Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Sphagnum moss

This is a discussion on Sphagnum moss within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I was wondering what Orchids benefit from Shpag. moss. I have seen a few with ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    OrchidTraci's Avatar
    OrchidTraci is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Sphagnum moss

    I was wondering what Orchids benefit from Shpag. moss. I have seen a few with it and was curious. Also, if it is a benefit to the plants, does it have to be used around the roots or on top of the medium? Thank you.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
    Real Name
    Louis J. Aszod
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Clarksville, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,778
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    lol, me again! Am I hogging the answers? Should I wait and give folks a chance to log on and see your question?

    Nah. I'll post what I know about it, maybe someone can amplify if they know more...

    Sphagnum moss is used a lot by growers when they're first potting up seedlings from flask. The stuff holds water for a long time and also has a reputation for having anti-fungal properties. Because of its incredible water retention, it's great for Paphs and Phrags that shouldn't be allowed to dry out and need to stay consistently damp.

    The unfortunate part is that I've seen a lot of Phals and Dendrobiums at the chain stores and places that are potted up in it, and those poor plants just end up with rotted roots after a few weeks because the sphagnum stays absolutely sodden.

    Since there's no set watering schedule that works under everyone's conditions, I suppose that if you were growing somewhere like Arizona where the air is consistently dry, growing in sphagnum would make sense. With our conditions here though, we don't use it at all for potting; our stuff is potted in bark, coconut, perlite, and charcoal; we water on average about twice a week, less in winter, and we'd just end up with rotted everything if we used sphagnum. We may sometimes scatter a few strands of it on top of the medium but that's purely for decoration.

    From what I've read and heard by talking to other growers, most feel that sphagnum just isn't suitable for long term growing. Re-potting needs to be done much more often with it, and adult plants just stay way too wet (at least, they would for us, anyways).

    Are any of your Phals potted up in it?

  3. #3
    OrchidTraci's Avatar
    OrchidTraci is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    1,129

    Smile

    My Phal's did have the moss in them when I purchased them, but I needed to repot them and didn't replace the moss. There was alot of root rot on the plants( the moss was completely soaked), I cut off the rot , flushed it good and gave it some root stimulator. They seem to be doing good now. I am in New York, and it is dry now that it has cooled down.

    Thanks for the info. You aren't an answer hog, I appreciate it. I hope I'm not being a question hog and asking silly Q's.

  4. #4
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
    Real Name
    Louis J. Aszod
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Clarksville, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,778
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Well, if the pics you posted are any indication, you're definitely doing things right. Nice job saving those plants.

    And I'm very glad you're posting and asking questions: that's what this part of the website is for.

  5. #5
    WEA
    WEA is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    In a Greenhouse.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Pleurothallis, Cirrhopetalum
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I have about 30 Phalos. All have been growing in plastic pots and straight New Zealand Long Stand Sphagnum for several years. If you use the cheap scrap without visible individual plant strands, your plants will croak. I generally water once a week with 1/4 - 1/2 strength fertilizer with a touch of Super Thrive or KLN in the warmer months and less often during the cooler months. Fresh prime long strand sphagnum has an amazing ability to hold and wick water but just stay moisture to the feel. If not packed too tight, it also provides lots of open air space for good gas exchange. Repotting can not be drug out/extended an extra year as with other materials. Like any other media used to grow orchids, when it looses its ability to provide structural support, and maintain adequate open space for good gas exchange, then its time to repot. 18 months ago I repotted about half the collection, even though some of the plants were still blooming. I never lost a spike. This year has started off hot in northern Florida and I'm loosing the tips off of last years spikes and some of the blooms are falling early. Moisture content is easy to check either by feel/weight (sometimes the pots simply fall over do to the leverage on the bloom spikes) or by just pulling the plant and sphagnum out of the pot and checking. Its also a good time to check for the integrity of the individual strands of moss and possible compression. When the moss looses its individuality and looks compressed ... good by open space and good gas exchange, hello for potential root rot.

    I was at an orchid show recently in Ocala Florida, where one of the vendors grew his Cats and several other genera in straight AAA Long Stand Sphagnum. With the remarkable growth he was showing, you would have to repot at least every 18 months. Remembering a line from the Semi Hydro mantra, "New (growth) roots are very adoptable structures. They just don't adopt well after they're developed/(mature in whatever morph/environment to which they have adopted)."

  6. #6
    Palito is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    55

    Default slc.

    Last year I got some of those miniature cattleyas, with sophronitis coccinea heritage. I tried growing them in bark just as they came from the nursery and they suffered horribly because of lack of humidity. There was nothing I could do to keep the humidity they demanded. So as a last resort, and despite teh bad reputation of spagh with cattleyas, I repotted them in pure sphag. The result was amazing..They started growing new leads very quickly and now they bloom continuously. The key in my particular conditions is, that I only have to water every 12-14 days. thats how long it stays moist and it doesn't cause root rot. I also use pure sphag for phalaenopsis, with great results and no rot. again, watering only every 12-14 days or so.

  7. #7
    Laura is offline Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I too use AAA long sphagnum moss for my Phalaenopsis, only I grow mine in wood slat baskets. The Phal seem to be very happy growing this way, in fact my Phalaenopsis seam to do better in the baskets growing in the moss them they do if I try to grow them in a pot of bark mix. I am a windowsill grower, but all the orchids do summer outside. I use nz moss to line the wood slat baskets for my Cattleyas too, them I set the Cat in the lined basket and fill the rest of the way with a bark mix. By the time the bark needs to be replaced the Cattleyas are well rooted to the basket and I just dump out the old bark, and from the outside I push in small pieces of nz moss if needed to keep the bark from falling out. This way I do not have to disturb the roots of the Cattleyas when I repot them. O forgot I add some peanuts to the basket too… I have some of my Paphiopedilum growing in a mix of nz moss and bark…
    For me nz moss works well.

  8. #8
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Connie
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Mini Vanda, Schombs &Encyclia.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West of Tampa, FL
    Posts
    9,139
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Down here in Florida, ANY plant I buy or receive that is in sphagnum of any kind has totally rotted roots. When I have new plants that have aerial roots I use it very lightly over them until I can repot and get them back into potting material or they dry out.
    Connie

Similar Threads

  1. Sphagnum Moss
    By The Peloric Orchid in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: December 8th, 2007, 09:59 PM
  2. New to Sphagnum....Questions
    By AlessandraS in forum Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 16th, 2005, 06:11 AM
  3. Fungus from sphagnum?
    By momokev in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: July 1st, 2004, 04:55 PM
  4. Algae on sphagnum
    By Liz in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: June 17th, 2004, 06:31 PM
  5. about sphagnum moss
    By Gilda in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: June 1st, 2004, 07:08 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.