Monstera Support – How to Use Poles, Stakes or Trellis to Keep Your Monstera Plant Growing Vertically


Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) is a popular houseplant that can provide a stunning focal point to any room. The envy inducing photos that you see on Instagram are typically of upright plants. But left to their own devices, Monsteras can fall over and even grow horizontally. That’s why an important aspect of Monstera care is to support your plant.

There are various types of Monstera support including moss poles, coir poles and trellis. As well as keeping your plant upright, these can also help your plant to have larger leaves with well-defined fenestrations.

Let’s look at the different types of Monstera support, how to use them and which is best for your plant.

Why Your Plant Needs Support

In their native rainforest environment, Swiss cheese plants grow up other trees and use them for support. Strictly speaking, they are called epiphytes, as they grow on other trees but do not take any nutrition from them.

Monsteras have aerial roots which help them to cling onto other plants and anchor them in position. Inside a home, these aerial roots are still looking to attach to something for support.

When they do not have anything to grow up, Monsteras will grow sideways. This is not as aesthetically pleasing for a houseplant. They can also start to look quite messy and take up a lot of room.

Supports can also help the leaves receive more light. This is essential if you want to see your plant with bigger, healthy looking leaves and the distinct splits (fenestrations) in the leaves.

How to Tell if Your Monstera Needs Support

Monsteras are typically sold as small plants about 12 inches tall (30 cm). A plant of this size does not need any support. However, they do grow quickly and you should be prepared to position a stake or pole to support your plant.

Signs that your plant has grown to a size where it needs to be supported include the following:

Leaning – it’s common for an unsupported plant to start leaning to one side. This is not pleasing to the eye and can also lead to the plant toppling over.

Aerial roots – a sure sign that your plant needs support is the production of aerial roots. These are not present on very young plants but as soon as they have reached a sufficient size, they will start producing them.

Types of Monstera Support

Moss pole

This is one of the most popular types of support. It looks natural and does not detract from the beauty of the plant. They are typically constructed from a metal or plastic core that is then covered in sphagnum moss (peat moss).

There is an important added benefit of using this type of poll. Spritzing or watering the pole provides a humid environment for your plant which mimics the Monstera’s natural rainforest environment.

Coir pole

Superficially these look very similar to moss poles. Coir is a natural product that is produced from the outer husk of coconuts. Some campaigners have expressed concern about the sustainability of peat moss and particularly the sensitive wetlands where they are harvested. Coir poles provide an environmentally aware alternative.

There are versions in 1-foot (30 cm) lengths, which can be fitted together. This allows you to add additional lengths of support as your plant grows.

Trellis

A trellis provides a lattice work of support for your plant. There are various different types available but plastic-coated metal provides a strong framework that are often coloured green and will blend in with your plant.

The advantage of this choice is there are multiple points of support. Whilst a pole is good for supporting the main branch of your Monstera, you’ll often find that there are smaller branches that will also need supporting in the future. Rather than having poles, a trellis provides a neat framework of support.

Stake

Some Monstera owners prefer the simplicity of a stake. These are considerably thinner and less obtrusive than a moss or coir pole. Bamboo stakes are widely available and inexpensive. They also help to maintain a natural look to your plant displays.

Another choice is plastic covered metal poles. These are very strong and will support your plant as it grows larger. They are commonly covered in dark green plastic which blends in with the plants leaves making them almost invisible.

The only downside of using a stake is that you cannot wet the surface to provide more humid growing conditions.

Supporting and Repotting your Monstera

Many owners will consider buying some sort of support or pole when they notice that their plant is leaning over on one side. But ideally you would want to introduce your support before this happens.

If you’ve bought a young, unsupported plant, an ideal time to place a pole or stake is when you first repot your plant. This will minimise root disturbance and allow you to place your pole deep in a new pot.

Steps to Supporting Your Monstera

1) Position your pole

Identify the main stems that are thickest and heaviest and will require the most support. Decide where you will place your pole so that it looks aesthetically pleasing whilst being useful to the plant.

2) Insert your support

Dig a small hole using a trowel or dibber, whilst trying to cause minimal root disturbance. Insert your pole to the bottom of the pot to provide the strongest support.

If you are inserting a pole at the same time as repotting, you should repot first and then insert your pole to the bottom of the new pot.

Test your support and make sure that it doesn’t wiggle about. If it does, build up some more soil around it and water, otherwise consider using a trellis framework with multiple stakes into the soil.

3) Attaching your Monstera

You can attach your plant to its support using garden plant ties that are readily available from garden centers or on Amazon. For a natural look, jute twine is a good choice. The main thing to remember is not to tie too tightly – you want to provide support without choking your plant.

In addition to attaching the stems, you can also attach the aerial roots. This mimics the natural rainforest environment where aerial roots are used to climb up other plants.

Final Thoughts on Monstera Support

Monsteras are fast-growing plants and can increase up to 1-2 feet per year. Even if you buy a cute small specimen from a nursery, it has the potential to reach a brutish size if left to its own devices. It may also start growing ‘outwards rather than upwards’ if left unchecked.

The use of supports and pruning your Monstera will ensure you have a healthy plant that looks beautiful without taking over your living space.

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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