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Thread: Mosses other than sphagnum

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    back2eight's Avatar
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    Okay, everyone here knows that green moss or other mosses that are not sphagnum will kill a CP. But what does it actually do to it? What is it about the moss that kills it?

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    Most mosses release toxic chemicals to kill and discourage the growth of plants other than themselves.

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Actually I have never found mosses to be all that lethal to CPs and I have a bunch of different kinds popping up in pots. D'Amato says that green sheet moss is lethal but I used to use that way way back in the day thinking it was sphag and I never had a problem with it.

    About the only problem I have with moss is when it gets into my terrestrial Utric pots and the only problem with it there is that it can grow faster then some of the terrestrials and they will sometimes be overwhelmed by it. And even that is a rare occurance
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    back2eight's Avatar
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    elandolf, if it kills all plants, then why would it be sold in garden centers and recommended for use with plants? I thought maybe there was something about it that was harmful to CPs, but it is widely used in other plants. Its just one of those curious questions. It something that we all avoid because we have been told it kills these plants, so we avoid it without questioning it, really, or finding out exactly what it is about it that is harmful.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that some mosses have too high a mineral or nutrient content for the 'safe zone' of most CPs. Like Pyro, I've used sheet moss in mixes for Neps and not had any problems, but Neps are nutrient-tolerant and I didn't have much moss in the mix. I have seen sheet moss kill a D. capensis, though. But then, there are other mosses that are completely innocuous, like sphagnum. I think java moss is another, and I suspect that the tall, stringy moss growing on almost everyone's Nep pots is too.
    There are lots of mosses and many seem to aggressively push other species out of their colonies. There are some that are toxic like elandolf said, and probably others that just release too many nutrients into the soil while decomposing, so you can't trust just any moss for CPs. They're available at nurseries because colonies don't produce enough toxin to kill big plants, most plants are more nutrient tolerant than CPs, and oftentimes they're used in rock gardens where few other plants will be growing anyways.
    The idea is that you don't pot your plants in a media consisting of toxic moss - a little moss on the surface isn't enough to do anything but choke low-growers. I think that the stigma of 'no moss but sphagnum' comes more from sphagnum being the only generally available moss that's safe for the most sensitive CPs. And spahgnum is ecologically associated with many CPs, so it's a logical choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (back2eight @ Mar. 29 2006,3:10)]elandolf, if it kills all plants, then why would it be sold in garden centers and recommended for use with plants? I thought maybe there was something about it that was harmful to CPs, but it is widely used in other plants. Its just one of those curious questions. It something that we all avoid because we have been told it kills these plants, so we avoid it without questioning it, really, or finding out exactly what it is about it that is harmful.
    Seedjar summed it up for me He forgot one point however. Moss looks nice and that makes people want to buy it / companies want to sell it. Some mosses are good for certain plants because they air out the roots better than some soils too. I do think a more in depth study of the effect of certain mosses on CP's should be done though, plus it would be really cool

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]About the only problem I have with moss is when it gets into my terrestrial Utric pots and the only problem with it there is that it can grow faster then some of the terrestrials and they will sometimes be overwhelmed by it.
    That's about the only problem I've had with non-sphagnum mosses--and they can also smother some pygmy dews.
    But if the plants are large enough to rise above the carpet (e.g., neps), I haven't noticed many problems.
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    Okay, thanks for answering the question! I have actually had sphagnum moss outgrow some smaller sundews, too. There was someone asking me this question and I didn't have a good answer other than don't do it, so he got me curious about it. Now I have a better answer to tell him!

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