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Staking Monstera deliciosa is a contentious issue in the houseplant community. There are several options and they all have pros and cons.
There is no right way to provide support to a Monstera UNLESS you grow a tree in your living room and let it climb, as nature intended.
Consider your budget, how much time you’re willing to spend maintaining it, and your preferences with regards to aesthetics.
I promise you now, for every person growing a beautiful deliciosa up a perfect, homemade moss pole, there are ten others growing just as well up a $5 coir pole.
Do Monstera need to be staked?
No, they’re more than capable of supporting themselves by rooting their aerial roots.
However, sometimes they refuse to grow aerial roots, and they do NOT have any sense of style when they grow, so staking with a moss pole is the easiest way to get a Monstera that fits your decor, rather than looking like something your dog dragged home.
Benefits of staking Monstera
- They look tidier
- They grow bigger
- Their leaves mature more quickly
- They’re less likely to get top heavy and snap their stem.
There are also various different benefits to using certain staking methods
A proper moss pole
You can make or buy moss poles. Amazon sell plastic tubes you can fill with moss that work quite well. I have a flexible plastic one on my big Monstera atm.
Benefits of proper moss poles
- They can be budget-friendly, especially if you’re making them in bulk
- The aerial roots grow into the moss, creating multiple root systems. This is a great way to both increase the water and nutrients that your plant is getting, and increase turgor pressure, stopping Monstera from getting droopy when they get tall
- Because the nodes root in the moss, your Monstera will air layer as it grows. When you want to propagate, each node is already rooted.
- You can extend them, depending on whether you, er, buy an extendable one. Usually the bought ones click together, and if you DIY one you can ziptie an extension onto the top
Disadvantages to proper moss poles
- Sphagnum moss isn’t great for the environment
- You have to keep them consistently moist – if they get to dry they become hydrophobic and you have to soak them
- Repotting Monstera when you can’t easily remove the moss pole is…tricky. Not impossible, but tricky
Tips for keeping your Monstera’s moss pole moist
- Make it wide enough so you can sit a plastic cup in the top. Poke a few tiny holes in the bottom of the cup, and just fill the cup with water to hydrate the pole
- If you’re using ready-made pole and it’s not wide enough for a cup, try using an upside-down bottle with holes drilled in the lid
- Alternatively, get a pressure sprayer and water the moss pole with that.
- Water with nutrient water to boost aerial root growth
Can you fill the pole with something else?
People have experimented with filling moss poles with coir, leca, and perlite. It can work but tend to dry out much quicker than moss, so you have to spray them down daily.
What about self-watering moss poles?
They either don’t work very well OR will end up saturating the substrate your plant’s in. If I find a good one, I’ll update, but it’s a pipe dream atm.
Trofolia moss pole
A trofolia moss pole is a great idea – an extendable pole that looks like a coir pole but is made of moss. You can buy them here. They’re extremely popular on Reddit.
Benefits of trofolia moss pole
- They have a little watering system so you can easily keep the moss hydrated without soaking the soil
- The aerial roots can attach by themselves
- They’re extendable
- You can adjust the length of the base pipe, so if you have a massive pot you can get a super long (mossless) base pipe to ensure the pole is secure
- Go to the website and read the reviews. Everyones obsessed.
Disadvantages of a trofolia moss pole
- They’re based in Canada, and expensive to buy elsewhere, though they do ship worldwide
- Pricier than other products, but I can 100% see why
- The roots can’t develop like they could in a regular moss pole, though they can develop much more than they could on a coir pole
A coir pole
Coir poles get bad press, but they’re a perfectly fine, budget option.
Advantages of coir poles
- They’re cheap
- They sell them all over – Amazon, garden centres
- They work perfectly fine
- You don’t need to keep them wet – you can try, but they dry out incredibly quickly, and can go mouldy
- The aerial roots rarely attach, so when you come to repot it’s easy to remove the pot and then add it again when you’re ready
Disadvantages of coir poles
- The aerial roots won’t attach to the coir unless you have really high humidity, or a particularly clingy Monstera
- I think they look fine, but loads of people hate them
- They’re quite heavy, and can fall over, dragging your Monstera with it if the Monstera doesn’t have a strong root system.
- They’re not usually extendable, though I think you can get extendable ones now
A wooden plank
Loads of people swear by using wooden planks for Monstera. I use them for Dubia, but find them too heavy for deliciosa.
Advantages of planks
- Cheap and easy to get hold off
- The aerial roots attach pretty easily
- You can get whatever size you need
- Fits a certain aesthetic
Disadvantages of planks
- They can rot if you don’t treat them
- They’re not sturdy and tend to fall over
- The plank bisects the pot, so you need a pot twice the size then what is *should* be. This isn’t an issue – you can just pack the area behind the plank with leca – but it can look a bit weird
- Repotting is a pain when you have a plant attached to a plank though you can remove the roots by sliding a knife between the roots and the plank
- Not really extendable
A Kratiste pole
I have a full review of Kratiste poles here. I love them
Advantages of Kratiste poles
- Sustainable – made from elephant grass and potato peels
- The aerial roots attach by themselves
- You don’t need to water them
- They’re lightweight
- They’re extendable
- Reasonably priced (£8.99 for 90cm at my local garden centre)
Disadvantages of Kratiste poles
- The root system doesn’t develop much
- They’re not that widely available (yet)
- It’s tricky to remove the roots when repotting but they’re so light it doesn’t matter if you accidentally hit yourself on the head
Advantages of bamboo canes
- Available in loads of places
- Really long
- You can make them into a trellis
- Easy to remove when repotting
Disadvantages of bamboo canes
- You need a lot to support a Monstera
- They can look messy
- The roots won’t attach
- They’re quite slick – you’ll need to use garden ties to secure
I don’t recommend trellis for Monstera deliciosa. I think it’s just a personal thing. They’re great for smaller vining plants like adansonii, but Monstera deliciosa are too…monstrous.
I would only use them if I had several plants in a long rectangular pot – having them all grow up a trellis would look pretty cool.
Advantages of trellis
- Cheap (sometimes)
- Easy to get hold of
- You can combine them to extend
- Good for multiple Monstera
- Good for if you havea lot of droopy petioles – you shouldn’t really tie up petioles, but if you’re after a certain look, using a trellis with loads of different places to attach the petioles is one way to control errant plants
Disadvantages of trellis
- Can be flimsy – fine for young Monstera
- You need a wide pot to fit them in
- Not suitable for most single-stem Monstera
It’s own aerial roots
This is my preferred method for keeping Monstera upright. It’s easy, free, and it works well.
Advantages of using aerial roots for support
- The aerial roots form secondary root systems
- Easy and free
Disadvantages of using aerial roots for support
- You have to repot more often, because the root system grows much faster than if you don’t root aerial roots.
- If the aerial roots don’t grow long enough, you…can’t do it
- Plants can grow lopsided
When should you stake a Monstera
Now, before it’s any bigger and more unruly.
I’m joking, but I’m also not. The earlier you stake your Monstera, the neater it’ll grow.
If you have a large, messy Monstera, you can add a stake and do your best to make it look good, but chances are, you’ll need to chop bits off.
Monstera seedlings are skototropic, which means then grow towards the shade. They want to climb as early as possible, because the sooner they climb, the faster and bigger they can grow.
When Monstera are growing vertically, a hormone triggers, telling them they can grow bigger and faster because there’s more light. It’s the vertical direction that tells them to grow faster, NOT the fact there’s more light (though increasing the light will encourage them to speed up and grow fenestrated leaves).
You can read more about this here:
- Light requirements for Monstera deliciosa
- How to Make Monstera Deliciosa Grow Faster
- How to Get Splits In Monstera Leaves
How to stake a Monstera
It’s easy to stake young Monstera:
- Take the plants and soil out of the pot
- Fill the pot 1/4 of the way with Monstera potting soil
- Add your pole
- Add a bit more soil
- Add your plants
That’s it! Over time, they should grow so that the aerial roots face the pole and the leaves face out. If you need to, secure the stem (not the petioles) to the stake with greening pins or garden ties.
When it comes to mature Monstera, it gets a bit complicated.
If you’re new to Monstera, and you have several Monstera in one pot, separate them – it’ll make it easier to see what you’re doing. If the stems are straight you can try lining up around the moss pole, but it’s easier to just do one at a time.
You need the aerial roots to face the pole because they’ll attach better. The leaves will just do their own thing, as evidenced by my beast:
You know they say Monstera have a back and front? Not really true unless you stake them. The leaves and aerial roots are all facing the same way here. That’s why I put the pole on the inside of the stem, when it would look…less weird… on the outside.
You can see the stem is starting to bend to the right slightly, which is why I decided to get him on a pole before he bent a weird way. Also, he stopped growing and I’m ready to try anything.
Ok, I hope that was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.
Before you go, you may find these articles useful:
- The Ultimate Guide to Monstera Deliciosa
- How to Care For Monstera Deliciosa
- What to Do With Monstera Deliciosa Aerial Roots