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Unleash the Jungle! Aroid Houseplant Care + DIY Moss Pole Magic

Ready to turn your home into a lush jungle? Indoor aroids are your ticket to a vibrant and thriving space. In this guide, we'll spill the tea on Aroid care and teach you how to create a snazzy moss pole to keep these beauties happy. Its really a lot easier than it sounds, and if you provide your aroid with a proper pole you can expect increasing leaf size, and health provided proper houseplant care!

Aroid Houseplant Care 101:

First let's define what aroids are. An aroid refers to a member of the Araceae family. These plants are characterized by small flowers located on a spadix, a sort of spike-like structure that is surrounded by a large spathe. Common houseplants such as aglaonemas, monsteras, philodendrons, pothos, and ZZ plants belong to the Aroid family. In fact, Araceae are the most common "houseplant" on the market!

1. Light and Location: Aroids, like the popular Monstera and Philodendron, crave that ever elusive bright, indirect light. Avoid harsh direct sunlight that can scorch those beautiful leaves - morning sun is usually fine for most common aroids like pothos, philodendron, and monstera. Place them near a window but with a sheer curtain for that perfect balance! We've talked about grow lights and indoor plant requirements before HERE. So check out that article for a little more information.

2. Watering Wisdom: Forget the one-size-fits-all watering rule! Aroids love their soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry and the pot becomes light. Be a detective, not a scheduler! Scheduling houseplants for water breaks doesn't work. So monitor and adjust accordingly.

3. Humidity Hacks: Aroids hail from tropical climates, so they adore humidity. In fact, several species of anthurium are found in cloud forests (think cool, bright, and humid!) Create a humid microclimate by providing a humidifier. Your aroids will thank you with stunning foliage. Stay away from manually misting the leaves if you can help it, or unless you have some seriously next level airflow going on in the room they are in. Water on leaves = fungus is among us!

4. Feeding Frenzy: Feed your aroids during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Dilute it to half the recommended strength to avoid overfeeding. Go easy – they're not marathon eaters! Try to use high quality water with your fertilizer as well - I use an at home RODI unit or rain water ONLY with my aroids. Tap water will almost always lead to burn. Choose your fertilizer wisely as well. Typically, organic fertilizers are less of a concern with it comes to burning, but if you choose a synthetic - make sure it is one that does not have UREA in it. I prefer using Better-Gro Orchid Plus Fertilizer personally. While specifically developed for orchids, this fertilizer has performed quite well for aroids as well!

DIY Moss Pole Magic: Now, let's talk about the ultimate accessory for your climbing aroids – the DIY moss pole. This simple project will give your plants the support they need while adding a touch of natural elegance to your space. Yes, there are readily available options online made from coco husk, or plastic, but in my experience a DIY proper moss pole is really the way to go. Within 6-12 months expect your aroid to have attached and be well on its way!

Materials You Need:

(All products linked above)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Cut the cloth: Using your wire cutters, cut your hardware cloth at 15 squares in the center of each square, then form it into a "U".

  2. Moss It Up: Wet the sphagnum moss in a bucket until it's fully rehydrated. Squeeze out any excess water and set aside. Using your moist moss, apply it to the center of the "U" we just created. Do not pack it down too hard. You're going for a "full" but not "densely packed" level of moss. The the bottom 6" or so empty of moss - this will be the end that goes into the soil of the pot.

  3. Zip it up!: Using your zip ties starting in the center attach the pole together. Apply zip ties every 6 or so squares. You want it to keep it shape, but it doesn't need to be locked down like fort knox! Once complete, use the scissors or wire cutters to remove excess zip tie. Mold the pole into a cylinder.

  4. Time to Stake: Remember that empty 6" or so? Use your potting medium (aroid mix) and pack it in the bottom of the pole as best you can. Then, set the pole in the center of the pot you plan to mount your aroid on.

  5. Pot up time: Pot up your aroid cutting, or starter plant in the pot with your moss pole, and use the twine to secure the shoots or vine against the moss pole! Don't tie too tightly - you just want the vines to be in contact with the pole. Nature will do the rest!

  6. Maintain and Monitor: Regularly water the moss pole to keep it moist. Misting doesn't really work well, so you'll need to water the pole itself from the top. I usually take mine to the bathtub, use a watering can to completely saturate the pole, then allow it to drain for 30mins to an hour before placing the pot back to its location. Monitor your plant's growth and adjust ties as needed. You'll be amazed as your aroid gracefully scales its mossy kingdom.

Note: This method is best to use on starts, and cuttings. If you already have an established plant, it is not recommended to attempt to "paste" it onto a pole. Aroids naturally climb and attach themselves with roots. Using cuttings, or starts allows the plant to do what it would naturally - find a structure, attach, and climb upward.


Q1: Can I use any type of moss for the pole? A: Sphagnum moss is the best choice for its moisture retention and airy structure. You can find it at most garden centers, or on amazon in the links above.

Q2: How often should I water the moss pole? A: Aim for every ~3 days or when the moss feels slightly dry and a bit "crunchy." Adjust based on your home's humidity levels. Twice a week in the deep south is usually okay. Just monitor and adjust accordingly.

Q3: Can I reuse the moss pole for different plants? A: Absolutely! Just clean and refresh the moss between uses to prevent any potential diseases from spreading.

There you have it – the lowdown on keeping your indoor aroids happy and healthy. With the added bonus of a DIY moss pole, you're not just caring for plants; you're creating a green sanctuary in your home. So, roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and let your indoor jungle thrive! Happy growing!



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