The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Sphagnum
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 Post subject: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:53 pm 
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I note that dried sphagnum is available from media suppliers, but does anyone have any views about advantages or disadvantages of using live sphagnum straight from the moor?
(apart from conservation matters, that is)


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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:01 pm 
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What are you growing in it?

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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Well, it's a general question but immediate use is these Sophronitis grandiflorum seedlings-

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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:39 pm 
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I just was wondering!

I've not had good luck with sphagnum for anything - it seems to hold too much moisture. I have stopped adding it to my bark for everything. I think fine-rooted plants - maybe larger pleurothallids - might be OK. That said...... live moss would have far better antimicrobial properties than dried.

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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:30 pm 
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The person from whom I bought these seedlings recommended some sphagnum when potting them to retain moisture but did not suggest whether it should be live or dried. I wonder if live moss might introduce some unwanted spores at a time that is critical for the seedlings but even so, live 'feels' better in my imagination.

Of course, it used to be regular along with osmunda fibre and I think it was more likely to be live in that period but my memory is unreliable.


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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:07 pm 
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I use it dried for top dressing with S/H, but that is because my humidity is low, white fungus will grow on it.

Using wild sphagnum moss could also bring various insects and such with it.

Personally, I would provide heat from the bottom, and cover the plants with a little fan to ensure high humidity with good air movement. As they gradually root this cover can be slowly removed.


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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:23 am 
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Good quality New Zealand sphagnum moss doesn’t hold and retain as much water as live sphagnum moss so is better. It is also sterilised prior to sale so no snails or other bugs


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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Also bear in mind that live moss might grow faster than your orchid seedlings, especially if you've got the conditions right. I have good results with dried moss for anything that likes to stay damp. The key seems to be to make sure you don't pack it tightly and be prepared to change it every 12 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Sphagnum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:03 pm 
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Thanks for the comments folks, I am taking all into consideration


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