If you have tropical climbing plants, a moss pole can be very beneficial. It allows the plants to climb and helps improve the humidity level.
Of course, for the moss pole to work effectively, you’ll need to keep it moist. There are a few convenient ways to do this.
What is a Moss Pole?
A moss pole, as the name suggests, is a pole that is covered with moss. It has two main functions. The first is support. If you have a climbing plant or Epiphyte, a moss pole will allow them to grow up, rather than hanging down. This can be useful for climbing plants such as the pothos.
The other function of a moss pole is moisture. Air plants require humidity and moisture from their environment, which a moss pole provides.
The biggest benefit of a moss pole for epiphytes is that the moss pole mimics their natural environment. A moist moss pole provides similar support and nutrition as a tree in the rainforest.
Soaking the Pole
Before placing your moss pole in the pot, you should soak it in water. To do this, just place the pole in a shallow dish. Fill with water, and allow the pole to remain in the water until it’s thoroughly moistened. This typically takes about 15 minutes.
Soaking the pole allows it to be moist when putting it into the pot. This makes it easier to keep the pole moist. It also allows the plant to attach itself to the pole.
What Plants Need a Moss Pole?
Generally speaking, climbing plants and epiphytes, or air plants, do well with a moss pole. It allows them to grow straight up, instead of down, as nature intended. This often provides larger leaves, and potentially a healthier plant.
Air plants have aerial roots. Instead of going into the ground, most species will secure themselves to a tree. This allows them to get moisture and nutrients from the tree. They also climb the tree as they grow, searching for more sunlight.
Philodendrons, Monstera, and Hoya are popular air plants. These plants thrive when placed on a moss pole.
Of course, climbing vines can also perform beautifully on a moss pole. Ivy, Jasmine, and Begonias all have their feet in the soil. These plants get their nutrition from the soil but can benefit from the support of a moss pole.
Moss poles aren’t the only option for letting your plants climb – you can also use wooden stakes, bamboo or even wire trellis as well.
Direct Watering Methods
Direct watering methods are the simplest, but they require frequent care. You may need to water your moss pole every day, or every few days. If your plant has lower moisture needs, you can simply mist the moss pole daily.
If the plant needs high humidity, you can pour water directly over the pole.
The drip method is a bit labor-intensive to set up, but it allows you to go for quite a while without having to worry about your moss pole.
You’ll need a plastic bottle, preferably a 2 liter. If the moss pole is very large, choose a larger bottle. If it’s small, a smaller bottle can also be effective. The larger the size of the bottle, the longer it will keep your moss pole moist.
You’ll also need tape, wire, and a needle.
First, you’ll make two holes in the bottom of the bottle. To do this, heat up a needle. Then poke it through the bottom. Once you have your holes, fill the bottle with water.
Place the cap on the bottle. Attach the bottom of the bottle to your moss pole using tape. You may need to reinforce it with wire for stability. As long as there is water in the bottle, your moss pole will stay moist.
Tips For Keeping A Moss Pole Moist
There are several factors that affect how long your moss pole will stay moist. When you control these factors, you’ll keep your moss pole moist longer.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight will cause your moss pole to dry much faster. The heat from the sun’s rays evaporates the water. Obviously, you can’t avoid sunlight completely. Your plant requires sunlight for photosynthesis and survival. If you have an area where the sun meets shade, this is the perfect spot for your plants.
Keep It Cool
Keeping the area cool will also help your moss pole retain moisture. You may place your plant near an air conditioner, fan, or a cooler area of your home. Even tropical plants thrive in a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees.
If the air is moist, your moss pole will retain more moisture as well. This can also be beneficial to the plant, providing them with extra moisture in the air.
This is particularly beneficial if you are growing multiple plants on moss poles. It reduces the work of keeping the poles moist.
A humidifier can also make your home more comfortable. There are two types of humidifiers. A warm humidifier heats the water to create water vapor. A cool mist humidifier releases cool water into the air.
Either of these will provide more moisture for the air. However, you may choose a cool humidifier or a warm one only in the winter.
Avoid Windy Areas
You may have noticed that the humidity is lower on a windy day. The wind robs the moss pole and the air of moisture quickly.
Wind can also damage taller plants or those who use a moss pole for support. It’s best to keep your plants away from heavily windy areas.
Should the Moss Pole Stay Moist?
Keeping your moss pole moist is very important for some plants. However, it can actually be harmful to other types of plants.
It all depends on your plant’s humidity need. A plant that prefers a high humidity environment would be much better with a moist moss pole. However, a plant that prefers low humidity may only need the pole moistened occasionally, or not at all.
What if the Plant Outgrows the Pole?
If your plant outgrows the moss pole, your first thought may be to replace it with a new one. However, this can cause serious damage to the plant. Air plants will dig their roots into the moss pole.
If you remove the pole, it’s like pulling a plant out of the ground but leaving its root system behind. It may survive the ordeal, but it will certainly cause unnecessary harm.
Summing It Up
Keeping a moss pole moist can help your plant live up to its full potential. However, you should check the humidity needs of your plant first. A plant with low humidity requirements can become sick if exposed to too much moisture. On the other hand, a high-humidity plant requires high humidity to thrive.
The simplest way to keep a moss pole moist is to pour or mist water directly onto it. You can also create a drip watering system. Controlling environmental factors like sunlight will also help keep your pole moist.