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Questions about sheet moss and live sphagnum

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Garrie

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Ok question about sheet moss, I am familar with bryophytes (mosses) and how they often cover fallen logs, trees, soil etc. and form sheets, or huge colonies of it. Is this sheet moss? Will any such "sheet" moss work as part of an orchid mix or should it be a particular kind of sheet moss? Can I buy it? If so where? Could I collect my own from a moss covered log etc. or would that be risky of not being the proper type?

I have access to lots of live sphagnum moss from a local forested area not far from where I live. (well 3 hours away) I have used it before in growing staghorn ferns and such. It grows in the flood plain of a sandy creek and consequently the living sphagnum can have a substantial amount of sand particles (which I could wash out) MY QUESTION IS: Is living sphagnum a suitable replacement for sheet moss as part of a growing medium or is it used solely. (ok know u are aware of just how little I know about growing orchids) feel free to email me directly if should u ever need to garrie@cox.net
 

smartie2000

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Sphagnum moss is the moss to use and not sheet moss...I haven't used live sphagmun moss yet (I use it dead) but it is an excellent media to use and it is preferred by orchid growers. I believe it will work better than other bryophytes because of its fluffy, airy nature. It also has anti-fungal properties to it because of the chemicals it produces (phenols?). You're lucky to have a source of the live sphag. The dead moss i use looses its phenols eventually.

You might find some info this recent thread by Lance Birk http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2245&highlight=live+sphag
 

terrestrial_man

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For starting out I would not recommend using sphagnum moss. Sheet moss is probably best used in mounts and can be easily acquired at any home improvement center.
For growing paphs there are as many different approaches as there are growers! You will need to know what kind of culture you have time to deal with or want to deal with. A more hands on approach means that your culture will be more intensive and you can use media that is highly porous. Less interaction with the growing means that you can use a media that will retain moisture for an extended period and may even dry out a little before rewatering it.
As you will discover there are many materials that can be used. I personally prefer coconut chunks as the basic growing media. From this you can add other inert, wood, or other organic materials depending upon your cultural preferences. The main rule of thumb is that the more you water the more freely should the mix drain; the less the more water the mix should retain. Using coconut chunks as the principal ingredient in your mix will give you a material that will allow for great drainage and fairly good water retention while promoting excellent aeration of the roots. This is your primary objective: provide adequate water/humidity to the roots in combination with an appropriate level of aeration. Coconut chunks can be found at a variety of shops, from pets shops where they are used for strata for herps to orchid suppliers for media.
 

smartie2000

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terrestrial_man said:
As you will discover there are many materials that can be used. I personally prefer coconut chunks as the basic growing media. From this you can add other inert, wood, or other organic materials depending upon your cultural preferences. The main rule of thumb is that the more you water the more freely should the mix drain; the less the more water the mix should retain. Using coconut chunks as the principal ingredient in your mix will give you a material that will allow for great drainage and fairly good water retention while promoting excellent aeration of the roots. This is your primary objective: provide adequate water/humidity to the roots in combination with an appropriate level of aeration. Coconut chunks can be found at a variety of shops, from pets shops where they are used for strata for herps to orchid suppliers for media.
I prefer this too over sphag moss! I only have one plant in dead sphag moss and it's a Phalaenopsis bellina with lost its roots(not my fault) , but its growing happily in it. I just top off my pots with sphag moss to make them look pretty and increase humidity. I do a mix of everything in a pot(coconut husks and chunks, fine bark, perlite, sponge rock, etc)....so much fun mixing
 

terrestrial_man

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smartie2000 said:
I do a mix of everything in a pot(coconut husks and chunks, fine bark, perlite, sponge rock, etc)....so much fun mixing
:rollhappy: :crazy: :rollhappy: :crazy:
I LOVE MAKING MY OWN MIXES EVEN IF THE PLANTS DON'T LIKE THE MIXES I MAKE!:sob:
There is just something about getting your hands into stuff and sloshing it around:clap:
as long as it isn't mud or fertilizer:drool:
Now hopefully I have finally found one the plants will love!:rollhappy: but I can still mix more of something new!:crazy:
 

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