This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
Kratiste poles are going to be either of no interest to you, or the answer to your prayers.
They have been INCREDIBLE for me, because I love the idea of having my plants climb by themselves, but I cannot keep a moss pole damp for the life of me.
Kratiste poles are incredibly easy to use, and they don’t require any maintenance. You can also get connectors so you can easily extend them. I love them. I have around ten.
What are Krastiste moss poles made from?
One of my favourite things about Kratiste poles is that they’re made from sustainable materials – potato peels and elephant grass. They’re also compostable.
Even if I did get my act together and start maintaining my moss poles properly, there’s no escaping the fact that sphagnum moss is not good for the environment.
We grow our own moss, so it is possible to make them ethically, but a Kratiste pole is a WAY easier option than starting your own moss farm.
How to use Kratiste poles
You use Kratiste poles exactly like you’d use a coir pole – stick it in the soil and attach all the vines to the pole – though with Kratiste poles you get the clips included.
I don’t know what the clips are made from but it says ‘Biobased – made of natural raw materials’ on the label.
There are slots along the pole so you just push the clips in the slot you need. There are loads of slots all over the pole, which makes it quite easy to train wayward plants.
I actually plan on getting my Philodendron Golden Dragon on a Kratiste pole at some point, but he’ll still need a couple because he has about 50 vines.
By the way, don’t expect your plant to look super awesome immediately after putting in on ANY pole.
You often have to convince them to grow in a different direction than they’re used to, or grow more evenly, but in a few months when it’s settled down and all the leaves have turned the right way, it’ll look AWESOME.
I actually put my Philodendrons Pink Princess and Florida ghost babies on poles because they’re never too young to be trained!
Getting them on when they’re young is so much easier than trying to contend with a stem that’s got a few bends in it.
The benefits of Kratiste poles
The aerial roots attach by themselves
I love this. Something about the material of the poles encourages the aerial roots to grow and attach to the pole. Some plants attach more than others – Syngoniums attach very quickly, my Verrucosum is more reluctant (but getting there).
Here’s my golden Pothos a couple of weeks after putting her on a pole:
My golden pothos aerial roots were previously just little brown nubs. She’s actually getting creepy now. I’m documenting her progress on Instagram.
It’s almost like aerial roots can sense them. In fact, look at this Monstera root (it’s a buried aerial root that’s becoming aerial again):
I swear I haven’t touched it, or moved my Pink Princess closer. The aerial root just seems to sense a tree. I’m not *quite* sure what its plan is going forward, but I’m excited to find out.
What's so great about this is that you're not forever having to attach plants back onto their pole, like you do with coir poles. And there's no risk of it drying out and the aerial roots all detaching.
You can use the clips for extra security, but they’re more for staking up larger plants – whilst they do attach themselves it does take a few weeks for the aerial roots to grow in.
Sometimes the aerial roots won’t start growing in on older nodes, because that node is no longer active. I’m going to get some keiki paste and see if that gets them going again.
No misting, watering, nothing. Just stick the pole in the soil, attach any errant vines with the clips and you’re good to go.
No plastic (bar the bag the clips come in), no moss, just potato peels and elephant grass, both of which are pretty sustainable. I’m sure it’s not perfect but it’s a WAY better option than the coir or sphagnum poles, which both heavily rely on plastic.
They’re more aesthetically pleasing than other options
This is obviously very subjective, but if you want a jungle vibe, the Kratiste poles are awesome. Moss poles might be more effective at developing roots, but they’re white plastic and stick out like a sore thumb.
Kratiste poles look very bark-like and natural, and whilst the slots for the clips are visible, they’re not super obvious.
They’re easy to extend
You can buy extenders which are just short lengths of pole that wrap around two poles and keep them attached. However, I think it’d be pretty easy to glue them if you couldn’t get hold of the extenders.
I LOVE this about Kratiste poles, because it makes them so much easier to get plants onto them. Coir poles are pretty heavy and trying to juggle them whilst you’re attaching vines isn’t easy. They can also wobble over if they’re in a smaller pot.
I have Kratiste poles in pretty small pots – my Verrucosum pot is only little – 6 inches/15 cm, which is as long as my phone.
It’s pretty secure in the pot – you just need to make sure the pole is pretty low down in the soil.
You can add the pole before the soil, which is easiest, but you can just push the pole into the soil because it’s hollow – you just risk damaging roots that way.
They cost the same as a moss pole
There are loads of different moss poles out there. Whilst coir poles can be a couple of quid cheaper, and moss poles can be about the same price, the convenience factor of Kratiste makes their AROUND £10 price tag very reasonable.
I get mine from my local garden centre for £8.99, but they’re typically £9.99 online.
Disadvantages of Kratiste poles
The aerial root system can’t develop that much
This is NOT a big deal for me. I use poles to keep my plants growing upwards so their leaves can mature and it keeps them looking tidy.
However, when you use a proper moss pole, the roots can grow into the moss and develop secondary root systems. Not only do the leaves mature much faster, but if you want to chop and prop, the prop part is already done. As the plant grows, it basically air layers every node.
That being said, Kratiste poles do make plants produce aerial roots. Whilst aerial roots aren’t necessary to propagate plants, it does help it happen faster, and the rate of success is higher.
They can decompose over time
If your conditions are hot and wet enough, then the pole could compost over time. So far this hasn’t been an issue for me, but I’ve only had the poles a few months. I will update you over time if this changes!
They’re not that widely available
As far as I’m aware, they’re not available in too many shops (weirdly, all of the three physical shops they’re sold in in the UK are about an hour from me). They’re sold in the Netherlands, and in the UK, but I *think* that that’s about it.
I don’t think you can get them in the US. If you’re desperate to try one, I can ship you one, but the shipping is like £25, so you’re looking at over $40 for a single pole. Also, I have no idea what customs will think.
Thank you, Kratiste. As an environmentally conscious, lazy houseplant enthusiast, your product is quietly life-changing. *Runs off to Google how to sell Dutch products to Americans whilst living in England*