How to Make a Self-Watering Moss Pole

Moss poles are meant to mimic plants’ natural environments and give them a surface to climb and grow on. For example, how epiphytes grow on trees in the wild.


Attaching your plant to a moss pole for support, trains it to grow upwards and encourages the plant to grow larger, more mature leaves.


In order to use a moss pole correctly, it’s important to keep it moist. (but keep in mind, I’m saying this from the dry desert of Nevada) My number one issue has been maintaining the moisture of my poles until…self-watering moss poles.


A self-watering moss pole looks like any other moss pole, but underneath the moss, there is a wicking feature added to the pole. In this case, we are using rope. The rope is inserted into the pipe, and wrapped around the pipe, underneath sphagnum moss. You "water" the pole by filling the pipe with water, which then wicks upwards and around the pole, to the moss. I promise it sounds more complicated than it actually is ;-)


Here is how to make one:

Supply List/Shopping List:

  • Sphagnum Moss

  • Plastic Chicken "Wire"

  • .5" to 1" PVC Pipe (Height of the pipe is up to you but I like using 2' and up. Consider shorter if your plant is in less than a 6" pot, unless you have figured out a way to secure the pole, since it will be at risk for tipping over. It's not exactly....lightweight.)

  • PVC Pipe Cap (Diameter of this should correspond to the diameter of the pipe)

  • Cotton Rope

  • Zip Ties


Steps:

  1. Moisten moss thoroughly and set aside.

  2. Measure enough rope to reach the bottom of the pipe. *This piece will be inserted into the pipe.

  3. From there, tie a knot around the top of the pipe and start wrapping rope along the pipe. Tie a knot at your endpoint to secure the rope. You will be inserting the bottom of the pole into soil. The endpoint of your rope needs to be above the soil.

  4. Measure and cut enough chicken wire to fit around the pipe, with a little extra to account for the moss you’re about to fill it with.

  5. Lay the wire flat and fill with damp moss.

  6. Wrap and secure with zip ties at every 2”.

  7. Cut off excess zip ties and remove any loose moss.

  8. Once your pole is planted and ready for use, fill the inside of the pole with water. The water will wick up and around the rope, and will moisten the moss.







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