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Thread: Tryin' to grow me some Sphagnum

  1. #33
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Whenever I've used dried LFS from New Zealand, Chile, or local U.S. stuff. When I've planted CP or some orchids, in it, it usually just sprouts from dormant spores and starts growing live Sphagnum on its surface. I have discovered that I can speed up this process in several ways, my favorite way is to put an inch of shredded redwood bark in a plastic tray, then spread another one inch layer of the dried LFS on top of the redwood bark. Finally I fill the tray half full of purified water, keep the tray in CP conditions, add water as necessary to keep the bark and moss floating. Quickly the LFS sprouts and grows forming a layer of live Sphagnum that quickly grows to fill the trays. It can then be harvested and used wherever desired.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

  2. #34
    TENroaches's Avatar
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    I came to say that I had success using this method, but I see he already spoke up in here. I used that Better-Gro brand of orchid moss you have, and all I got is red sphagnum (). I just started two bigger batches the other day, seeing what I can get out of them. If they take off, I'll try the buttermilk or beer method of growing more moss.
    Tim

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    bogspot - my blog about my plants

  3. #35
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    TENroaches, thanks for chiming in! Yeah, that's the method I used. I got the orchid moss, ground it up, and made a thin layer of it in an empty Chinese take-out container with a clear lid (PERFECT for this kind of stuff!). I had it on a window sill for about 3 months and I did start to see some fuzzy green growth that led me to believe I was seeing moss growth vs. a shiny green layer which would have been more characteristic of algae.

    Unfortunately, last weekend, my STUPID CAT tumped the thing over and upset all the moss, burying any of the new growth that had come up. So I took the moss from that container and put it on the top layer of my current "micro bog:"

    Bottom - pure peat
    Middle - Chilean LFS
    Top - hand-ground Orchid Moss that had begun to sprout before feline intervention

    Once I get my shipment of live moss I will break some up on top of those three layers. Very confident that this will work!!

    Joseph - your method sounds interesting. So all the bark floats and keeps the moss above the water line but still saturated, right? My method is somewhat similar in that I've filled my three plastic containers with water so that the bottom layer of pure peat is underwater and the waterline extends about halfway up through the middle layer of LFS. The top layer stays wet but isn't underwater.
    Last edited by TheFury; 01-09-2011 at 09:59 AM.

  4. #36
    Smile, it makes people nervous :) MH1's Avatar
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    I'm a bit confused, why don't you just buy live, cut long fibred sphagnum from a garden centre? Here in the UK you can just get a 500gram bag of it, cut it up, throw it on some peat, and have it sprouting in under a week :s sometimes there are even spore pods on the moss :s Do they only have the dried stuff in the US shops? It could be because they have to ship stuff further, but I have open bags that are nearly a year old that are still fine to use! Tbh, it's a bit stupid, because it is practically impossible to get peat, but v. easy to get moss here!

  5. #37
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Well, as I mentioned in my last few posts, I do have some live sphagnum on the way but its shipping was delayed by several weeks due to the snowstorm. I wanted to try growing something out of nothing first, primarily for the fun of it, but also so that I didn't have to shell out $20 for a bag of the live stuff. But, the thrill is gone; I got impatient and sprung for a live sphag bag

    ---------- Post added at 01:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:02 PM ----------

    Also, that is strange that the live stuff is so readily available in the UK. Since the climate over there is more widely hospitable to mosses, perhaps it's more economical to distribute the stuff. Perhaps I'm in a bad place to find live moss to start with (NYC), but most online vendors I've seen ship their stuff from the South.

    But, if anyone around NYC has heard of a garden supply shop that sells live sphagnum, speak up!!

  6. #38
    Smile, it makes people nervous :) MH1's Avatar
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    Mmmmm... Hospitable to mosses is one word for it ! Some parts of Scotland and England have 10-11 feet of rain a year! I remember hearing that 1/4 of the UK is moorland, so it could be that... OR maybe we just tissue culture moss

    (as an aside, some parts of the UK aren't really that rainy, London has half the rain of New York. But we just have bad weather in general)

  7. #39
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MH1 View Post
    London has half the rain of New York. But we just have bad weather in general
    And I miss that bad weather! I was born in London and spent most of my life there. What a great place! I wish I had gotten into CPs when I was there - it seems like a great place to buy & grow them!

  8. #40
    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFury View Post
    Also, that is strange that the live stuff is so readily available in the UK. Since the climate over there is more widely hospitable to mosses, perhaps it's more economical to distribute the stuff.
    I live in northern Scotland and the weather does not get much more hospitable in the UK than here, unless you go to the Scottish Islands. There is a bog a couple of miles down the road from me and last time I drove past it was covered in 2' of snow. This bog grows some of beautiful small head red moss. Much of the bagged Sphagnum moss sold within the UK is taken from Scotland. I believe that a lot of Sphagnum moss in North America comes from Canada, again this is a colder and wetter climate. Conclusion, moss likes a 'hospitable' environment

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