Spagnum moss instead of soil?

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Spagnum moss instead of soil?

Postby Misty Fields » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:37 pm

I was watching some american video clips about growing bonsai and they were using spagnum moss to grow them in instead of soil.
Has anyone tried this method and if so how effective is it? The man demonstrating said it is widely used over there.
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Re: Spagnum moss instead of soil?

Postby taffyman » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:39 pm

I've seen similar vid clips Misty. Somewhere buried among the topics here a member from the US said their sphagnum moss was different to ours. Here we actually have two types: Sphagnum Moss, and Sphagnum Moss Peat. The Peat stuff would be too fine and dense for Bonsai and would hold way too much water with very little in the way of air. The Sphagnum Moss could possibly be used, but it is so light that the tree wouldn't have anything to really anchor itself into the pot with. Three other problems I see with using it is that (a) If you have permanently moist moss in a sunny position, it will begin to grow and your whole pot will be covered in green. (b) Sphagnum moss is virtually sterile - you would have to supply all the nutrients the tree requires on a regular basis including trace elements, unless you mix some dynamic lifter or cow manure in with the moss, and then you run the risk of over fertilizing it. (c) The cost. Here it is about $8.50 for what they say is a 5 litre bag. For $16.00 I can get a 65 litre bag of premium potting mix with added fertilizer, trace elements and soil wetting agent.
If you wanted to increase the water holding capacity of your pots, you could chop some up reasonably small and include it in your mix.
The link below says a bit more about using it - including the possible health risks

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATSphagnum%20Moss.htm
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Re: Spagnum moss instead of soil?

Postby Misty Fields » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:56 pm

On further looking into the sphagnum moss, I read where it can cause a fungal disease called sporotichos which can be fatal in extreme cases. :( I had never heard about it before until I was looking sphagnum moss up on the net. Although potting soils are supposed to be dangerous also if breathed in.
I guess somethings going to get us in the end, anyway I think I will give it a miss then, ....dont want to test fate.... :lol:
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Re: Spagnum moss instead of soil?

Postby guzzigirl » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:10 pm

also spagnum moss is typically harvested and not easily renewable so is better if alternatives are used.
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Re: Spagnum moss instead of soil?

Postby Aggapanthus » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:14 pm

And furthermore - spagnum moss is quite expensive. I would rather use soil.
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Re: Spagnum moss instead of soil?

Postby Pam » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:51 am

guzzigirl wrote:also spagnum moss is typically harvested and not easily renewable so is better if alternatives are used.


Do you mean spagnum moss or peat moss Guzzi. People who do grow spagnum are having to continuallly harvest it or it threatens to engulf everything around it. Again, it comes back to what Taffy said - they're different products in different places.
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