Monsteras are tropical climbing or vining plants native to the rainforests of Central and South America. These tropical plants start out on the forest floor and climb their way upward to reach sunlight filtering through the canopy.
And Monstera plants bring their natural habits with them when they are grown inside the home. This includes that Monsteras tend to grow upwards – which is fine in the rainforest when they have other trees to hold on to, but a bit harder for them in your non-jungle living room.
Because of this, many Monstera owners like to provide this support to their Monstera, with learning how to stake a Monstera being a great way to promote healthy growth in your plant.
That is, staking a Monstera plant gives the growing vines support and promotes the production of mature leaves too. This, in turn, can be the key to ensuring your plant produces mature leaves with their dramatic fenestrations – otherwise known as the holes and splits in Monstera leaves that it’s so known for.
Keep reading to find out more about securing a Monstera to a stake, including some DIY tips if you’d like to give that a try.
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How to stake a Monstera
Staking a Monstera plant provides support for the weight of the plant and gives it a way to climb. You can use a moss-covered pole, a slab of wood, or even a wooden stake wrapped in jute to support your Monstera. Regardless of which you choose, the technique for staking the Monstera is the same.
Find out just how a Monstera moss pole can be used to train your plant to climb.
1. Decide the height of the stake you need
To calculate the proper height for your Monstera stake add the depth of the pot to the height of the plant and add another 12 inches to allow room for the vine to grow.
You may also be interested in: What’s the Best Pot for Your Monstera?
2. Insert one end of the pole into the soil behind your Monstera
The pole should then be placed so that it rests between your plant and the rim of the plant pot.
Make sure the bottom of the stake reaches the bottom of the pot. This provides support for the pole and prevents it from toppling under the weight of your Monstera plant.
3. Firm the soil around the pole
This is a crucial step as failing to firm the soil around the stake will make the stake unstable and subject to wiggling or tipping over under the weight of your plant. For this reason, it’s important to secure the pole in place.
4. Gently stretch the vines upward against the pole
Use care not to damage the vines or roots while stretching out the vines.
5. Tie the vines to the pole
You will need to tie each vine in several locations using soft plant ties or some other soft fabric. Keep these quite loose and aim for a tie every 5 or 6 inches. Don’t worry if the ties detract from the beauty of the plant at the moment.
Some ties will be hidden by new foliage as your Monstera plants grow. You can also remove some ties once your Monstera’s aerial roots get a good grasp on the pole and provide natural support for the plant.
6. Guide the aerial roots toward the pole
When you find Monstera in the wild, you’ll see aerial roots serving the key role of clinging to rough bark to help your Monstera climb. They will eventually do the job of grasping and holding onto the moss or jute pole to support your Monstera’s journey up the pole, too.
Guiding aerial roots towards the pole will help them get a good grasp of the moss.
Tips for how you secure Monstera to a stake
Securing your Monstera vine to the stake isn’t difficult, but it is necessary if you expect your plant to climb up the stake. The key to success in securing your Monstera to the stake is to work gently to avoid damaging the plant.
- Gently stretch the vines upward. Use care not to overstretch the vine or damage the stems and foliage. The goal is to stretch the vine out to its full length without forcing it. Do not tug the vine as this may disrupt or damage the roots.
- Tie the vines to the stake with soft ties. You can use soft plant ties, strips of fabric from t-shirt material, or even strips of old pantyhose. Hard ties, like wire plant ties, can cut or bruise stems and leaves as they grow. Soft ties have some stretch and allow the vine to grow.
- Tie the vine to the stake in multiple places, spaced 5 to 6 inches apart to provide support to the entire vine. This helps to distribute the weight of the vine evenly. Ties spaced too far apart may cause stress to the plant.
- Make your ties from the bottom up so that the vine is supported as your work. Starting at the bottom and working upward ensures that the weight of the entire vine will never be on one tie as you work.
Do Monsteras need a stake?
If you want your Monstera plant to grow upwards it will need something for support. The most common supports are a moss-covered stake, a wooden slab or a jute-covered pole. However, Monstera plants do not strictly need to be grown upright on a pole or stake.
Instead, they can be grown as vining plants in a hanging basket or placed in planters where their gorgeous vines can cascade over the sides. Trailing Monsteras on top of bookcases, filing cabinets or dividers brighten any office while showing off their dramatic foliage.
Whether you stake your Monstera or encourage it to grow as a trailing vine is a matter of personal preference as the plant will happily adapt to either method.
Why is my Monstera falling over?
Monsteras are natural climbers that use their aerial roots as anchors. In the wild, these plants reach for the sky by climbing trees to reach the sunlight in the canopy. When grown in the home, Monsteras want to climb, too, but if there is no support available, they will fall over or begin to trail out of the pot.
However, they will happily climb a moss-covered pole or totem. This is why, if you want your Monstera plant to grow upright, you will need to provide it with a pole or stake to climb.
How to stake a Monstera with bamboo
You can make a simple teepee with bamboo garden stakes to stake your Monstera plant. You can find bamboo stakes at nearly any hardware store or home improvement center. They are usually sold in a bundle and have a length of 3 to 4 feet.
- Select three or more bamboo stakes that are straight and not bent or warped. Three is the minimum number of stakes for making a teepee, but you can use more if you are staking a giant Monstera plant in a large pot.
- Insert one end of the first bamboo stake into the soil near the edge of the pot, so the pole reaches to the bottom of the pot and the top slants towards the center of the pot. Aim for a 45-degree angle as you will need to pull the poles together and tie them to make the teepee.
- Repeat the process of arranging the remaining poles around the pot, so they are equidistant around the rim of the pot. You don’t need to be exact, just get as close as you can.
- Gently pull the tops of the poles toward the center of the pot so that they meet over the center of the pot.
- Tie the tops of the bamboo stakes together with twine or jute. You can overlap the tops of the bamboo stakes for easy tying. The top should look like the poles on the top of a traditional teepee.
- Gently arrange the vines of your Monstera plant through the gaps between the poles so that the poles support the vines. You can even wrap vines gently around individual poles if you wish but try to arrange the vines so that the foliage faces outward.
- Tie the vines to the bamboo poles with soft plant ties to secure them. Avoid wire or stiff plastic plant ties as they can damage your plant as it grows. Soft ties have some give to them and will stretch as the vines grow.
Monstera stake DIY
Making your own moss-covered pole for your Monstera is relatively easy to do. You will need sphagnum moss, a pole such as a heavy dowel or garden stake, and something to tie it together. You can use jute, twine, or fishing line if you prefer. The fishing line will be invisible to the eye while jute or twine will blend in with the color of the moss.
You can find everything you need to make a DIY Monstera stake at your local craft or hardware store.
- Fill a large bowl or bucket with warm water.
- Place the moss in the water and let it sit for 20 minutes or until the moss is saturated.
- Tie your jute around the top of the pole and make a secure knot. Give it a tug to make sure it will not come loose.
- Wring out the moss until it is moist, but not soggy. Your moss should not be dripping. If it is, wring it out again.
- Spread the moss out into a sheet and wrap the moss around the first six inches of the pole. The moss should be about an inch thick.
- Wind the jute around the moss to secure the moss to the pole. You can make a loose knot at this point to hold it in place, but do not cut the jute. Wrapping the moss is easier if you use one long piece of jute.
- Cover another 6-inch section of the pole with moss as you work your way downward.
- Wrap this section with the jute and repeat the procedure until you are about 12 inches from the bottom of the pole.
- Leave the bottom of the pole bare to allow for inserting it into the soil.
- Tie the jute off securely to hold the moss in place. Double-check your knots to make sure the jute will not come loose.
Do you need to keep the moss pole wet?
Moss-covered poles provide a rough surface for aerial roots to cling to. They function best if they are moistened by misting. Keeping the moss moist helps to keep the aerial roots hydrated making them better able to support your Monstera plant.
Mist the moss daily to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out but be cautious of over spraying the moss and saturating it with water. Saturated moss can attract pests to your Monstera and may cause issues with mold.
You can also moisten the moss-covered pole by slowly and gently pouring water over the top and letting it run down the pole. Make sure to check the soil and empty saucers and catch basins if you choose this method of watering your moss-covered pole.
Staking a Monstera plant gives it the support it needs to climb upward. Without stakes, your Monstera plants can make delightful trailing or vining plants that cascade over the sides of the pot, but they won’t grow upwards. The type of stake you use depends on personal preferences.
How to stake a large Monstera deliciosa
The process of how to stake a large Monstera deliciosa is much the same as staking other varieties. That is, make sure you have a large enough stake, insert it firmly into the pot so it won’t move and tie the vines to it using plant ties or other soft fabric.
It may take slightly longer to stake a larger plant, simply because you’ll need more ties and will need to take the time to ensure that each stem – of which it may have more than a smaller plant – is attached to the pole. However, overall, there’s not a significant difference and it will really help to allow your plant to thrive.
Final thoughts on staking a Monstera
Whether you buy one ready made or create a Monstera stake with DIY, this isn’t overly difficult to do. However, your previously toppling or cascading Monstera can look amazing simply by adding a pole – not to mention that you’re helping it live like it would in its natural habitat.
That is, in the absence of other trees allowing it to reach up to the canopy, learning how to stake a Monstera will allow it to continue to climb and, as it grows, produce those amazing leaves for which it’s so well known.