How to make a sphagnum moss pole

Written by gryphon adams
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How to make a sphagnum moss pole
Sphagnum moss is also used to retain soil in hanging planters. (Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Sphagnum moss serves in many gardening and floristry projects. It provides an effective growing medium for epiphytes, or "air plants," that perch on other plants and draw nutrients from the air and moisture rather than from their host. Bromeliads and some orchids grow well in perches made with sphagnum moss. Indoor creeping fig finds support from a sphagnum moss structure. Set up a pole covered in sphagnum moss for either indoor or outdoor use. Assemble inexpensive materials from home and a hardware store and, in less than an hour, you'll have a sphagnum-covered pole for your own plant habitat.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 4-by-4 or other pole
  • Spaghnum moss
  • Scissors
  • Tarp (optional)
  • Assistant (optional)
  • Rock or box at least 6 inches tall (optional)

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  1. 1

    Select a post, a tree branch or pole in the desired size. Hardware stores provide the option of having posts and poles cut to a specified length. Purchase a bag of sphagnum moss per foot of pole.

  2. 2

    Set a tarp over a table or floor and assemble the tools, post and moss.

  3. 3

    Open one bag and gently pull out the moss. Handle it carefully to keep it from breaking apart. Have an assistant hold the top of the pole at least 6 inches above the tarp, or use a rock or box to support the pole's top.

  4. 4

    Start at the top of the pole and put the entire bunch of moss from the bag on the pole. Raise the pole's top from the tarp and gently pull the moss around to cover the pole all the way around.

  5. 5

    Cut 3 feet of string; the exact length isn't important, though a yard is an easy amount to work with without tangling. Fold the string in half. Put the centre of the string under the top of the pole and crisscross the string around the pole. Cross the two ends of the string over the moss in front, then pass the ends of the string under the pole and cross them in the back.

  6. 6

    Add more moss to cover the pole. Continue crisscrossing the string over the moss to the ends of the string. Tie the string with any kind of knot.

  7. 7

    Leave the bottom portion of the pole bare if you'll be standing the pole in a pot or other base that will cover part of the pole. For example, if you'll use a heavy, 18-inch-tall pot to hold the pole, leave 18 inches at the bottom of the pole bare, as that area will be covered by the pot and won't be used for plant support.

Tips and warnings

  • A misting spray bottle or a hose with a misting attachment works well to water plants supported on a sphagnum moss pole.
  • Create an indoor plant feature by using rocks or gravel to support the sphagnum pole in a heavy pottery container. Cover the rocks with a layer of sphagnum moss.

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