Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum Moss

When we speak of moss, we refer to plants called bryophytes that are characterized by having no conductive vessels, flowers, fruits, or even real roots . They were one of the first terrestrial plants that diversified, colonizing the humid regions of the Earth, about 289 million years ago.

They are characterized by having “stems” , better called caulidios, because they do not have a true stem, and “leaves” (filidios) that remind a lot of the gems . Its height does not exceed 10cm; However, they can cover a considerable area, such as a rock or, even, over time, a wall. And they grow in any damp place and protected from the direct sun . During the dry season they wither almost completely, but once they return the rains re-green.

Reproduction can be sexual , taking place in the reproductive system known as archegonium; or asexual through the fragmentation of the gametophyte (what would come to be the moss specimen).

sphagnum moss
in habitat, growing on sphagnum moss.

What function do they have?

Moss plays a fundamental role in ecosystems. They retain moisture and prevent its degradation . But besides that they constitute an important refuge for small invertebrate animals . The fact that it is collected indiscriminately is seriously damaging our landscapes, so only those who have the necessary permits can do so.

Is it a good idea to use it to decorate the plants?

If we want to use moss, I recommend buying spaghnum moss in any nursery, gardening shop or online stores specialized in carnivorous plants. As we have said, we should not pick up moss that we can find in the field, because we could put in danger the balance that keeps it alive.

Once this is taken into account, moss is a non-parasitic type of plant, which means that it will not do any damage to the plant we are growing . In addition, placing a little on the surface of the substrate makes the beauty of the bonsai or those plants that we have in the pot enhanced, and not to mention that it helps to maintain humidity.

However, it has a drawback that must be taken into account: to survive, it needs to be watered frequently , which means that we can not put it on all the plants we want, but only those whose water requirements are high as aquatic or semi-aquatic, kokedamas, and some bonsai (Taxodium, Rhododendron, Ficus, Picea). It can also be used as a unique substrate for carnivorous plants, especially for Sarracenia, since these plants need high humidity to be able to survive.


Ideas for decorating with sphagnum moss

To finish, we leave you with some photos of plants decorated with this curious vegetal carpet:


Do you have an empty bottle, box or aquarium? Give it a new life by turning it into a terrarium. A bit of peat, a layer of moss, some strategically placed stones, and you will only have to water often to remind you of a mountain landscape , in miniature that is, but just as nice ????.

sphagnum moss


The kokedamas are plants whose roots are wrapped with moss . They are used as pendants, and the truth is that they are very good, as you can see in the image above. Go ahead and make your own. Here you have information on how to get it.

sphagnum moss

Bonsai and accent plants

The moss is usually put moss in the bonsai, especially if they are going to be exposed. But it can also be used for plants that accompany them , accent plants, such as ferns.

sphagnum moss

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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