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Thread: Sphagnum: Back From the Dead!

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Sphagnum: Back From the Dead!

    Recently I purchased a tub of live sphagnum. I pulled out a few pieces to start a culture today. Then, I filled the containers the cultures would be in with dried sphagnum I had purchased and drenched in a container. However, when I dug through it to get the softer, wetter pieces from the bottom, I found a 4" strand of live, green sphagnum. Obviously was not just algae, there was TONS of algae growing on top of the culture. It was much darker. This strand was light green, identical to my live sphagnum in the tub I purchased. But this could have been a mix up, it could have just fallen in, right? Then I come across living RED sphagnum! And yellow too!

    On the left is the dead sphagnum, next to it is yellow, next to that is red, and then the green...


    As I had mentioned, they were in a container flooded with water in the bottom of the heap of sphagnum. I found the red about half way between the wet top and the flooded bottom, same with the green and yellow. So they were with little light. However, the container had originally had a lid on it (maybe for two or three weeks) prior to adding shade cloth, so it had gotten 100+ degrees in there in full sun. It was 95F in the greenhouse at times. When I got shade cloth, I removed the lid from the container.

    What they were in...


    And the funny thing is, this is what people say is the absolutely lowest grade of sphagnum... Mosser lee. Obviously these didn't come back from spores, but they came back to life from being dry somehow. How does this happen? Is sphagnum known for this?

    I put the three pieces (yellow, red and green) into their own culture in my greenhouse which will be kept very wet. I also started three other cultures with live sphagnum from the tub of live sphag I bought a bit ago. I'll post pictures if I get growth on these red, yellow and green ones I found living. Pretty weird.

    Thoughts?

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    Sphagnum moss will start "regrowing" if its wet and has decent humidity, I have alot of peat/sand pots that started growing Sphagnum moss from the peat. Its not "rare" but alot of people can never get it growing again.

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    101% noob potted_plants's Avatar
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    Most moss will regenerate after being dried if provided the right environment. It has happened to me a bunch of times.
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." ---- Albert Einstein
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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    Sphagnum moss will start "regrowing" if its wet and has decent humidity, I have alot of peat/sand pots that started growing Sphagnum moss from the peat. Its not "rare" but alot of people can never get it growing again.
    I was just surprised because I had thought that sphagnum would only regrow from spores, as that is what I was told. I've searched through tons of thread on here and other forums trying to find ways to grow sphagnum from the dry stuff and I found nothing, this is the first time I've seen it happen.

    Do you think it will continue to grow in the new cultures I set up? Do you know how sphagnum acts when it grows back from the dead? Special care needed?

    ---------- Post added at 04:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by potted_plants View Post
    Most moss will regenerate after being dried if provided the right environment. It has happened to me a bunch of times.
    Well good to know. Maybe I can stick the lid back on that container and wait a few more months, then I may have tons of live sphagnum to work with. Do most dried pieces regenerate if given right conditions, or only some?

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    My local nursery had big bales of dried sphagnum that was soaking wet, so they sold it to me half price. It was sitting out in the sun, and when I opened it up, alot of the outside of it was green. I saved the green stuff, and it's been growing fairly well. I have it in a seed tray now with the cover on and mostly filled with water.
    Seems like the more heat and humidity the better

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    101% noob potted_plants's Avatar
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    I'd just stick it in a inclosed container with high humidity and dappled or indirect light on peat. That's how I personally grow my moss.... and it grows amazingly fast. I get tons and tons of moss from this....
    The amount that regrows depends on the conditions and type of sphagnum really. Usually either very little, if any, regrows or a ton grows but like I said it depends on conditions. Once you get a large enough culture, you should not run out.
    Last edited by potted_plants; 04-25-2012 at 05:16 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." ---- Albert Einstein
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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astroidea View Post
    My local nursery had big bales of dried sphagnum that was soaking wet, so they sold it to me half price. It was sitting out in the sun, and when I opened it up, alot of the outside of it was green. I saved the green stuff, and it's been growing fairly well. I have it in a seed tray now with the cover on and mostly filled with water.
    Seems like the more heat and humidity the better
    I just threw the lid back on it so it can heat up. I don't want to set it outside the greenhouse because it would have to go on the ground, which would attract another snake. I'll grow it on a shelf so nothing gets under it, but that will be in my greenhouse under 50% shade and more mild temperatures than in direct sun.

    Quote Originally Posted by potted_plants View Post
    I'd just stick it in a inclosed container with high humidity and dappled or indirect light on peat. That's how I personally grow my moss.... and it grows amazingly fast. I get tons and tons of moss from this....
    The amount that regrows depends on the conditions and type of sphagnum really. Usually either very little, if any, regrows or a ton grows but like I said it depends on conditions. Once you get a large enough culture, you should not run out.
    Right now I have them in plastic containers that I bring my Nepenthes home in from the store. That's all I had, and I have no peat. The culture of live sphagnum I bought in that little tub I mentioned earlier was growing on sphagnum, so I figured it would be okay to grow my live sphagnum on dead sphagnum. I filled it about 1/2 way with water to where the live stuff isn't submerged but most of the culture is, so that will prevent drying out and it should significantly raise the humidity. Hopefully all goes well. I also use a fertilizer (Maxsea) on my Nepenthes foliarly, which gets on to the sphagnum. It's made my sphagnum grow so madly that I can barely see some of my smaller plants anymore, and that's just in a few months time period. I'll start with that soon, so hopefully it will work the same.

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    sounds good... good luck growing that sphagnum! I just put mine in a jar full of peat then put that jar into a empty 2-5 gallon tank/empty water jug which is filled with water. I then forget about them for a few months... and then I have tons of sphagnum!
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." ---- Albert Einstein
    Food is a important part of a balanced diet.
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