This might be of some use: http://www.geocities.com/butchtincher
I never had any luck getting spores in dry Sphagnum to grow. Months went by with nothing, in two difft batches, so who knows. But once I got the live stuff, I found that soon I had more than I knew what to do with! Grows fairly fast.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 01-08-2011 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Nomenclature adjustment
I don't want to be sour grapes, so don't think I'm trying to discourage you, but since no-one else has said it I will. I've never had a significant amount of live Sphagnum sprout from LFS or peat. I've had lots of pots where it could've happened by chance, and I've tried to force it to sprout several times in controlled conditions, and in all cases anything that may have come up was choked out by competing carpet mosses, rushes, ferns or fungus.
On the other hand, with live strands, pretty much you're killing them or you're cultivating them. There's no simply keeping them alive - if they're happy they'll keep getting shaggier, and the time you have before you must trim them is determined solely by how long it takes the moss to smother anything of value you keep nearby.
While I don't have experience successfully sprouting new moss from dried, based on my experiences and those of other growers who have posted here, I think just buying or trading for some moss is a substantially more cost-effective way of getting it into you collection. To get the moss for "free" you're going to have to buy dried stuff, give it space where other plants could presumably be growing, and still won't have a substantial amount of moss to work with for a bare minimum of a year, probably two years or more. To drop $15 on a gallon bag of live Sphagnum and shipping will literally put you two or three years ahead in terms of getting a useable amount into your collection, and in the same time it would take you to just sprout your own, that gallon could grow to five times its original size.
Cherish this opportunity! Rarely in plant collecting will you find a case where an adult specimen is dramatically cheaper than starting your own.
o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~
Agree with Joe!
While you don't need very much to begin with, indeed having a portion growing helps tremendously. I usually take a little and put it into a pot that has some CP growing in it, and IF CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT, it will take off from there. But starting from a bag of dead LFS is a slow process... but it can be done.
Depends on how patient you are.
In my experience Sphagnum likes cool temps!
Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.
Once you get some live moss i heard that coffee speeds up growth. Read the thread about giving Nepenthes coffee.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 01-08-2011 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Nomenclature adjustment
seedjar & GrowinOld - very insightful comments from both of you, thanks! To be honest, I wasn't aware that they sold gallon-bags of live sphagnum until you prompted me to look. Ebay seems to be a good marketplace for live sphag (free shipping from many vendors, too!) Until now I had only come across small pots of it at certain online nurseries and wasn't interested in paying their hefty shipping charges on a small order of moss. I may be tempted to go the Ebay route.
However, you must admit there's something tremendously rewarding about sprouting something from nothing. I'm reminded of the momentary astonishment that one must have felt in the 1700s to see maggots seemingly born out a piece of meat left to sit out for a few days... that is, of course, until one realized that a perfectly tasty piece of meat was spoiled!!
@swords - I am hedging my bets and will be trying your method on a smaller scale in an empty chinese food container - it's a nice 6" x 8" plastic tray with a transparent lid about 2" deep. I'll get some gloves and a t-shirt over my mouth and get started tonight.
Sphagnum sprouts best if you keep the dried LFS or peat very moist but not soggy and sitting in water. Waterlogged dried LFS/peat just promotes anoxic conditions in the organic matter which turns it all to muck!
Grab a good sized handful of dried LFS wet it well and let the excess water drip out of it. Toss it in a ziplock bag and seal it up... put the bag under a couple fluorescent tubes for a few months. Check it every month or so to make sure it has not dried out too much. There should still be water vapor condensing on the inside of the bag but there shouldn't be any visible water sitting at the bottom of the bag. If there is no visible water condensing on the inside of the baggie then it is probably time for a little spritz of water. Be patient, it can take several months before you see anything.
Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?