How to Support Vertical Houseplants: Make Your Plants Climb


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The experts said to let them climb. Then the rest of the world said “How?”. Huge climbing plants are all over the internet shaking their gigantic gorgeous leaves on Instagram. Plant nursery owners whisk off brown paper wrapping to reveal the biggest tallest plants the internet has ever seen. Other videos and pictures depict entire rooms covered in vines creating your own personal secret gardens complete with a bed for you to dream in. Today we reveal the secrets of exactly how you can achieve these amazing looks with your own plants and very little effort. There are 5 different ways you can achieve these plants for yourself and we are going to delve into everyone so you can choose which is the best for your dreams.

1. Moss Poles

This is the most commonly used way to get plants to climb. Essentially, there is a moss or coir that roots can grow in as they climb. There are a few different ways they are made. There are poles that can be filled with moss and watered regularly. These can be homemade with plastic fencing or purchased pre-made. You can also purchase just the pole and fill it with moss yourself. Additionally, there are coco-coir-covered poles that can be purchased as one piece and then stacked as the plant grows.

Pros: They create humidity for substantial root growth and plants can grow quickly upwards. Plants mature quickly. Customizable sizing and great for smaller plants starting to climb.

Cons: They need to be watered regularly or they become hydrophobic, plants outgrow them quickly, and the taller they are the less stable they become.

2. Wood poles

One of the best-kept secrets by plant experts. Climbing houseplants are climbing plants in nature and what they are climbing most often is trees. A simple wooden pole or stake can easily substitute for a tree and give very sturdy support for climbing plants at any height. If you look at most of the larger plants on the internet you will find them growing on a wooden pole. There are some pros and cons of course.

Pros: You do not have to chop and prop your plant often to keep the foliage sizing up and maturing. Poles make a very sturdy support for plants in one whole piece and can be customized to size easily without sacrificing that support. Perhaps the biggest pro is that it does not need to be watered regularly.

Cons: The ambient humidity usually needs to be higher than 40% for most tropical plants to fully attach. Another con for some is that a large wooden pole may not look the most aesthetically pleasing until the plant really starts growing and covering it. Can rot over time if sitting in water constantly.

3. Trellis

These are fantastic for plants that need to grip or weave onto something to climb such as a Cissus Discolor as opposed to physically attaching roots to it like a Monstera or Philodendron. They are also great for giving the illusion of climbing plants. You can weave Tradescantia or String Of Hearts onto a trellis and customize the shape or make them look like they are climbing a space when they normally would trail or creep.

Pros: Full customizability in style and location. The trellis can be small and staked in the pot or can encompass an entire wall. Does not need to be watered to keep the plant on it. Also easy to relocate without detaching plants depending on the size. Very aesthetically pleasing. One example would be the heart-shaped trellis for String of Hearts.

Cons: Not sturdy for larger plants usually. Plants cannot usually fully attach to it for support so for larger plants like a Monstera Deliciosa it wouldn’t be very helpful. Also, the plants would have to be regularly manually attached as they grow to continue to train them to grow upwards.

4. Wooden boards

This style has taken plant influencers by storm over the last few years. Boards are very inexpensive, take up more vertical space, and mimic a tree while being aesthetically pleasing. They come in a variety of sizes which can be easily customized to fit in a pot or encompass a wall and plants thrive on them. Cedar boards are best for plants especially if you want to avoid rot when they are regularly getting wet.

Pros: They look amazing with plants growing up them. Plants can attach to them easily and mature quickly. They can be strong support if stabilized correctly by being attached to the pot or wall. Can plant multiple plants on one board. Does not need to be watered to work.

Cons: Needs that 40% or more humidity for full attachment from some plants. The boards can shed if not sanded and on velvet or dark foliage it can look like pests. Can rot over time if inside a pot and sitting in water regularly.

5. Clips in walls

This is how they achieve the amazing look of vines trailing and creeping entire ceilings and walls. There are many kinds of clips that can be used. Some are just stuck to the walls with a tacky substance like a command hook. Others make small holes like a push pin or screw to hold the plants there with a hook. It is an easy and inexpensive way to have a magical indoor plant space. Just place the hooks every few nodes or so like a connect the dots and create whatever pattern or shape you want. This works on bookshelves and windows as well.

Pros: Easy to do and very low maintenance upkeep. You just have to occasionally add another hook to the vines as they grow. Does not need to be watered to keep the plants climbing. Fully customizable and you can have your plant grow anywhere and stay there.

Cons: Can damage walls depending on the hooks used and plants growing. Monstera and Pothos have roots that can cause wall damage as well even if you use command hooks and do not put holes in the wall. Plants sometimes will not fully attach and mature as they grow.

There are many reasons and ways to make your plants climb and with so many varieties of plants available it’s easy to take these five methods for climbing and customize them in your own spaces. You can use one or all of these methods to create the space of your dreams with the plants of your dreams. Your creativity and imagination are your only limits when working with your climbing plants.


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