This Bathroom Staple May Just Be The Key To Keeping Your Houseplants Alive

In recent years, owning and taking care of houseplants has become a popular way to freshen up a space while also enjoying a new hobby. As the pandemic ushered us all back indoors, younger generations began increasingly looking for ways to bring the outside in, and demand surged by almost 18% for houseplants in 2020 (via Garden Pals). While many trends that caught on during lockdown have already faded — whipped coffee, anyone? — this new wave of so-called "plant parents" has kept up the habit, developing their green thumbs as they tackle harder-to-maintain houseplant varieties that require some extra TLC.

If you've moved on from low-maintenance cacti to plant varieties like the trendy Monstera deliciosa or pothos, you may find yourself confronting a new world of plant care. Repotting, stabilization, and fenestration are all necessary aspects of care that your plant will require as it grows, but luckily, a clever Reddit user found a simple hack to streamline this process and protect their plant from any damage. Keep reading to learn what simple bathroom object can help your plant babies stay healthy and supported.

The hack

Repotting plants after they grow a bit larger is important to maintain their roots' health, but the process can be messy and damaging if not done correctly. Luckily, user u/whatisthisohno111 shared a solution with the 1.4 million member subreddit r/houseplants — a toilet paper holder. "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," they say. "It made it very easy to repot recently, just lifted it out by the support."

This simple solution has garnered an impressive 99% upvotes and a wealth of positive comments supporting the idea. Burying a toilet paper holder allows you to easily lift the plant out of the pot without disturbing the roots. It also gives it something to cling to as it grows larger, resulting in a healthier, fuller look because the leaves aren't drooping from weight as they increase in size.

How to do it

Tracking down a toilet paper holder should be relatively easy. This user on Reddit found theirs at a dollar store, but resale shops and big-box stores like Walmart or Target will likely have a few on hand as well. They're inexpensive — after all, it's just a piece of metal — but their base provides a helpful update on a traditional trellis or support beam. 

Once you find one, remove the plant from the pot and bury the base of the toilet paper holder under the roots. From there, you can use twist ties to attach any drooping leaves to the vertical support. Monsteras and pothos are vining plants, meaning that they typically wrap around trees in their natural habitat as they grow larger. Adding support can help facilitate this, and eventually, they'll begin to wrap around on their own (via Bloom Sprouts). When it comes time to repot, use the toilet paper holder like a handle, and viola, a damage and mess-free transfer that only costs a dollar or two.