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Thread: How to Top Dress Sphagnum?

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    WolframOmega's Avatar
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    How to Top Dress Sphagnum?

    Hi all,
    How does one top dress pots with live sphagnum moss? Every time I try to do it, the heads just shrivel up even though the media is moist. Thanks.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Keep the Sphagnum in dense clumps at first and top water or spray the moss as often as it takes to keep it moist. You can put the clumps in a patchwork pattern or all in one quadrant. The trick is using dense clumps in the beginning until the topping grows dense enough on its own to better retain water.

    Near the beach here I have to water my established Sphagnum at least every other or it will dry out enough to start dying. When starting new batches I may have to water the moss daily. My relative humidity is rarely below 50-60%. Unless of course you have enough moss to start out with a dense covering to begin with.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    WolframOmega's Avatar
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    Is it ok that I just cut off the live heads of strands of moss and place on the top of the soil?

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    Sure, just keep it in a dense bunch instead of spreading it out. It will grow to fill in the blanks as it were. Or fill in as your Sphagnum reserve grows out too.
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    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    A covered terrarium is an excellent way to build up your sphagnum supplies if you're having trouble growing it outdoors. If you're using the tray system, and using something like an aquarium with a plexiglas or saran-wrap lid, the humidity should be sufficient to keep the sphagnum from drying out (until it starts growing out past the edges of your pots).

    You can either spread it around in little pieces throughout your plant pots, or give it it's own. As NaN mentioned, it tends to grow better at first if it's clumped up a bit.

    If you don't have a terrarium, you can also try a clear, covered bin with some holes poked in it. Put it somewhere that will get bright light, but out of direct sun. Put half-an-inch or more of your regular potting mixture into the bottom and "seed" it with sphagnum strands.

    (You could possibly give it some direct sun, I'd just be worried about it heating up too much)

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