To stake, or not to stake

To stake, or not to stake

Feb 18 , 2020

To stake or not to stake. That is the question I see asked a bunch across social media - should I give my monstera a pole? Whilst public opinion seems to be that a moss pole is necessary for “optimal health”, personally I see it a little differently.

See the thing is with Monstera deliciosa plants is that they all grow really differently. Some are tiny three leaf babies without fenestrations. Some are multiple plants in one pot (as many, especially large ones in store, are grown from cuttings). Some, like the one in the middle of this photo, grow neatly up one middle vine. Others sprawl out wide.

So my answer is to this question is maybe! In my opinion, moss poles are largely aesthetic - they’re useful for reining in a plant & training it to grow a certain way, ie upward rather than outward (if that’s how it’s growing). But the plant will be fine with or without a pole as plants are adaptable.

Moss poles are also not the only solution for plant training. For example, a small plant may benefit simply from being tied to a bamboo stake or two to help prop it up, rather than plonking a huge moss pole in the pot & overshadowing the plant. A large sprawling plant may not be sufficiently contained by one moss pole, in which case the use of a triangular or rectangular trellis (like what is used for tomatoes) can be better, offering more stability and multiple anchor points to affix the plant’s stems so you can gently guide it the shape you like with multiple ties. And sometimes, you don’t need anything at all - if you zoom in on the middle plant in this shot, you’ll see the centre stem is strong enough to hold itself up, and is growing straight, thus eliminating the need for a pole (& this plant is massive by the way).

So! If you want to change the shape of your Monstera, consider a stake, pole or trellis, but also don’t feel you *need* one for the plant’s health, as it will continue to grow fine without one (as they often do in the wild). They don’t always easily attach to a pole too, so I recommend guiding them by tying them with a bit of twine to hold them in place. If you get stuck and need to troubleshoot, my emails are always open!