It is so exciting for plant lovers to see our smaller plants grow but they start to need more than just a plant pot at a certain point.
Climbing plants like hoyas and pothos grow and trail down to the floor but another option is to add indoor plant support like a plant stake, tomato cage, or trellis to guide the plants to grow upward instead.
Sometimes it is actually necessary to add support for indoor plants, especially for aroids whose aerial roots need to grow into something, like how they do in nature. That’s when a growing plant needs plant supports made of natural materials like wood, sphagnum moss, or jute twine, so the aerial roots latch onto it and help the houseplant grow better.
There are a ton of blog posts that advise using a moss pole or coir pole but they may not necessarily vibe with the look you are trying to achieve in your home. This was the case for Ara Flink who wanted a clean and modern look for her plant collection.
So she decided to make her own plant supports and manufactures trellis’ and plant support poles which she sells on her website, Propagation Diaries. We sat down with Ara to learn more about her indoor plant supports and how they are a great alternative to traditional poles and trellis’.
when did you start your plant collection and why did you decide to make your own plant support stakes?
I started collecting plants four years ago when I moved back to the US after living in Costa Rica for med school. I saw a monstera deliciosa and remembered seeing those in Costa Rica so I bought it. Of course, after that first one, I ended up buying a lot more plants!
I recently got into hoyas and I didn’t like how to trellis’ are made of bamboo, wood, or plastic. Then I had a random conversation with a local manufacturer and decided to design my own trellis. Within a week we figured out the design and settled on using acrylic because it is strong, won’t rot, and can be transparent. I really wanted a clean look so that the plants can really shine.
There are over 100 houseplants in my collection and they are all in white pots. All of my climbing plants have the Arka trellis and I love how it doesn’t distract from the plants. Though I’m coming up with a special edition of trellis’ in different colors.
why do plants need plant stakes and what does it do for a vining plant or climbing plant?
Multi-stemmed vine plants like hoyas have vines or tendrils that can easily be wound around a trellis or lattice. They don’t necessarily need to grow into something, they need some kind of support that will aid their growth. I use plant ties like clips to secure and keep them in place on the trellis.
I have seen people use the Arka trellis with vining plants like Cebu blue, Scindapsus, philodendron micans, and peperomia hope. Even though those plants have aerial roots, the vine needs a trellis and some other support to encourage it to grow. It’s a great way to organize all of the vines of an indoor jungle.
what about support poles for aroids, what was your experience with them that pushed you to make your own?
Personally, I am against the idea of moss poles. I understand the concept that certain plants need support and need something for their aerial roots to latch onto. But I did not like making moss poles and I didn’t like how hard it was to keep them moist. (Editor’s note: SAME)
Then I tried bamboo stakes, wrapping jute rope around PVC pipe, and even a wooden stake. Those worked better but I still didn’t like the way it looked.
So, after making the Arka trellis I decided to develop a plant support pole that is easy to assemble and easy to maintain. This time around it took a lot longer to develop the Climb plant support. Once we got the design down I had to test it with my plants. It took around three months to make the right product.
It takes less than a minute to assemble it and what I like the most about the Climb support is that you can use any substrate in it – potting mix, coco coir, or moss. I actually use soil and my plants love it. I love how it is easy to maintain. It is also extendable so you can stack it as the plant grows.
It is made of flexible transparent plastic so it ties in with the clean, modern look of my collection.
what is your top tip for newbie plant lovers?
Try different things whether it is a plant support or substrate to make sure that it works in your environment. It doesn’t mean that just because it worked for someone else that it will work for you. Like a snake plant is supposed to be easy to care for but I have killed so many!
I also realized that I’m underwater so self-watering plants work best for me. It really is trial and error so don’t give up, you will figure out what is best for your house plants.
Also, if you can’t find a product that you need then other people probably need it too. So don’t be afraid to try and make it!
Ara Flink, Propagation Diaries
Propagation Diaries enhance the beauty and quality of your plant collection. Specially designed products and growing mediums will aesthetically and functionally improve your experience of growing plants.
Get in touch: propagationdiaries.com
On Instagram: @propagationdiariess
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