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Would a filter mat background work for plants?
It holds water pretty well so I was wondering.

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What do you mean by filter mat, and what are the conditions and context? Matala, which has been discussed here recently, is specifically hydrophobic and will not hold water well at all. Epiweb, which is meant for plant growth, holds a little bit of water but still not much. Combined with an automated misting system and LFS around plant roots, Epiweb might work.
 

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You could try capillary matting, which is like a felt...I think that would work well given how many plants I have root into that unintentionally on my houseplant trays. (Both creeping stems like Peperomia prostrata and Ficus thunbergii, and wandering roots, like on Phalaenopsis orchids. Oh, and volunteer moss and fern babies like Maidenhair.)
 
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