User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Live Moss Can Save Your Dying CP

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If your CP's are not doing well, despite following all the expert's care directions, try live moss as a last ditch effort.

    I was growing VFT (typical), sarracenia, and Austrailian drosera since last Spring. They were doing well in the summer but, through only a few days of neglect during a hot summer, they weakened and started to die (sarracenia got burned in the sun, VFT's became overfed with garden insects outdoors and weakened, mold, etc.).

    They have had a rough Autumn. I tried doing everything recommended by the experts. The only thing that has brought them back from the brink of death is live moss.

    I don't even use moss native to the plant; although that would be ideal. I live in the Pacific Northwest (not the most ideal conditions for CP) and just used moss growing in a shaded area on my lawn. As scandalous as that may seem to experienced CP growers, it has worked and worked very well. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that is the only thing that has worked to strengthen the plant. The sundews are growing offshoots like weeds, and I just noticed a teeny new stalk starting to grow from the lone surviving VFT bulb that I wrote off for dead. Not bad for winter time when they are supposed to be in dormancy!

    I'm still uncertain about my sarracenia which started to wilt and molt when I tried to induce dormancy by storing it in a ziploc bag in the fridge as recommended by one CP site. What a crock! It got moldy instead. I sprinkled it with garden sulphur and replanted it in live moss (rather than dried spaghnum/perlite). I also had to cut off all the leaves that were molding, or getting slimy. Currently, they have stopped wilting. The mold is gone, and it's maintaining a brick color; don't know whether that's good or bad. Well, at least it's better than going black and wilting.

    I believe live moss has properties that help the plant where dried moss cannot. Dried moss/perlite is too inert of a growing medium in my opinion.

    In addition, I believe the CP's gain valuable nutrients through the live moss which dried moss/perlite/sand is unable to provide. Experts seem to suggest that the plant gets enough nutrients from photosynthesis, and bugs, and that the growing medium should stay nutrient poor for best growth. However, I think this is a misconception.

    I am even giving my plants straight tap water (gasp!) and they are still flourishing while they are in the live moss. Perhaps, the live moss helps neutralize, or filter the harsh tap water? I don't know.

    Live moss is much better than dried and will do wonders for a weakened CP. It even helps deter the growth of mold compared to dried moss/perlite. Give it a try.

    The only downside is that the moss will grow tall over time and you'll have to trim it.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,265
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like I need some of that moss. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] Do you happen to know what kind it is?

    SF

  3. #3
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Far Away NY
    Posts
    4,640
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds to me like you have stumbled upon a fix for a problem you were experiencing. You frequently mention mold, slime, etc in several different situations. I get the feeling that your conditions are/were too wet, which was causing the problems. Live moss does seem to curb pathogen problems directly as well as indirectly. Live moss is loose and well drained which allows better air movement further reducing pathogen problems.

    I disagree that the live moss provides valuable nutrients that dried potting mix can't. If anything the moss will compete with the other plant for any available nutrients within the root zone.

    There are certain parts of the country where tapwater is perfectly safe. Generally speaking it is best to avoid it and use purer forms UNTIL you have tested it over a long period of time. Effects from tapwater may not become apparent immediately and growing methods can either slow the potential problem down or hasten it. For example if someone grows strictly on a tray system and rarely repots the plants and never flushes them out. Then sooner or later salts will accumulate to a detrimental level. The more pure the water the longer it will take. Quality of water, repotting frequency, periodic flushing off the tray, air humidity levels etc will all play a roll in this scenario. If something is out of wack then salt damage can occur if not then a problem may never be seen. An extreame example would be using tap water on a tray system in a hot dry environment. For example purposes lets say that salt levels will build up to detrimental levels in 9 months. Up until that time the plant appears happy and healthy. If one person repots their plants every 6 months they will never see the potential problem materialize. If another grower under the same conditions repots at 12 months their plants will be seriously damaged.

    There are no hard fast rules but the advice given by most experts minimizes potential problems. The trick is for every grower to learn and experiment what works and how well, for themselves, in their own growing conditions.

    Tony



    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    houston, texas
    Posts
    545
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Question

    Hi,

    You might have the good tap water Tony mentioned. Years ago one of my fish magazines printed a map of water types across the USA and only the Pacific Northwest down to San Francisco and the deep south from east Texas across and up to the Mid-Atlantic states (excluding Florida) have soft acid water naturally. Now cities mess with the water today as acid water is hard on pipes but I believe Seattle has very soft and acid water right out of the tap -- almost RO. Any cheap aquarium test kits can give you a good idea of your water or get a pH kit and a conductivity meter.

    Bobby

    Bobby

  5. #5
    BobZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arcata, California
    Posts
    1,230
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sphagnum moss has been used as a surgical dressing for wounds. Read all about it. Simply Google for sphagnum medical dressing

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (SnowyFalcon @ Dec. 24 2003,04:39)]Sounds like I need some of that moss. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] Do you happen to know what kind it is?

    SF
    Sorry. I don't know the type. It's just common moss that grows along side the grass, on the lawn, in a shaded area. I just pulled clumps of the moss up from its roots to keep it alive.

    The moss is not from a bog or anything exotic.

    I don't encourage people from following my example by using moss types foreign to CP's. I suppose if you can get live spaghnum, that would be so much better. I've seen live moss for sale at some on-line CP stores.

    Nor am I nixxing expert's opinions since they speak from years of experience; except perhaps that one about inducing dormancy in a fridge...I won't be trying that again!

    However, there's no denying that my CP's are thriving better in live moss compared to peat/perlite.

    One last thing. I'm not saying my suggestion is a panacea. What worked for me may or may not work in your case.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Missouri,zone 5b
    Posts
    3,134
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (BobZ @ Dec. 24 2003,13:02)]Sphagnum moss has been used as a surgical dressing for wounds. Read all about it. Simply Google for sphagnum medical dressing
    Huh what about that blood infection you can get from sphag?
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Oswego, New York, U.S.A.
    Posts
    5,290
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pondboy,

    The infection you are thinking of does not come from Sphagnum moss, but rather from sphagnum peat, two different things. Sphagnum moss has difinite antibacterial and antifungal qualities, but once it decomposes into peat, it can become infected with various species of fungi.

    Regarding the use of moss other than Sphagnum, I would be cautious. My instincts tell me it was the repotting into a different medium that was responsible for the upswing in plant health, not the moss in an of itself. Short term successes might not last, and with so many variables it is difficult to say which was leading to the problem, or what is responsible for the cure.

    Standard advice from experts should never be taken as gospel: experimentation is highly desirable, but be observant and report the results. An experiment is only useful if the results are communicated to the rest of us. Good luck with your experiment!
    "Grow More, Share More"

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •