African violets, barrel cacti, and waffle plants rarely need extra support to grow properly. But if you keep tall or top-heavy plants in your home, you know the struggle of keeping plants growing upright. And if you’re not careful with vining plants, they can quickly become a tangled mess of leaves and stems!
Many indoor plants need extra support for various reasons, and plant support systems can also be used to correct houseplants with crooked or bent stalks.
In the list below, you’ll find some conventional and non-conventional ways to support indoor plants and keep them growing straight and tall. There are even a few budget-friendly plant support options that will appeal to crafty DIYers as well!
- 8 best plant supports and trellis options for houseplants
- 1. Coco coir poles
- 2. Moss poles
- 3. Bamboo poles and wooden stakes
- 4. Wire hangers
- 5. Wall clips
- 6. Plant stakes
- 7. Mini trellises
- 8. Mini obelisks
- Frequently asked questions
- How do you stabilize a tall house plant?
- Why is my house plant falling over?
- Which houseplants need a trellis?
- How do you make plants climb walls?
- What is the best plant to grow up a wall?
- What is the best support for Monstera?
8 best plant supports and trellis options for houseplants
Not all houseplants need extra support, but if you have a vining plant or a tall plant that tends to lean towards one side, trellising systems may be in order.
Pruning and growing plants in hanging baskets can also help to keep tall or climbing plants looking tidy. But plant trellis systems have a certain elegance, and they are often the best choices for adding grace and extra dimension to houseplant collections.
1. Coco coir poles
Coco coir poles are one of the most popular choices for supporting plants for a good reason. Not only are these pole systems super easy to use, but they’re commonly sold online, so you shouldn’t have any trouble tracking them down.
Made with a wooden dowel rod and coconut coir fiber, coco coir poles have a natural look, and they will blend right into any houseplant collection.
Most coco coir poles are about 1 to 2’ tall, but you can find poles in different lengths to suit different types of houseplants.
Ideal for climbing plants with aerial roots, like monsteras and pothos, coco coir poles help to support plants as they mature, but their natural coconut fibers also lock in moisture levels, which can reduce the amount of water your plants will need.
The wooden dowels in coco coir poles may eventually break down over time, but you can usually use these poles for at least a year or two before they need to be replaced.
While coco coir poles are readily available for sale at many gardening centers, these poles are also easy to make with a bit of coconut fiber and some garden twine or clear fishing wire.
2. Moss poles
Moss poles and coco coir poles are often confused with each other, but moss poles are made with preserved sphagnum moss, while coco coir poles are made from coconut fiber.
Both moss poles and coco coir poles are suitable for tall plants, but they’re particularly useful for climbers like monsteras.
Compared to coco coir poles, moss poles are more resistant to rot, but the preserved moss may need to be replaced every year or two to keep moss poles looking fresh and functioning well.
Like coco coir poles, moss poles are useful for providing extra moisture to aerial plant roots, which can help keep plants from drying out indoors.
These poles tend to hold water even better than coco coir poles, but moss poles can be harder to find at plant nurseries. However, if you love the look and feel of moss poles, you can usually find them for sale online, although you may need to purchase the sphagnum moss separately.
Like coco coir poles, moss poles can also be DIYed at home. Simply make a narrow cylinder out of mesh or hardware cloth, fill the cylinder of wire with preserved moss, and then use plant clips to anchor your plant stems to the support until your plant sprouts enough roots, stems, and vines to hold itself up.
3. Bamboo poles and wooden stakes
Moss poles and coco coir poles are useful if you want to support plants and provide them with extra water. But if you simply want to keep tall plants upright and prevent leaning plants from toppling over, bamboo poles and wooden stakes are another good choice.
These support systems are less expensive than moss poles, and you may even be able to get them for free by harvesting sturdy wooden sticks from the trees in your garden!
Bamboo poles and wooden stakes can be used to support a variety of plants, but they are particularly helpful for correcting plants with crooked or leaning stems.
Just loosely attach your plant’s stem to the pole with plant clips and then slowly, over the course of several weeks, tighten the clip to encourage leaning plants to grow more straight. Be sure to tie plants to support poles gently and adjust ties from to time to avoid damaged stems and to prevent stems from growing into the plant ties.
If you want to go the DIY route and use salvaged sticks from your yard to hold up your plants, select clean and disease-free twigs and sticks and embed them into your houseplant soil deep enough to keep them upright.
Sticks should be placed about 2 to 3” away from your plant stems, and poles should be at least 6” taller than your plant to ensure they’re long enough to bury in soil. If you want to support small plants in your collection, you can swap out long bamboo poles and use bamboo skewers, chopsticks, or popsicle sticks instead!
Most commonly, a single bamboo pole or wooden support is used on its own to hold up a plant’s stem. But the beauty of working with bamboo and wooden poles is that you can also shape these objects into other fun shapes, like triangular tents or ladders, and lash them together with a bit of garden twine or wire.
4. Wire hangers
Making DIY wooden plant support poles is a great way to save money and use the items you already have lying around your home. But you can also make a simple plant support system with old wire clothing hangers.
Best of all, this approach allows you to make a fully customizable plant support or trellis that can be worked into almost any shape you can imagine!
Wooden plant supports are useful, but they come in basically one shape: a straight pole. But upcycled wire hangers can be wound into spirals or geometric shapes to give your houseplant collection even more pizzazz.
One fun option is to shape a wire hanger into a half circle and then embed both ends of the circle in either side of your plant pot to create an infinity loop trellis.
Infinity loop trellises look stunning with a variety of different climbing plants, including philodendrons, pothos, and hoya. However, you can also use smaller sections of a wire hanger to support short houseplants with crooked stems.
Just remember that cut wire can be very sharp, so you may want to wear thick gloves when you’re shaping your wire plant supports.
5. Wall clips
Most indoor gardeners use plant supports to make their climbing plants look more well-kept and civilized. But if you love the look of wild plants and you dream of growing your own indoor jungle, you can encourage climbing houseplants to grow vertically with wall clips and fishing wire.
Wall clips can be fastened to both ceilings and walls, and more clips can be added to support vining plants as they spread.
Using wall clips may not be for everyone, but it can make a big impact in your home, and plants will benefit from this setup as it provides stem support but also allows air to circulate around plant stems and leaves.
Different plants can be trained with wall clips, but pothos and trailing philodendrons are obvious choices to use with this support system.
Home gardeners can find a variety of wall clips to support houseplants, including clips that screw into walls, but there are also renter-friendly wall clips that stick to walls with adhesive pads.
6. Plant stakes
Moss and bamboo poles are types of plant stakes, but there are lots of other creative plant stake options available on the market today.
Simple, spiral-shaped plant stakes are the perfect way to hold up the slender stems on amaryllis plants, while long, plastic stakes can be used to support plants with heavier stems, like fig trees and rubber plants.
Some plant stakes have multiple branches, which make them look like mini trees, and they’re the ideal option for plants with multiple stems, like monsteras and certain types of philodendrons.
If you keep moth orchids and other orchid species, you may want to invest in thin, bendable supports, which are just the right size for securing delicate orchid flower spikes. Or you may want to experiment with plant stakes with horizontal plant support bars, which can hold up plants with draping stems, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti.
Green stakes tend to blend in best with plant leaves, and they’re harder to see in houseplant collections, but if you don’t mind the look of plant supports, you can also find colorful or metallic plant stakes that accentuate plant leaf colors.
7. Mini trellises
Plant stakes and support poles are mostly used for plants with a single stem. But if you have climbing plants that you’d like to grow vertically, you may have better luck with mini trellises, which come in lots of creative shapes.
Mini trellises can be made of wood, metal, or plastic, and trellises with gold or silver tones are certain to draw the eye and add a touch of elegance to your plant pots as well.
These complex trellis systems have lots of holes and hooks for holding up sections of vining plant stems, but they can also be used to support large plant flowers, such as hibiscus blooms and amaryllis flowers.
8. Mini obelisks
Obelisk-type plant support systems are often used in outdoor gardens to hold up climbing plants like beans and clematis. But indoor gardeners can also find miniature obelisks that are small enough to work with potted plants.
Ultra-sturdy yet stylish mini obelisks are exceptional picks for climbing plants like pothos; however, poles and stakes are better choices for large and top-heavy plants like rubber trees.
Obelisks come in both classic and modern shapes, and you can find obelisks in many different colors to suit different home decor.
Compared to other trellising options, mini obelisks tend to be a bit pricier, but they are built to last, and they can be used for many years to come. For a more budget-friendly solution, you can also make DIY obelisks by tying three or more bamboo poles together and training vining plants to climb up them with clips or twine.
Frequently asked questions
How do you stabilize a tall house plant?
Tall and top-heavy houseplants are typically supported with bamboo poles or wooden stakes, but you can also use upcycled tomato cages to hold up certain varieties of indoor plants. However, if your plant is still unwieldy after you’ve added extra plant supports, you may want to consider pruning back some of your plant’s stems and repotting your plant into a heavier growing container.
Why is my house plant falling over?
Some houseplants naturally droop as they mature, but plants can start to lean and fall over for other reasons. Inadequate lighting can cause some plants to stretch and become leggy. When this occurs, plants produce elongated stems that are less able to hold up the plant’s leaves, and they start to droop as a result.
Which houseplants need a trellis?
Monstera and certain types of philodendrons often need trellising or plant supports as they get larger. Vining plants can also benefit from trellises, but they can be displayed in hanging baskets or allowed to trail over houseplant shelves as well. Plants like hoya, pothos, and arrowhead vines are commonly grown with trellises, as are English ivy, grape ivy, Swedish ivy, and other ivy-type plants.
How do you make plants climb walls?
Some climbing plants, like English ivy, shouldn’t be encouraged to grow up walls as their roots can damage plaster. But pothos and many other climbers can be trained to grow up walls with plant clips, hooks, or loops of clear fishing line. To train plants, just loosely attach vines to the wall with a series of plant clips and add more clips as your plant vines grow!
What is the best plant to grow up a wall?
The most popular houseplant that’s grown on walls and ceilings is pothos, but other plants can be trained to climb up walls, too. Vining-type philodendrons, like velvet leaf philodendrons and heart leaf philodendrons, can sprawl across walls and ceilings. Certain types of ivies can also climb up walls, but some of these plants can damage plaster, so be sure to do your research before growing ivy plants indoors.
What is the best support for Monstera?
Monstera plants often get “floppy” as they grow, but they can be kept more upright with various plant support systems. Moss poles and coconut coir poles are popular choices for holding monstera plants up, as these supports also provide plant roots with extra moisture. For a budget-friendly option, old tomato cages can also be used indoors to support monstera, although these supports may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other plant support options.
If your vining houseplants are unruly or your indoor plants display sagging or broken stems, it may be time to add extra plant support.
Plant supports and trellises can protect plants from breaks and damage, but they can also be used to display plant leaves and flowers to their fullest, and they add extra vertical interest to houseplant shelves as well. Plus, plant supports improve airflow around plant leaves, which can help reduce the incidence of plant diseases and make pests easier to spot too.
Once you’ve selected the best support for your plants, all that’s left to do is to install the supports. Most climbing plants will naturally attach themselves to trellises and poles over time, although they may need to be anchored in place with clips at first.
Tall plants with bending stems will need a bit more help to attach to plant poles, but once your plant supports are secure, you won’t need to do much to maintain them beyond adding more clips as your plants grow and grow!
Plant supports are just one step to take if you want to improve the look and growth of indoor plants. But for more houseplant care tips, be sure to peruse our guides on houseplant humidifiers and pebble trays!