The Unexpected, Affordable Bathroom Item That Can Help Your Houseplants Thrive

published Aug 12, 2022
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Taking care of plants isn’t always as easy as some people make it out to be. For those who aren’t blessed with a green thumb, it can feel as if you’re constantly conducting a science experiment with the living things in the corners of your home: a little more light here, a little more water there, maybe some friendly words or inspiring pep talks, and you might have a successful plant to show off someday. 

When you do figure out what works — and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t — those solutions can feel like a roadmap you have to follow in order to keep your streak alive. So, consider this tip spotted on Reddit as an idea that will get you on a roll (sorry, I had to). It’s all about using an everyday bathroom accessory as a way to keep a plant growing tall.

“I buried a Dollar Store toilet paper roll holder in my Monstera when I potted it, to tie the stems to and hold a moss pole in the future,” says user u/whatisthisohno111 in the 1.3-million member “Houseplants” subreddit.  “It made it very easy to re-pot recently, [I] just lifted it out.”

This clever trick pulls double duty in its effectiveness. For starters, it acts as a guidepost for the stems, helping your plant stay upright (making it look healthier and fuller). And secondly, if your plant outgrows its pot (way to go, you), the holder makes it much easier to remove it without much damage to the roots. Instead of tipping your plant over and prying it out of its pot, you’ll be able to lift the whole thing up using the holder, then transplant it straight into a larger pot.

Try it, yes, with monsteras — but use the trick for the normally trailing pothos, too. When you let those easy-grow plants climb, their leaves grow larger as they get higher; they can even get monstera-style fenestration. For any type of plant you choose, you’ll likely need to use twist-ties to help attach stems to your pole. If you really want to make your budget-friendly pole blend in, try giving it a DIY moss makeover to help it match your plant’s foliage and give aerial roots something to grip. (Or, take a note from the enterprising Redditor themself and attach a pre-made moss pole.)

The Reddit user who coined this hack found their toilet paper tower at a dollar store, but you can also find them at thrift shops, resale shops like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, and big box home improvement and home decor stores. You can also, of course, source them online, though most ring in at about $15 to $20; you’re more likely to score a deal in person, especially if you’re shopping discount or secondhand sources. With all the money you saved, you’ll have enough to buy another plant (or five — I won’t tell).