Moss pole guide for beginners
Is a moss pole something you should try? What even is a moss pole? This is a question we get a lot over at M3D when we tell friends and family what we do. (Often accompanied by bemused looks and raised eyebrows). After launching into numerous feverish explanations of moss poles over the past few months, we decided to sit down and write down this explainer on what exactly qualifies as a moss pole, why people use them, and more importantly, whether or not it’s something your indoor jungle could benefit from!
The basics of moss poles
A moss pole is designed to help your plant grow. As a vertical structure, the moss pole gives a foothold for the plant’s aerial roots, allowing it to climb up the pole and towards the “sun”. As soon as you give a (suitable) plant access to a moss pole, it is going to put out little roots and start climbing the structure. Why? A moss pole emulates the trees and branches that many plants would climb up in the wild (often jungle) habitats where they originate. If the moss pole is kept at a good moisture level, the plant will detect the nearby humidity and reach for it. The moss pole is just helping the plant do what it does best: grow. To put it as simply as possible, a moss pole is a ladder to climb, and it holds moss to drink from.
Why people use moss poles
Moss poles help hydrate plants, and they keep them healthy. Watering your moss on a
regular basis will help give your plant a steady stream of hydration. Climbing plants will
grow quite tall, and as the distance from the moisture absorbing roots increases, so does
the distance that the water and nutrients have to travel to reach the growth points. This will usually cause leaf size to shrink, or even prevent the plant from growing past a certain
What you need to know about moss poles
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to moss poles, and there are many different types of plant supports out there.Our moss poles are 3D-printed in PLA (corn starch derived biodegradable plastic) and are designed to be filled with sphagnum moss. They come in different shapes, sizes, and diameters, depending on what kind of plants they will house, what pot size and shape you want, and what is your vision for the aesthetics. Our poles act like a container that can be filled either with sphagnum moss, a powerful moisture absorption organism, or one of many other types of substrate, giving the plants a natural, organic medium to dig into. “When using sphagnum moss to fill your moss pole, it is a good idea to buy good quality moss that has been sustainably harvested. There is no use in getting a nice moss pole if you do not then also fill it with some good moss!”.
When using the term “moss pole” what commonly comes up is the coir pole; this may cause some confusion as there is really no moss to be found on it, as it instead uses coir fibreswrapped around a stave to provide support and a natural climbing surface for your plant. We’ve found that while they are usually quite sturdy, the coir sheath is quite poor at retaining moisture, thus falling short in encouraging growth. Another substitute seen quite commonly to support climbers are wooden planks and branches, but again, they don’t really provide the hydration and nutrients that sphagnum moss can.
Moss pole tips
Not sure where to get started? The Monstera Deliciosa is a very moss pole-friendly plant –
you will see satisfying results with what is also known as a cheese plant, or you could opt for a Monstera Adansonii or Dubia. Many other vining plants that are sold as trailing or hanging
What goes into M3D moss pole designs
We are passionate about the modularity and aesthetics of moss poles. Our engineering-
heavy design takes many different factors into account: sustainability, rigidity, ease of use, and longevity. We want to create plant care systems that grow and scale with your plants
and look good in your home. Whether you have big plants or small ones, we want to create a moss pole that works for you!