Monstera is a genus of popular house plants that can grow as vines and spread out. One way of growing Monstera plants indoors is by staking them. However, staking Monstera isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Hence, below are some easy steps to follow to help you learn how to train Monstera to climb. However, should you train your Monstera to climb?
Why Train Monstera to Climb?
The Monstera genus is native to tropical regions of Central and South America. These plants are known for their characteristic large leaves with fenestration. Such characteristics developed in the Monstera help them adapt and survive in the tropical rainforest.
Another distinct feature of these tropical plants is the aerial roots that grow out of the nodes. These roots help anchor the plant to support it, giving it its epiphytic character. However, Monstera is also able to grow on the forest floor.
Monstera tends to grow towards sunlight and will often climb nearby trees to get to it. This is because they are usually covered by the forest canopy and must get as much sun as possible. Additionally, growing on trees helps Monstera avoid getting trampled by animals in the forest.
As indoor plants, Monstera needs to climb to avoid bundling up. If the tropical plant grows on the floor, the Monstera leaves will not receive their required amount of light, hindering their growth.
Additionally, as they are vining plants, they will grow to cover more area on the floor, becoming a tripping hazard.
Monstera Deliciosa is the most commonly grown indoor plant among the Monstera plants. Monstera deliciosa is known for its speedy growth and large, monster-like leaves. Hence, letting your Monstera grow on the floor is not a good choice. Pruning your Monstera can be a hassle and a waste not to let Monstera deliciosa grow to its original size.
Finally, one of the biggest reasons to stake Monstera is its aesthetics. Monstera plants are grown indoors due to their unique features and aesthetics to the home. Staking Monstera further enhances their aesthetical abilities.
Hence, giving Monstera a support structure such as moss poles helps the Monstera grow vertically and results in a healthier plant. The climbing monstera shows a tree-like growth pattern, and giving it a bamboo pole or any other vertical support helps it grow upward.
Now that you know the necessities and benefits of training Monstera to climb, you must know how to do so.
How to Train Monstera to Climb
Monstera plants are delicate and susceptible to changes in their environment. To train Monstera deliciosa to climb, you must be careful and follow the steps below so you do not end up damaging it.
Step 1: Take Measurements
The very first thing you must do is measure your stake to ensure that it’s the right size. You do not want a shorter stake than the Monstera, as it can topple over. Using a stake that is too long can make it look empty and unappealing.
Generally, a stake that is double in length the depth of your plant works best as it allows you to set the stake until it is firmly secured while having enough space to attach the Monstera.
Step 2: Decide on the Position of the Stake
Before you train your Monstera with a stake, you must decide the position of the stake. The best position for your stake is at the side where the Monstera is heaviest.
The region where Monstera grows most (usually in the direction of the light) is where it requires the most support.
If you position your stake on the lighter side, you risk damaging your Monstera roots due to stress on one side. Similarly, your monstera stake might topple over due to the heavyweight.
Step 3: Prepare to Repot Monstera with Stake
Once you have decided on the position, you must prepare to report your Monstera deliciosa with a moss pole.
To start, gently remove the Monstera deliciosa and the root ball and empty the pot. Check the plant for any signs of damage before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Position your Stake
Place the moss pole in the pot’s center and the root ball back into the pot. At this point, place the root ball in the stake position you decided on before.
Once you have set the position, refill the pot with new soil or potting mix. Fill the pot until the moss pole is stable and firm. Water the soil and the moss pole.
Step 5: Attach the Main Stem to the Stake
The first part of the Monstera you should attach to the moss pole is the main stem, the heaviest and biggest. The main stem is the vine of the Monstera deliciosa, which sprouts new leaves and aerial roots.
Start by suspending the stem on the moss pole and fastening it using garden ties or a cotton rope. Do not tighten the stem to the moss pole; only attach it loosely to avoid harm. This allows you to change the direction of the stem as it grows.
Step 6: Attach Aerial Roots to the Stake
The aerial roots grow out of the main vine. If your Monstera deliciosa does not have aerial roots, you can skip this step when you do.
Aerial roots are natural anchors for the Monstera, and you can either suspend these roots on the moss pole or tie them using garden ties.
Over time, as the Monstera grows, the roots will naturally attach to the moss pole. Like the vine, do not fasten the ties too much to prevent damaging the delicate Monstera roots.
Step 7: Let the Monstera Grow
It might take a few days for the Monstera to accustom itself to the moss pole. In the meantime, give the Monstera deliciosa plenty of water and light. If stems grow horizontally, you can attach them to the moss pole as you did with the main vine.
You can place your plant next to a stone or wall you want it to grow on. As the Monstera climbs, the roots anchor to any surface they find. Control the Monstera’s direction by moving the main vine’s tip and letting the Monstera deliciosa grow.
What is a Moss Pole?
A moss pole is the most popular staking method used for Monstera indoors. The Moss pole is perfect for training your Monstera deliciosa to climb and helps the monstera aerial roots to attach easily. Moss poles can either be sphagnum poles or coco coir poles.
Sphagnum Moss Pole
The original moss pole is made of a stake covered in dried sphagnum peat moss. The moss supports the aerial roots and has excellent water retention abilities to promote Monstera growth. The moss itself is attached to the stake using a mesh.
Coco Coir Pole
Another famous pole used to aid Monstera’s climb is the coco coir pole, also called Coco coir peat or coco peat. Coconut coir is a plant-driven fiber extracted from coconut husk, hence the name. It shares similar water retention characteristics as the sphagnum pole but provides better support for the roots.
Additionally, the coco coir poles are less costly and more readily available than the sphagnum moss poles.
Is a Moss Pole Different Than a Coco Coir Pole ½Which to Choose
If you want to provide Monstera with appropriate support and moisture, you can choose coconut coir, as it is the less costly choice and does the job well. Additionally, coconut coir provides a better grip for the Monstera roots to anchor to and promotes Monstera climb.
While sphagnum moss does provide Monstera with nutrients, it is more costly and difficult to find. Additionally, coco coir is driven by plant materials, so it is more environmentally friendly.
However, you can address the difference between the two poles below to make a proper decision on which to choose.
Peat moss is less readily available due to its lower sustainability. While the University of Florida IFAS Extension states that peat moss can take around 20 years to renew, the Canadian Sphagnum peat Moss Association shares similar results, stating that only one of every six thousand acres of peat moss can be harvested.
Coco coir s readily available as it is constructed from coconut waste and grows widely on trees, making it more sustainable.
Though we did mention that peat moss is more expensive than coco coir, the difference is minimal. The main reason peat moss is more costly is the lower harvest and the shipping costs. Peat moss is mainly imported from India and Sri Lanka.
Coco coir is the best choice for slightly acidic-loving Monstera plants, as it has a pH of between 5-6. On the other hand, peat moss is more acidic, with a pH level between 3-4. However, you can use peat moss to counter the alkalinity of the soil.
Coconut coir retains water better and more easily than peat moss. Due to its moisture-absorbing ability, you do not need to give much water to the stake.
However, peat moss holds more water than coo peat. Hence, it would be best to choose between the two depending on how frequently you water your Monstera.
What Are Aerial Roots?
The Monstera deliciosa can grow three roots: lateral-subterranean, aerial-subterranean and aerial roots.
Subterranean roots grow underneath the ground. The term “Lateral” is given to Monstera roots to signify the Monstera’s lateral (side-to-side) growth.
The third type, aerial root, refers to adventitious root growth above the ground. These roots grow from the Monstera stem roots and perform various functions.
Although delicate, they anchor the plant to trees in their natural habitat and the stake when grown as houseplants.
These roots absorb moisture and nutrients from the humid air, aiding stem growth.
The moisture-absorbing function is one reason why Monstera requires high humidity levels.
In the wild, Monstera aerial roots allow Monstera to grow and climb trees to reach sunlight. They support the plant and often grow as a mix of aerial and subterranean roots for that very purpose.
When aerial roots start to grow, they resemble small knobs at the side of the stem. Monstera deliciosa can grow roots that are around three feet long.
Finally, these roots play a significant role in Monstera propagation. When propagating Monstera, cut the node from where the root and new leaf will grow.
Place the stem cutting into water or soil; these roots will start to grow within a couple of weeks.
Signs That You Should Train Monster to Climb
Look for the signs below if you are unsure about the right time to train your Monstera plant to climb.
1. Your Monstera is Spreading Sideways
Due to the lateral growth of the Monstera, they tend to spread out on the ground or the floor and become a tripping hazard.
If the vines stretch out of the plant pot, it’s a sign that you must stake the plant.
2. Your Monstera is Starting to Droop
The large leaves and thick stems weigh a lot. Without proper support for the Monstera, you might notice the leaves start to droop. This is because the Monstera isn’t getting enough light, and the weight is putting stress on the stem.
In extreme cases, the stem might start breaking off and succumbing to the weight.
3. The Monstera has Matured.
You don’t need to wait for something to go wrong before you decide to help your Monstera climb.
If you have a mature Monstera, it is already enough of a sign to help it climb. Mature Monstera deliciosa grows slower (almost two to three feet a year) than a juvenile Monstera deliciosa but is big enough to require support.
Tips on Training Monstera to Climb
There are ways you can help your Monstera plant climb better and faster. Follow the tips below to learn the best way of training Monstera deliciosa to climb.
- Give it plenty of bright indirect sunlight. Monstera is used to filter light in their native habitat and grow well in bright sunlight.
- Water Monstera deliciosa after checking the soil and stake to check moisture. Generally, watering them once every two to three weeks is enough, but you should check the moss pole regularly.
- You can use a guy-wire or a hanging basket to make it easier for a large Monstera deliciosa.
- Keep humidity levels above 50% for best growth.
- You can use organic fertilizers to boost growth in the growing seasons of summer and spring. Usually, your pot mix will have some fertilizer added to it.
- You can use a trellis to grow Monstera in your garden.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I encourage Monstera deliciosa to climb?
To encourage the swiss cheese plant to climb, you must provide the Monstera deliciosa plant with support, such as moss poles, bamboo stakes, or coco cellulose poles.
Give it plenty of water and light to ensure the plant grows quickly.
2. How can I control the direction Monstera grows?
The best way to direct Monstera is by using plant ties at the top of the monstera stems. Additionally, you can use a hanging basket or wire to direct its growth.
The potted plant requires aid for vertical growth, so you must give it a support structure to which monstera’s air roots attach.
3. Should I give Monstera something to climb?
While Montera is a natural climber, they do require some help. Giving Monstera a stake to help it climb up a wall or stone is a great way to help Monstera deliciosa climb.
3. What can I use to support my Monstera?
You can use moss poles, coir poles, a tomato cage, PVC pipe, or any other structure that you think works best to allow Monstera to grow upright. These supports can help give Monstera a lush appearance and promote new growth. You can use gardening tape or a velcro garden tie to help with wall growth until the plant develops aerial roots.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.