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white moss for orchid plss help need advice

This is a discussion on white moss for orchid plss help need advice within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; i buy an moss and the name putted into it is called white moss or ...

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  1. #1
    orchidhayate is offline Member
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    Default white moss for orchid plss help need advice

    i buy an moss and the name putted into it is called white moss or the white cushion moss

    i buy it dried and some of them are green almost white yellowish something like that
    for know i just wet them and put them in the top of the potting mixes. i dont like to make it an mix.

    pls help me how to revive,grow and propagate the white moss thanks

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    I guess you mean sphagnum moss, which is usually sold dry and is a very pale straw colour in that state. You need to grow it in a cool place, it doesn't like heat at all. Temperatures over 30 degrees C during the day should be avoided as they will stress the moss and even kill it, but it can withstand them if it is very wet, in shade and if the temperature falls sharply at night. Night time temperatures should always be well below 20 degrees C. The moss has no problems with freezing temperatures and snow cover in winter and therefore the best way to grow it is outdoors in a cool, shaded spot. The moss that is commercially available comes from cool/temperate regions of New Zealand, Chile and Europe. This moss will not grow in hot tropical climates.

    The water MUST be as pure as possible and NEVER have fertiliser in it. The moss is very sensitive in this respect, so you need rain water or reverse osmosis water as tap water will kill it. Some sun in the early morning or late afternoon is ok, but it generally is best to grow it in a light, but shaded position. Even though the moss can be grown moist, it prefers to be soaking wet.

    I find that if you take two or three big handfulls of the dry moss, put it in rain water or reverse osmosis water and treat it as outlined above, it will germinate and start to grow on its own as there are always some spores left in the dry moss. If your moss gets covered in green goo before it has a chance to germinate and grow, then you used water that had too many nutrients in it , which allows algae to grow and outcompete the moss. Healthy sphagnum moss that is alive has a naturally low pH and will kill most microbes including algae and therefore does not get covered in algae.

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    but how i put it in my orchid so how can i fertilized my orchids

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    When it is in your orchid pot, it isn't growing, it just acts to absorb moisture. Don't worry about fertilizing your orchids with the moss in them. When you want to try to get the moss to grow, so that you can have more of it, then you follow the advice given above.

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    I learned something new here... I had no idea one could grow new moss from dried moss. I thought dried moss was dead moss, therefore not viable for reproduction. But having spores lingering in the dried moss makes sense, I suppose.

    It would seem that if you want to propogate the moss, you would need to use the moss that hasn't gone into your orchid pots yet (and thus hasn't been exposed to fertilizer and other impurities). So, if you are looking to grow your own moss from dried moss, buy a bag of dried moss, follow the instructions above with a small amount of it, and use the rest in your orchid pots. Then just pull off chunks of the live moss for drying as it grows.

    As Corolla said above, the moss won't grow in your orchid pots; it's just there to provide moisture for the plants. It sounds like you are using it as a top dressing and not as the main media, so hopefully you'll be successful in growing enough to provide moss for the tops of your pots.

    Good luck! I'd love to know how this turns out!

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    As Carolla said, the advice I gave you is for producing the moss itself. It doesn't matter if you add live or dry sphagnum moss to your orchid pots or mounts, once you water it with fertiliser it will always die. It's not possible to keep sphagnum moss alive with an orchid if you fertilise the orchid. The reason for adding sphagnum moss to orchids is to provide the orchids with an organic, moisture retentive substrate, therefore it doesn't matter if the moss is dead as it retains moisture wether it's dead or alive.

    If you want some nice moss that stays alive with your orchids, then you need to use a different type of moss. The best moss to use for this is the kind that grows on stone walls or tree trunks. This type of moss will stay alive and grow even if you use fertiliser and if the pot/mount dries out on the odd occasion (sphagnum moss dies as soon as it dries out even once). I use these types of moss on most of my mounted orchids and by now they have established themselves so well in my greenhouse that they seed themselves around with wild abandon and naturally colonise mounts and hanging baskets without the need for me to attach the moss anymore. There are many thousands of different species of moss that you can find on walls and trees, make sure you choose a creeping, small and slow growing species. The types that form cushions will grow too fast and swamp some of your smaller orchids. At least once a year I need to remove a lot of the moss from some of the smaller plants in order to stop them from being completely engulfed by moss.

    The best way to establish some of this moss on a mount is to first attach some sphagnum moss to provide moisture and then put some of the wall moss on top of that. The green moss will eventually cover the dead sphagnum and grow by itself over the rest of the mount. I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow to show you what I mean.

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    I can't wait to see it - it sounds lovely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by serama View Post
    As Carolla said, the advice I gave you is for producing the moss itself. It doesn't matter if you add live or dry sphagnum moss to your orchid pots or mounts, once you water it with fertiliser it will always die. It's not possible to keep sphagnum moss alive with an orchid if you fertilise the orchid. The reason for adding sphagnum moss to orchids is to provide the orchids with an organic, moisture retentive substrate, therefore it doesn't matter if the moss is dead as it retains moisture wether it's dead or alive.

    If you want some nice moss that stays alive with your orchids, then you need to use a different type of moss. The best moss to use for this is the kind that grows on stone walls or tree trunks. This type of moss will stay alive and grow even if you use fertiliser and if the pot/mount dries out on the odd occasion (sphagnum moss dies as soon as it dries out even once). I use these types of moss on most of my mounted orchids and by now they have established themselves so well in my greenhouse that they seed themselves around with wild abandon and naturally colonise mounts and hanging baskets without the need for me to attach the moss anymore. There are many thousands of different species of moss that you can find on walls and trees, make sure you choose a creeping, small and slow growing species. The types that form cushions will grow too fast and swamp some of your smaller orchids. At least once a year I need to remove a lot of the moss from some of the smaller plants in order to stop them from being completely engulfed by moss.

    The best way to establish some of this moss on a mount is to first attach some sphagnum moss to provide moisture and then put some of the wall moss on top of that. The green moss will eventually cover the dead sphagnum and grow by itself over the rest of the mount. I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow to show you what I mean.
    I've always heard that you don't want anything growing in the same pot as your orchid, because it will be fighting your orchid for nutrients... is that a myth? Is moss okay? It sure looks nice... all "natural" and pretty!

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    Also be sure to use "premium" New Zealand or Chilean when potting orchids in moss. Early on I potted a Phal in the regular cheap spaghnum sold in many garden centers in the U.S. and promptly lost all the roots, not sure exactly why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris1140 View Post
    Also be sure to use "premium" New Zealand or Chilean when potting orchids in moss. Early on I potted a Phal in the regular cheap spaghnum sold in many garden centers in the U.S. and promptly lost all the roots, not sure exactly why.
    Interesting... I've had the exact opposite experience. The only moss my orchids survive in is the cheap stuff. The "premium" moss seems to be a lot denser, and it chokes off all the roots. (It has also clogged my garbage disposal TWICE... trust me... that was not pretty!) I'm curious why we'd have such polar opposite experiences with moss... it must be something about our growing conditions. We'll probably never know... there could be a million different factors at play. Curious...

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