Growing sphagnum moss

Krstofer(Zone 7 (ish))January 26, 2005

Ok, so I just recieved my cup of live sphagnum moss... And I've yet to find how to best grow it. There's lots of info about growing something else in it, but i've found nothing about growing it all by itself.

I'm thinking it might be as simple as putting some (dead) sphagnum in a gallon or so bucket, putting my live moss on top, and leaving it outside in the rain untill I get around to building my bog garden where it will live permanently.

Am I safe doing this, or have I lead myself down the garden path?

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sal_mando(z6a SW Ohio)

I don't know why the knowledgable people haven't answered this yet. I haven't grown sphagnum, but I looked into it last year and I think that you are exactly right. I looked for one source in particular that I had seen, but could not find it now. That person said to chop up the live stuff and spread it on top of dead long fiber sphagnum.
I did have some dead sphagnum sprout last year and grow on its own in a small pot - until it dried up and died. I am planning on buying some this year, and hope that it grows well for me.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 11:05PM
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wildbill(6 CT)

I'm a CP grower and right now I have live sphagnum growing on many of my indoor plants as a top dressing.

You can chop or break little bits of the live LFS onto either dried LFS that has been moistened, or wet 50:50 sand-peat mix and if it stays wet should eventually grow. For me, I have noticed if I carefully drizzle rainwater onto the bits it seems to grow faster. I use an old fashioned mustard bottle (like diners have) with a long pointy tip which makes this easier. I am putting together a display for a garden show and didn't have that much live stuff, so I chopped what I had into pieces and strategically placed it with tweezers. I have been watering it enough to wet the moss bits daily and it has finally started to grow. Hopefully it will fill in and look lush before the show in 3 weeks!

Another thing you can do if you have dried sphagnum is to sort through it and pick out all the ends with buds. Then chop, chop, chop the buds with scissors and sprinkle the dust over the growing area. Eventually it will grow but this takes A LOT longer than using the live bits.

I hope this info helps.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 11:36AM
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S. moss grow best in some-what shady and wet conditions,shaded by other bog plants. You can also go to HomeDepot and buy a bag of dry long fiber S. moss. When wet,it gets greeny slamy algaes,then later new S. moss will grow.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 11:26PM
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Krstofer(Zone 7 (ish))

Thanks guys- I ended up buying some live moss somewhere- It's in my terrarium right now. Doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot, but it's still alive, a small victory for me.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 10:48PM
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Here is a small webpage I made on the subject:


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Sphagnum Moss

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 6:34PM
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I am relativly a newcomer to the fascinating world of CP's. My daughter has cancer and these plants are her passion/hobby. So, several months ago we started growing CP's.Most are growing in a mix of half-peat moss and half-perlite. The nepenthes,however are growing in a mix of long fiber sphagnum,vermiculite,perlite and orchid bark.
Yesterday we received our first order of live sphagnum moss. We want to grow it as a top dressing on the nepenthes and, by itself on a bed of peat moss. I am hoping someone can give me, as detailed instruction as possible, to grow and maintain this live moss.
First,as a top dressing I placed a 1 inch layer of very wet peat moss at the tops of my nepenthes pots. Right below that layer is the vermiculite,perlite,long fiber sphagnum and bark mix the nepenthes are growing in. I spoke with the supplier of the live sphagnum(a very knowledgeable CP grower)but, I forgot to get details. The nepenthes,are growing under 2-40 watt flourescent tubes 8 inches above the plants and are on for 15.5 hours a day. My little girl, mists them with distilled water several times a day,foliar fertilizes them every two weeks with a 1/4teaspon per gallon of 30-10-10 orchid fertilizer,and waters them every four days with distilled or collected rain water.We have also taken some of the live moss and nestled it into a bed of peat in pots by itself. The temperature reaches 90 degrees,under the lights, during the day(lights on) and only drops to 80 degrees at night(lights out).
We also have one alice sundew,which is thriving and never looked better,under these lights.We also have one brazilian grass sundew(graminifloria),which we've only had one week, and one lance leaf sundew next to our nepenthes. The lance leaf,after only 4 days has yellow spots on its leaves and the whole plant looks dry and listless. I realize that sundews usually take a week or two to begin producing dew after shipment and since the brazilian grass sundew has only been here a week it still doesn't have any. But,I want to prevent it from ending up like the lance leaf! Any suggestions on how to revive it(lance leaf)? And any suggestions on growing/maintaining the live sphagnum moss?
Gary-a concerned parent

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Hi Gary,

I have live LFS growing in a variety of setups. Some of it started out as the dried material, mentioned earlier,in bags at Home Depot. After a few months the spores (so I am told) initiate new life. I have also received the live LFS from forum members. Most of my CP pots have some manner of living LFS in it, but I also have a shallow, plastic tray of it growing in the attic, right by a SE window sill. And last week I took the contents of a bag and put it in a cat tray, outside. Basically, all they need is sufficient light, whether it be artificial, window sill, or diect lighting, as well a being kept wet. Here are some pictures:

Byblis liniflora & D. binata

D. graminifolia

D. adelae (lance leaf sundew)

D. adelae, D. paradoxa, D. aliciae & friends


D. adelae are known for "playing 'possum", dying back for several weeks, but will often produce plantlets from the roots. Also, newly shipped sundews normally go through a period of shipping shock, where existing leaves lose their dew. It takes a good week for them to acclimate and renew growth... and dew. Keep moist and provide less direct light during that period, and gradually move closer to bright light.

If ya need replacements, give me a hollar! Also, so sorry to read about your daughter. Maybe she will beat the cancer?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 11:44PM
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Ok guys- not in florida anymore, but I have been watering the dried out and rewetted sphagnum moss i bought a while back at lowe's. Some was a bag of long fiber sphagnum moss and some was the special chilean long fibered sphagnum moss and I had them in a humid 75 gal aquarium in orchid pots as the only medium around the roots and the moss started growing new little tiny tiny green heads, so I waited until they got large enough and kept them wet and green as long as I could in the tank. After a few weeks or a month I sorted through and picked out all the small green heads of moss that looked alive and put them in ziploc bags filled with rain water after the last few rains this summer and they have started growing in the water. They are still small and very weedy looking, but I hope to eventually get them big and full looking like normal sphagnum moss but the weirdest part about how they started is I water the orchids almost every time with a dilute amount of fertilizer and the moss still germinated from spores even though they got orchid fertilizer on them. I have a few different kinds of sphagnum as I had those 2 different bags of moss both have spores germinate but I also had some from washington state that a friend gave me and they died back but started growing again as well. I hope the new bags I bought get here soon and it rains agin so I can start a few little bog containers with live moss and get it growing
I would love to have some orchids and cp's in the top part of the moss- that would be cool for me.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 9:59PM
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P S Gary, your daughter can beat the cancer with a positive attitude and what anyone with cancer needs is love and to know that no matter what, you are with them no matter what.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 10:07PM
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Hey, do you water only the nephentes with fertilizer, right? If not, how do the other plants do with it? I know it's not good only for some kind of nephentes.
Hello from Romania for your kid:) and all of you guys for that matter!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:36PM
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