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Thread: How to green up the moss

  1. #9
    Kyle's Avatar
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    mass's and seedjar's comments seem to add up! And I'm growing my sphagnum (which came from mass) in a tank very similar to mass's and it's growing great. Water table JUST at the level the sphagnum starts.

  2. #10
    mass's Avatar
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    The water level seems to work well with the moss. It stays moist and hasn't needed refilling at all in the past year.

  3. #11
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    I just soaked everything good again and flushed all the pots and upped the humidity setting to 90% so now it'll kick on at 85% and run til 95%. I suppose like anything the moss also has to adjust, it was in a closed terrarium and now it's in here with a constant slight breeze and a real good breeze at night so it probably dries it out much faster than I'm used to. I'll just have to keep on it for a while I guess.

    My "sprayer" is a one gallon pump up pesticide type sprayer (never had anything but R/O in it though) it delivers a lot more water than one of those little plant misters.

  4. #12
    mass's Avatar
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    that's another thing.. no fans in my tanks.

  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mass View Post
    I don't think that misting is enough. Aren't sphagnum bogs usually wet underneath? I know my LFS is growing great with no misting, in a covered tank, and with a layer of standing water. Growing media for the LFS itself helps. Live LFS or peat works for me. Along with lots of soft light.. Bright T12 light seems best. It's not too hot, but still bright.




    That's freakin tall and beutiful moss mass.

  6. #14
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    There are maybe around 300 known species of Sphagnum moss with many variations on the environmental niche they're adapted to. Some prefer colder conditions, some prefer warmer. Some prefer lower light levels. Almost all will grow from almost flooded conditions. Most will grow in much drier conditions. Quaking bogs are mats of Sphagnum moss growing on the surface of water. Other bogs are sandy peat moss underneath the living and not yet decomposed layers.

    As Joe says it takes time for the moss to adapt to changes of light or water levels. It can be grown as semi-aquatic or much drier. It takes weeks sometimes months for it to adapt. And it's possible that under higher light conditions the species will just get lighter in color. I've seen Chilean stuff go from green to blond to red to crimson depending on the light levels.

    Some of my Sarracenia pots have toppings of live Sphagnum. I normally top water the moss daily in the morning. On hot, dry days I top water it in the morning and the late afternoon/early evening. The water in the tray never gets to less than 4-5 inches to the surface of the peat moss. The moss grows compact - short, fat and fluffy. When grown indoors or as a semi-aquatic it grows stringy - long and narrow.

    Average annual RH - min 50 - max 85. On the rare hot dry days RH drops to 20% or lower.

    When I move my Sphagnum moss from lower light-wetter conditions to higher light drier conditions (i.e. from tub to planter topping) it often bleaches out until it can adapt.

    Bottom line is you can grow Sphagnum very wet or a lot drier. It just takes time - months sometimes - to go from wet to drier conditions.

    Here's some Hawaiian Sphagnum moss - left gown under lights, right outdoors (3-4 hours direct sunlight). Both containers started with roughly the same amount of moss. None has been harvested. All of these get top watered at least once daily. I'll flood the container grown moss maybe twice a month and not water again until the level drops to the layer of peat moss on the bottom.

    indoors

    outdoors

    This is the first batch of live Sphagnum moss I acquired from one of the nurseries in CA. I grow it under the same lights as the Hawaiian Sphagnum and use it as a propagation tray for cuttings.

    Same species used as a topping for seed grown Darlingtonia californica. Top watered only, the pot will sit in water maybe 10-15 days out of the year when we have our infamous "Santa Ana" weather conditions. (Read also Raymond Chandler's short story "Red Wind")

    same species grown outdoors in a cup.


    Humidity and light levels - below are three samples of Chilean Sphagnum moss the germinated from the same batch of long fiber sphagnum. All grown indoors.

    Covered (100% humidity), low light levels.

    on the right - uncovered same light levels. Left - uncovered, higher light levels. In case you have sharp eyes and are wondering those are Drosera meristocaulis seedlings in the left hand pot.



    See also this thread: "can sphagnum have too much water?" (sic)
    Last edited by Not a Number; 04-22-2011 at 01:06 AM.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  7. #15
    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks for the descriptions and photos NAN!

  8. #16
    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    I think they need side protection to help get water to the growing point. Overall they seem limited in height by having some sort of support from the sides that conducts water.

    Keep in mind that this is S. palustris and it is known to be a brown species when given full sun optimal conditions

    Overrunning a U. longifolia:




    so far in other vases similar to that one I have seen it grow to the top of the vase and then stop growing.


    Given different levels of light:
    Higher light levels


    intermediate (under bench )


    under bench with additional shade cloth 50% shade. gets very green and very stringy.



    I have some red/pink forms that sprouted in the inside tanks under lights that I need to see how well they do outside with more light.

    D. X obovata 'Ivan's Paddle' growing in S. palustris


    I tend to ever once in a while heavy duty top water to flush the sphagnum. Brown/discolored tips are due to mineral accumulation left behind from water evaporating from the sphagnum
    Last edited by kulamauiman; 04-22-2011 at 12:18 PM.

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