What is Sphagnum moss?
Sphagnum moss is collected from moss on the surface of bogs and wetlands. After harvesting these plant material, they are dried resulting in a final product of a pure chunk of sphagnum moss. There are many types of sphagnum moss
Characteristics and types of Sphagnum moss
Sphagnum moss stems are filled with air spaces and have an impressive water holding capacity
There are many qualities of sphagnum moss that make it a good growing medium for epiphytic orchids. The air filled porosity of sphagnum moss (a measure of the void spaces in the potting mix) ranges from 15% to 26% under general conditions, comparable to bark and greater than peat moss.
Sphagnum moss can hold up to 20 times its weight in water and stores nutrients like calcium, magnesium and potassium. Prevents these trace elements from getting washed out through the pot. The slightly acidic nature of sphagnum moss results in a root zone environment that is hostile to bacteria and fungi which helps protect the roots from diseases.
Best Grades of Sphagnum Moss
5 star Chilean and New Zealand Sphagnum moss are the better ones in the market
5 star Chilean moss has relatively shorter strands but is very leafy which can reduce the air available to the plant when compacted into a pot. New Zealand moss has a robust leaf structure with a longer stem great for wrapping around roots.
It is best to use high quality Chilean or New Zealand Sphagnum moss as they usually last for 2 years in the pot depending on the quality of your irrigation water as well as how much you water and fertilize.