I recently noticed that my monstera was beginning to tilt towards my window to catch the light in an extremely precarious way that made me worry that it might fall over, so I decided it was about time that I attached it to an upright stake. Once I got started making stakes for my houseplants, I decided to make two more for my climbing plants to facilitate upward growth instead of letting them hang or crawl, since I had already purchased the materials needed, and I liked the height they added to my plants.
Why not just buy moss poles?
As I previously mentioned on this blog, there are serious sustainability concerns with using sphagnum moss. It grows slowly in a small geographic area and is harvested en masse for use by indoor plant enthusiasts and orchid growers. Coco coir, on the other hand, is a coconut byproduct which makes up the outer shell of a coconut. It is removed from the coconut, so that the plant and the coir can both be used. This is much more sustainable than the harvesting of sphagnum moss. I also don’t like the way that sphagnum moss sheds. It gets everywhere the moment you touch it or the moment a breeze brushes past.
Thus, when I considered the sustainability issues potential for mess, I decided against using sphagnum moss, and opted to use coco choir instead. Luckily, coco coir comes in twine form. You can probably find it online by searching coco coir twine. I personally used Pillär Cocotwine, because it has good tensile strength for holding up plants.
Making the coir poles
Making the coir poles required three materials:
- A stake
- Coir twine
- A rubber band (optional)
The stake can be metal, bamboo or wood. It’s not a huge deal what kind of stake you use, but do keep in mind that metal poles will not decompose in wet soil, while wood most certainly will over time. Bamboo is somewhat more resistant to decomposing, but it’;; definitely still decompose over the span of a few years. The coco twine you choose should be strong, and it should have a rough surface for plant roots to hold onto if you plan to use them on plants with aerial roots (as I’m assuming you will be).
The rubber band is entirely optional, and will not be present in the final product. However, it is great for keeping the twine in place on the pole while you’re still winding the twine around. Once you have all of these items ready, we can start making a coir pole!
Step 1: Secure the end of the twine in place
The end of the twine should be secured to the end of the stake. In this photo, I’m using a bamboo stake, and I’ve secured the end with a rubber band. The rubber band will be removed at the end of the process. It is important that you do not cut the twine off of the spool it is in during this step.
Step 2: Wind the twine around the stake tightly
Try not to leave any spaces on the stake bare. This will help plants to cling onto the pole more readily. This is especially the case if you plan on using a bamboo stake or a metal stake, since they are particularly hard for plants to cling onto. When you’re close to the end of the stake, cut the twine away from the spool that it is attached to.
Step 3: Tying down both ends of the twine
When you are close to the end of the stake, tie the twine down by sliding the end of the twine under the second last loop. I’m holding the second last loop the photo that I’ve attached here for reference. After you’ve done this, tug on the end of the twine hard enough to tighten the loops so that the twine is securely fastened to the stake. When you’ve done this, you can go back and repeat this step with the end by removing the rubber band and sliding the end of the twine into the second last loop. If you have excess twine on the ends and do not like the look of it, feel free to cut it back to about just a centimetre of excess.
Now you have a beautiful coir pole for your plants!
After putting mine into the soil, I decided to tie the plants onto it with some more coir twine. Let me know what you guys think about the idea! I’ve decided to share it here because I think people might find this content helpful, interesting or inspiring. On a side note, I’ve been away recently because of exams and the like. This is my final semester of undergraduate coursework, and I only have one exam left. That means that if all goes according to plan, I should be able to graduate next month. Obviously, in my absence, there have been some updates with my plant collection like my new grow lights, new plants I bought recently, and my foray into plant sales, which I’ll write about in a separate post, so stay tuned for that!