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live moss - anyone?

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silence882

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Hello all,

I grow my phrags in straight diatomite on a flow-shelf and would like to try live moss on the top of the stones. I get nervous that the phrags are completely dependent on fertilizers for their nutrients. Does anyone know where I could go about getting the appropriate kind? Would bonsai stuff be available?

I know absolutely nothing about this question, so any help would be appreciated!

--Stephen
 
M

Mahon

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Stephen,

You may be looking for Terrarium Moss?

If so, try Tropiflora at tropiflora.com... they are local Sarasota growers, and I have used their terrarium moss for Pleurothallids and other cloud forest orchid species... they are shipped dried, but soak it in water for a few minutes, and let it grow flat for a while, then use it...

-Pat
 

kentuckiense

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Do you have the humidity for it?

I have a seedling that came with moss growing on top of the mix, and that moss has been in a slow decline. It's even in my little "mini greenhouse" where the humidity rarely drops below 70%.
 

Rick

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I have several types of moss growing in pots of various orchids.

In some ways they are a good indicator of humidity. Origionally most of it came in with some plants I got from Andy's, and I have just transplanted seed pieces into various pots to promote it all over the place.

Often the spores in dried sphagnum will take off and start live moss growth if kept wet.
 

silence882

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hrmmm where could I go about getting live sphag? I think I will avoid the dense stuff...

I think I will have to poke holes in the sides of the pots if I do use it... I've become a bit concerned about its effect on airflow.

And no, I don't have the humidity for it, but I think I will try it anyway! I am hoping the constant moistness of the diatomite is enough for it.

--Stephen
 

Rick

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My sangii love the dense stuff. They keep their roots near the surface for the most part. Between the interface of moss and potting mix.
 
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gore42

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Rick, I'm going to take your advice and repot my sangii into a mix with moss, or at least plant some moss on top. Lance Birk also suggests moss in the medium, but I haven't had any luck with that with other species. I can get live moss, though... are you saying that it's just growing on the top of your other media?

Thanks :)

Matthew
 

Rick

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gore42 said:
Rick, I'm going to take your advice and repot my sangii into a mix with moss, or at least plant some moss on top. Lance Birk also suggests moss in the medium, but I haven't had any luck with that with other species. I can get live moss, though... are you saying that it's just growing on the top of your other media?

Thanks :)

Matthew
Yes it grows well on top of the media. Depending on the type of moss it will attach to some of the bark or CHC chips, and I often save some of the attached moss chips to transplant. I use chopped moss (dead) extensively in my potting mixes, especially for the Barbata species. But it does not age well in the mix and you will probably have to repot more frequently if it is a large portion of a mix or water less frequently.
 

Wogga

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I've begun an experiment. I collected specimens of 3 different species of live moss in the woods near my house. I cleaned off the dirt with running water and have placed them on wet sphag in undrained shallow containers to try and keep as much moisture in as possible. I'll let everybody know if they don't die! :D Oh and ill post some pictures tomorrow.
 

SlipperFan

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Wogga said:
I've begun an experiment. I collected specimens of 3 different species of live moss in the woods near my house. I cleaned off the dirt with running water and have placed them on wet sphag in undrained shallow containers to try and keep as much moisture in as possible. I'll let everybody know if they don't die! :D Oh and ill post some pictures tomorrow.
Thanks! That will be interesting.
 

Wogga

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a quick question for anyone else who knows more about moss - will it develop nutrient deficiencies growing on the sphag? should i fertilize it occasionally?

I tried this once as a little kid/budding horticulturist - it turned out not too good. hopefully my greenthumb is more moss friendly these days.
 

Heather

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I'm not sure about that but I remember Mark (ShadyCharacter) saying a while back that he had live sphag which I think he chopped up and then took a cube of oasis (the wicking material used in floral arrangements) in a tray, covered the oasis with the sphag, and watered the oasis and kept it moist. I think he had a good success rate at growing the stuff.
 

Rick

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Wogga said:
a quick question for anyone else who knows more about moss - will it develop nutrient deficiencies growing on the sphag? should i fertilize it occasionally?

I tried this once as a little kid/budding horticulturist - it turned out not too good. hopefully my greenthumb is more moss friendly these days.
Allot of my moss is growing on straight sphag, or in some cases "spontaniously" sprouted from dead sphag.

In most of these cases there are pleurothalid orchids in the pots, and I do fertilize them at about 1/2 to 1/4 the rate I fertilize the paphs. So the moss doesn't need much in the way of nutrition.
 

silence882

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The live sphag is here!

now what?

It's in about 4-6" long fibers that are a nice bright shade of green. Will it survive growing on top of straight diatomite? How about on top of a chc mix? Should I cut it up or leave the fibers long? How densely should it be packed on the top of the mixes? Will SG-1 stop the evil Ori from enslaving the galaxy?

Thanks,

--Stephen
 

Rick

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It can go on top of a CHC mix, but mine generally does best on top of straight dead sphagnum. Once established try transplanting on to different media to see what works best for you.
 

silence882

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Alrighty, I've got a ton of dried sphag lying around. Should I cut up the live stuff or just leave it as-is? Does it need to be 'planted' or just lay it on top?

Thanks!

--Stephen

Rick said:
It can go on top of a CHC mix, but mine generally does best on top of straight dead sphagnum. Once established try transplanting on to different media to see what works best for you.
 

Rick

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Just tamp a bunch of dead into a pot or basket. Soak it down. Lay the live stuff on top (tamp lightly). And set in a humid breezy environment. If you are growing any pleurothallids successfully, then those areas should be ideal for moss.
 
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Mark

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Dame Heather speaks the truth. I've gotten sphagnum to grow on oasis in an attempt at "sphag and bag LIVE!" to get some roots on a Paph purpuratum seedling. No roots yet but the moss still lives. I gathered a few strands from a lakeside boggy ground area being careful not to get sub-surface stuff. Why? I wanted to be able to thoroughly visually inspect the strands for snails. No point introducing a pest when I have enough to deal with.

Inspired by a popular book about mosses and an inadvertent success at growing moss and ferns on Hydroton, I've been attempting to grow various wood mosses on a tray of fine sifted Turface. So far they're living and looking pretty cool in my little wardian case. One thing I learned from the book is that a dry, dead looking moss isn't necessarily dead, it could just be dormant. They're adapted to changing conditions so if my tray gets a little dry, I can just revive them with a good spraying. (Distilled water--I've seen minerals accumulating on the Turface where I'm growing a Cyp formosanum)
 

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