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victorhooi

How much air does sphagnum moss need to grow? Airtight container not good?

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Hi,

Ok, so I have some dried sphagnum moss that I'm trying to culture into live sphagnum moss.

I've placed it into a shallow plastic container, and I'm keeping it moist with distilled water.

It's currently sitting in sunlight on my balcony.

My question is - how much air exactly does the sphagnum moss need to grow (from the spores)?

I'm assuming I can't put the lid on the container, since that will be airtight - and that's bad, right?

Do I need to leave a small gap, or poke holes in the lid? How much air do they need exactly?

Or will it grow best with no lid? (However, that means it'll dry out faster, right?).

I also have a little bit of living sphagnum moss that I took . I've put this on a bed of dried sphagnum moss, and it's also in a container with distilled water, in the sun. Likewise for this - lid on or off?

Cheers,

Victor

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Lid off would be best. You can monitor it to make sure it doesn't dry out and just keep it topped up with water. I think your moss is more likely to start growing again than for spores to germinate. Bunnings/Masters sells Sphagnum (I think the brand in something like Amco) that is not dried and if you look inside the transparent bag you can easily pick a bag with the most green (live) moss. This stuff grows easily if kept wet and in a sunny location.

Good luck.

Regards Neil

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Dry sphagnum is dead sphagnum (99 times out of 100). You'll not have much luck waiting for spores to germinate either as they are rarely produced and don't usually grow from spore in culture. You really need to start with live moss.

Lid off is best (especially in full sun as it will quickly overheat in a closed container) and keep wet not just moist. Use rainwater in preference to distilled when you can -in the wild the majority of it's nutrients come from rain and airborne particulates. Some shade is advisable until the colony is established.

Deep clear plastic containers are better than shallow opaque ones. If outside be wary of drowning it before it has any height when it rains or having the wind turn it out and especially protect from birds which will steal it for nesting material or at least grub around in it for food.

Live sphagnum will grow without substrate (personally I'd grow without the dried stuff underneath in case of algae/slime growth) but I have always had best results from gently squashing onto waterlogged (sphagnum) peat -a thin layer is all you need.

If you only have a very small piece a small propagator (or other ventilated closed container) would be a good idea to start with but be wary of overheating.

If/when that piece is big enough you can chop it into 2-3cm long sections to increase the number of growing points.

Edited by Ordovic
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I've had Nepenthes seedlings in a terrarium with 110w 10000K fluorescent light (originally for an aquarium) and after a few months, Sphagnum started sprouting from the dead Sphagnum in the pots. After 8 months, the Sphagnum heads that sprouted are starting to grow.

This method is EXTREMELY slow. Personally, I would just grow live Sphagnum from what you have already. It'll be ten times faster. Lid on or off depends on your lighting and climate... If it is high humidity, it should be fine with the lid off as long as you keep water in the culture. If you are in average humidity (60% or less) it may be best to grow it indoors under lights in a high humidity terrarium. Sphagnum will quickly dry out in low humidity or bright sunlight or in high temperatures, without adequate humidity.

I grow all of my Sphagnum in my greenhouse on the lower shelves so they get more of a temperature swing (since they're temperate plants) and it is usually 60% humidity at lowest in the day and 80-90% at night. I have to fill up the cultures with water at least once a week, sometimes more depending on the weather.

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Hi,

I actually ended up buying one of these - Ikea Socker mini-greenhouse:

http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/90191726/

Photo of my setup here:

18bHtRM.jpg

I think one of them, where I put a bit of sphagnum moss collected from a existing pot in is growing?

H92OUKk.jpg

The other one, collected from another pot - doesn't seem to be - not sure if that's a weed growing up out of there?

JvWz4lQ.jpg

And the tray with dried sphagnum moss, which I've been trying to keep moist - no change yet...lol.

I also ordered some Maxsea 16-16-16 from Amazon, as well as Physan - I'm thinking if I spray them both, it'll boost growth and kill algae which might be competition?

Cheers,

Victor

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I would be very wary of adding fertliser to Sphagnum moss as they usually grow in wetlands where available nutrients are in short supply. I have plenty of live moss growing in bog garden so I'll happily send you some as long as you don't live in WA or Tasmania. PM me if you are interested.

Regards Neil

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Don't use fertiliser it'll just promote algae and possibly kill the sphagnum.

Bad news, the moss growing in the middle of the second picture (the spikey stuff) is NOT sphagnum. This can take over and will be difficult to eradicate. Remove as much as you can immediately.

Good news, I think I see one or two live sphagnum 'branches' (the fat bits of green) either side of that mossy clump but will be very slow in giving you much material.

You would be so much better off starting with a decent handful of fresh live sphagnum. Otherwise the set-up looks okay -keep a propagator like that out of direct sun (especially in Australia!) or you will cook the Sphagnum.

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As Ordovic said, what you have there isn't Sphagnum.

Keep the dried Sphagnum you have in there at a very high humidity and it will start growing in less than a year. It may take a while, but it works. It would be easier to locate a bog in your area and thoughtfully collect a bit.

You *CAN* fertilize Sphagnum, but fertilizing dead Sphagnum will just cause algae growth, as Ordovic said. I've been fertilizing my Sphagnum since I began growing it. I use MaxSea fertilizer. Also, Sphagnum really enjoys to be fertilized with coffee (as you would fertilize Nepenthes or other CPs with it) as long as it isn't too strong.

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