporary solution if you need to hydrate your plants. If you are looking for a sustainable solution, then investing in a humidifier would be the better option.

8. Do not place the moss pole in windy areas

Too much wind can easily damage the fragile stems of vining plants. Strong wind can also increase the evaporation rate of water and cause the moss pole to lose its moisture very quickly. To ensure that the pole retains enough moisture, keep your plants away from open areas with strong winds. 

Wrapping it up

Moss poles add physical support to your climbing plants to facilitate upward growth and ensure healthy aerial roots. They also help keep your plants looking organized, as they can train them to grow in a narrow shape to help save horizontal space. However, they can be a challenge to maintain since these poles require consistent moisture to thrive. 

There are several techniques you can employ to keep your moss pole and indoor plants hydrated. Hopefully, you have found all the tips in this guide helpful!

Image: / Konstantin Dmitriev