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Silence, I noticed your thread about Live Sphagnum moss

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Lance Birk

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Silence,

Live Sphagnum moss is really magic stuff. If you have any ailing orchid, potting it in the live (NOT the dead moss) will bring it back to health. This is the moss found growing in bogs in Michigan and other northern states. It can be collected and kept alive in a deep tray of distilled water. It needs sufficient light to maintain its health, but not so much as to allow algae to grow.

You need to pot the moss firmly, in a white (not clear) plastic pot and water it every time with distilled water. Rainwater might do as well, but since I’m in California, we don’t have rain here. Never use fertilizers with living Sphagnum.

Before 1970, P. delenatii was just about impossible to grow (if you could ever find a piece of one), but I was given some live Sphagnum by Larry Heuer (who’s father lived in Michigan) and I potted my plant in it. Subsequently, I wrote an article about my success and had it published in the Orchid Digest, Vol.34/8, 1970. There are a few photos showing roots as thick as a Phalaenopsis. Read the article, it’s rather informative.

My first P. delenatii plant grew in a 3.5 inch square, white Jardiniere pot and produced 9 stems and 13 flowers. Larry’s dad died and I was unable to get more moss so I can’t tell you much more about how long it lasts, etc., but mine stayed in that pot for about 2 years or so, starting from a one and a half growth plant.

You should note, that in my paph book I suggest the use of moss in potting mixes, but NOT Sphagnum moss, it is the green moss, or sheet moss like that used to line Azalea baskets you see at the nurseries all the time. That moss is superb when used with fir bark and river sand.

Incidentally, if you do manage to get any living Sphagnum bog moss, I’d certainly appreciate having a small bag of it, but I guess that’ll have to wait until things thaw out. Can you let me know if you find a source?

And, how 'bout a progress on how your project turned out.

Lance Birk
 

kentuckiense

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Over the summer, while assisting with a floristic study, cdub and I ran across some stuff that looked like live sphag. No idea if if the stuff grows in eastern Virginia, but I know that cdub took a tiny bit and potted up a paph seedling. Maybe he could update us.
 

terrestrial_man

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I grow sphagnum!

Lance Birk said:
Silence,

Live Sphagnum moss is really magic stuff. If you have any ailing orchid, potting it in the live (NOT the dead moss) will bring it back to health. This is the moss found growing in bogs in Michigan and other northern states. It can be collected and kept alive in a deep tray of distilled water. It needs sufficient light to maintain its health, but not so much as to allow algae to grow.

You need to pot the moss firmly, in a white (not clear) plastic pot and water it every time with distilled water. Rainwater might do as well, but since I’m in California, we don’t have rain here. Never use fertilizers with living Sphagnum.

Before 1970, P. delenatii was just about impossible to grow (if you could ever find a piece of one), but I was given some live Sphagnum by Larry Heuer (who’s father lived in Michigan) and I potted my plant in it. Subsequently, I wrote an article about my success and had it published in the Orchid Digest, Vol.34/8, 1970. There are a few photos showing roots as thick as a Phalaenopsis. Read the article, it’s rather informative.

My first P. delenatii plant grew in a 3.5 inch square, white Jardiniere pot and produced 9 stems and 13 flowers. Larry’s dad died and I was unable to get more moss so I can’t tell you much more about how long it lasts, etc., but mine stayed in that pot for about 2 years or so, starting from a one and a half growth plant.

You should note, that in my paph book I suggest the use of moss in potting mixes, but NOT Sphagnum moss, it is the green moss, or sheet moss like that used to line Azalea baskets you see at the nurseries all the time. That moss is superb when used with fir bark and river sand.

Incidentally, if you do manage to get any living Sphagnum bog moss, I’d certainly appreciate having a small bag of it, but I guess that’ll have to wait until things thaw out. Can you let me know if you find a source?

And, how 'bout a progress on how your project turned out.

Lance Birk
Hello Lance,

It is Jerry Copeland up in Santa Maria. I have been growing sphag for a year or so. If you check my website and click on the banner to my bog you will learn what I did. You can grow sphagnum down there too. I use ro water.
Here is the link to my front door, click on it to my front page
http://jsionline.freeservers.com/
I will be glad to send you some but confirm that your mailing address is still the p.o. box in SB?
you can email me at
<a href="mailto:eyuracleo@hotmail.com">Here</a>
does html work on this site??
The sphag is from NY.
Check out my bog pages you might find it interesting. I recommend that you start your own bog but don't weeds grow in it!!!

The freeservers site is funny as sometimes the images won't come up unless you right click and click Show picture
This may happen on my front door which is a cool image I did on this machine! Enjoy.
 

Persephone

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Hi there. I visited your site and enjoyed your bog journal. As a matter of fact I will revisit your site again to read the rest of your postings. Very interesting, very informative. I was looking into a moss garden on part of my property. The habitat has changed though this year. Several severe storms have taken out about six trees. I'll have to give it a year or so to see what springs up in the area. There's an old maple tree gone hollow that needs to come down in that area. I'm in Northern NJ so the habitat is quite different than yours.
 

terrestrial_man

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Moss habitat??

Hi Persephone!
Thanks for visiting. I got alot about the different plants I grow but not as much I want to write about, such as the Selaginella and the Lycopodiums which are both surviving my lack of really trying to cultivate them.

I grow my mosses in pots or actually now I am using little food storage cups that I have poked holes in. Will have to image one and post. At the moment I have no idea what is doing that great. Been too busy on many many things. But here is a tidbit. I had gotten a Selaginella species from an East Coast grower and set it outside and later discovered that a piece of it fell into one of the mosses and it has grown even though the large plant sufferred and is now in my greenhouse in a glass jar!

I would recommend that you take a digital and image every area where your mosses are growing to see what is there. I also recommend that you try growing in a container just to see how the plant responds and perhaps you can grow a bunch of "plugs" that you can use to start mosses at appropriate spots.

I am attaching an image of a moss that I used on a sheet I made up on mosses that I am growing though I do not know if they are all in tip top shape at this time-I just spray and water as many are buried under the shade of other plants and I do not want to disturb them until I try repotting.

Enjoy.

Also my website contains some personal experiences that may interest those whose path lie in the unordinary or I don't believe this stuff!!! But :crazy: might be a better word!!!!:rollhappy:

Cheers.
 

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silence882

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Hello Lance,

My experiment was a spectacularly mundane failure. I got a bag of it from Equilibrio Carniverous Plants (http://equilibriocarnivorousplants.com/). I 'planted' it by placing it on dead sphag in a saucer. It survived and stayed green as long as I kept the saucer wet, but it never seemed to grow. I grow indoors, so humidity is never high and I don't think the sphag appreciated it. Eventually I ended up throwing out what little I had.

I never used it as a medium for my paphs. I started using a CHC mix after converting to Antec-ianity and got such great results, that I lost interest in my experiment.

If you're looking for a supplier, Equilibrio still carries cultivated Canadian sphag for $5 a liter. It is listed on their site under supplies -> potting mixes.

--Stephen
 
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terrestrial_man

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Hello Silence,
I tried your link above but got a 404 site not found error message. If Lance wants he can get some from me.
What sphagnum likes is quality water, coolness at least at night. If you mist frequently each day it should be no problem. Cheers.
 
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Ernie

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Copy and paste the link and remove the close parenthesis ")". It got included in the url link and causes a misfire.

-Ernie
 

Rick

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I have allot of mosses (not just sphagnum) growing with my orchids, and although I wouldn't claim them to be a panacea to sick orchids, I would say that the plants with thriving moss do seem to do better than those without.

Allot of the mosses in my collection came in incidentally with various orchids (especially the Pleurothallids) and I just transplant pieces here and there with new plants and save sections when I repot.

I water with RO water and maintain humidity levels in xcess of 70%.
 
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Bolero

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Does anyone else have problems with the moss staying to wet for to long?

Mine never dries out for some reason and it's a worry......not that I want it completely dry but a little bit would be good.

;-)
 

terrestrial_man

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Bolero said:
Does anyone else have problems with the moss staying to wet for to long?

Mine never dries out for some reason and it's a worry......not that I want it completely dry but a little bit would be good.

;-)
Don't water so much!!!:rollhappy:
 

likespaphs

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Bolero said:
...Mine never dries out for some reason and it's a worry......
don't worry.
don't let it go dry. it won't mind, as long as the water isn't stagnant...
only time i've lost live moss is when it goes dry.
in my experience, it takes a very long time to grow. the moss has to 'awaken', then grow until it's mature enough to make those thingies moss makes instead of flowers, then they'll mature and makes spores(?) then those will have to germinate, grow until mature enough to make those thingies, etc...
a long time ago (six+ months) i cut up a bunch of live sphag as i've heard that's one way to propagate it... i think they're just now starting to grow.
 

terrestrial_man

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You can keep mosses going a long time. Generally most are damaged by fertilizers and pesticides. Drench your pots with the mosses especially after feeding your orchids as that might help extend the life of the mosses.
I have been growing the same moss population for over 2 years. Image is of one that was growing on regular commercial planting mix. Just don't ask me what it is. Haven't had time to find out!!:confused:
 

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Lance Birk

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Silence, thanks for the update.

For other posters who have responded here, it seems my point was missed, so I'll try again.

Live Sphagnum moss (bog moss) is Magic. If you have a sickly plant, potting it in live Sphagnum moss will bring about a remarkable recovery. It should be the sole ingredient. This is not the moss that grows on tops of media, and this moss should not be used as part of some other mix ingredient.

Live Sphagnum needs to be potted firmly, in WHITE plastic pots, and watered only with distilled water and/or open-collected rainwater (not runoff-collected). Fertilizers will kill the moss as will softened water or chlorine and chloramines.

If I had any phrags, I'd pot them in this live moss only.

Lance Birk
 

Persephone

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Lance Birk said:
Silence, thanks for the update.

Live Sphagnum moss (bog moss) is Magic. If you have a sickly plant, potting it in live Sphagnum moss will bring about a remarkable recovery. It should be the sole ingredient. This is not the moss that grows on tops of media, and this moss should not be used as part of some other mix ingredient.

Live Sphagnum needs to be potted firmly, in WHITE plastic pots, and watered only with distilled water and/or open-collected rainwater (not runoff-collected). Fertilizers will kill the moss as will softened water or chlorine and chloramines.

If I had any phrags, I'd pot them in this live moss only.

Lance Birk
Why only white plastic? If fertilizers will kill the moss, how does one use any fertilizer for the orchid, or are you saying that no fertilizer should be used at all. If no fertilizer is used at all, and you're using distilled water, from where does the orchid get any nutrients? Sorry if my questions seem silly, but I'm quite new at all this.
 

gonewild

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Different Lance here....

I don't know much about moss but Belinda is growing some pretty nice moss in our seedlings. This is a paph compot planted in NZ sphagnum from a bale. It was potted up about 5 months ago. The moss is growing quite well now and gets a fertilizer solution several times daily intended for the paph seedlings.

So is this not Sphagnum? It certainly grows with fertilizer added to the water.



As to Lance's original comment about Sphagnum having a healing effect for plants, that certainly could be true as indegious people in Peru use Sphagnum type moss as a medicinal plant. I can't quite remember what the old fellow told me it was good for but he said it was a good plant to heal with.
 
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