As part of our feature series, Plant Parent Basics, in this article you will learn about the essential plant parent task of training.
What does it mean to “train” a plant?
Training is the support of stems to ensure the best presentation of the plant. It’s a method of grooming that is essential for climbing plants, such as Swiss cheese plants. It can also be useful for plants that have long stems with heavy leaves (rubber tree plant), heavy flower heads (hydrangeas), or brittle stems (hoyas).
How do I know if my plant needs training?
In reality, you can train (i.e. support) any plant you want. It’s really up to you. Many plants can be grown in a braid look, like sansevieria, or onto a wood plaque, like staghorn ferns. The most common house plants that we train in the shop are the Swiss cheese plant (Monstera delicisosa) and hoyas (Hoya sp.). The Swiss cheese plant is a must train, whereas the hoyas can be left to hang and drape without hurting the plant’s growth.
What do I need to train my plant?
To train your plant, you will need a few bamboo canes (you can pick them up at the shop) and something to tie the stems to the bamboo canes. This can be twine, string, or a specific tie product used for training plants
How do I train my plant?
To train a house plant, avoid using a single cane. Instead use a framework of three or four canes. The canes should reach the bottom of the pot. You can also try other products like a trellis or moss pole (see photo gallery above).
Train new growth before it has become long enough to be difficult to bend. Vines need to be trained regularly before the tendrils tie the stem together. Be careful not to tie stems too tightly to the support. Learn more here from our friends at House Plant Journal.