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Houseplant Support

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Houseplant Support

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Overview

Houseplants add greenery to interiors, remove pollutants from the atmosphere, and inject oxygen into stale air. All they want in return is well-drained soil, a little fertilizer and, for those with heavy growth, a little support. Vines can be trained to grow up a trellis, while large plants benefit from the support of a moss pole.

Stakes

The best time to add a stake is when you are transplanting, but even top-heavy, single-stemmed houseplants like rubber trees can benefit. Use a wood or bamboo stake and put it close to the main stem. If that will damage the roots, put the stake at the edge of the pot and connect it to the stem with a side piece. Avoid damage to the stem by using stretchy pantyhose or plant tape for ties. Check the ties occasionally to make sure they aren't growing into the houseplant.

Trellis

Multi-stemmed plants like philodendrons need multi-stemmed supports like a wooden trellis. The trellis shouldn't be too large for the container or it will overbalance and tip. Better to start with a small one and build up. Instead of tying the stems to a stake, you can wind them around the trellis and let them curl upward.

Topiary

Indoor vines like ivies can be trained to grow into novel shapes on a topiary form. The most common is a wire circle which is sunk into the middle of the pot. Plant several houseplants like golden pothos around the form. Wind their stems around the wire for support and hold in place with plant tape. Tie up new growth when you water.

Mutual Support

Plants in a garden support each other, but houseplants aren't normally given that opportunity. Put a dracaena in the center of a basket or container and surround it with flowering plants like begonias. The centerpiece will provide support for the smaller plants to grow on, and the whole container will fill with foliage.Such full pots require watching since they will use more water and need regular feeding.

Moss Poles

Some plants with aerial roots need moist supports. A wire column filled with sphagnum moss can provide both support and keep roots on Swiss cheese plants hydrated. Tape the stems to the wire and water the moss as well as the soil to keep the plant moist.

Keywords: supports for houseplants, staking houseplants, indoor gardening

About this Author

TS Owen spent her career in journalism, winning the national Koop science writer award and penning articles in "Newsweek" and the "San Francisco Chronicle." She also served as an editor for a variety of publications in the San Francisco Bay Area and Banff, Alberta. Owen has a master's degree in English education.