Many avid gardeners will be familiar with sphagnum moss, which is one of the most common components found in rich soil. The good news is that growing sphagnum moss is possible even on your own. You can cultivate it in the backyard and you do not need to have expert knowledge. The rest of this post explores how this can be possible.
What is Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum refers to a genus of more than 300 mosses. They grow in thick and dense clumps on the surface of the soil. In terms of climate, it is more common in places that are mild and humid. If there is one thing that they are known for, it would be their high water retention. In fact, they are able to hold water that is up to 20 times of their weigh when it is dry. For this reason, sphagnum makes a great conditioner for the soil.
Another practical use of a sphagnum moss is a protector for succulents. It provides the hydration that is needed by plants during the hot season. More so, they also have contents that are known for fighting bacteria that can infect plants. Use this as a mat on the soil and it will effectively enrich nutritional content on the ground.
How to Grow Sphagnum Moss
It might seem intimidating at first, but growing sphagnum moss is actually an easy task. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Prepare the moss that you will grow. If you will retrieve it from an active plant, it should be from the top part. If you cut from the bottom, it is no longer as healthy and there is a lower likelihood that it will propagate.
- Trim the sphagnum moss into smaller portions. Each portion should not be bigger than one inch. If the cuttings are too small, it may not regenerate at all.
- Once you have prepared the area where you will transfer the sphagnum moss, now is the time for sowing. Ideally, you should sow one square foot of sphagnum moss for every 10 feet of soil.
- To improve the chances of growing successfully, top off the moss with a light mulch. Be sure that it will cover the moss but not too heavy and dense. Otherwise, this can block the sunlight that is critical for the propagation of the sphagnum moss.
- Pay attention as well to watering the sphagnum moss. When watering, see to it that it does not get saturated with more than one inch. Water just enough to prevent the dryness of the moss. If it is turning brown, this is an indication that you need to increase the frequency of watering. Do not use hard water when watering the moss.
- You also have to pay attention to the temperature where the moss is grown. Ideally, it should be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is higher, it will burn and die.
- To increase the chances of success, the proper positioning of the sphagnum moss is also a critical concern. It needs sunlight, but prolonged exposure can also be dangerous. Choose an area where it gets sun and shade throughout the day. As a rule of thumb, species that are more colorful will require more light to survive.
- It is also important to take note that sphagnum moss grows naturally in swamps and bogs. With this, you should strive to establish an external environment that is similar to the latter to speed up growth.
In sum, growing sphagnum moss is actually easy. With a bit of patience and time, any novice in gardening can accomplish the task. Start with a healthy moss, make sure to use the right ratio, and take care of the sphagnum moss throughout its growth stage.