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-   -   Sphag - dead or alive? (http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orchid-potting-mediums-3/sphag-dead-or-alive-31070/)

blackvine 10-31-2013 12:14 AM

Sphag - dead or alive?
So when my tan, bone dry sphag turns a nice green green after a couple months on top of the medium in a potted orchid . . . Is it now alive? Can I harvest some and start a colony?

Bolero 10-31-2013 06:36 AM

No, if it's dead........it's dead. The green slime on top is just algae I think.

Ladyofthelakes 10-31-2013 09:40 AM

I have recently mounted 3 different orchids and the moss has turned somewhat green after only a few days. I have also used it on my experiment with back bulbs and sprayed the moss with Superthrive rooting vitamin and it has turned spotty green.

Catt Mandu 10-31-2013 10:33 AM

Well, it depends. If the sphagnum has not been sterilized, and there are spores of the sphagnum in the dry stuff you bought, then you can get sphagnum re-generating from the spores. You will see small star-shaped green growing tips on the Sphagnum if this happens, they are a light green in moderate light, but under intense light, some sphagnum goes a bit red.

If you are seeing a uniform green, especially a green slime or dark green coloration on your moss, that is probably an algal slime. Ditto if the green appears quickly and spreads rapidly.

katrina 10-31-2013 06:22 PM

Or, it could be a local moss that has taken hold in the sphag due to some spores moving in...I've had this happen often.

Catt Mandu 10-31-2013 07:30 PM

If you are lucky enough to find some live sphag growing (small patches here and there on wet, acid soil are common in many places) you can gather a little and it will colonize your formerly-dry moss as long as it is kept wet.

blackvine 10-31-2013 10:36 PM

Darn. Don't think I'll find live sphag around here, but I found out I can order it. I don't think I will though. I have other mosses that seem to be growing and throwing up spores in my orchid room. Not tons, but some. Also, when I go to Hausermann's and ask if I can bag a little of the moss they have growing on the bench floors (Tons. Seriously.) they are pretty accommodating.

Just wondering because I have a fat coelogyne back bulb and I read that they can be propagated in live sphag. So I put it in my dead sphag and it is soaking!

blackvine 10-31-2013 10:39 PM


Originally Posted by katrina (Post 381836)
Or, it could be a local moss that has taken hold in the sphag due to some spores moving in...I've had this happen often.

Kat, I think I may have that, too. I see spores popping up here and there. Must remember to harvest and try to cultivate. I'll bet it's like the native wildflowers around here, though - pull those up and try to cultivate and they're goners. They just want to grow where THEY want to!

Catt Mandu 11-01-2013 05:38 AM

Blackvine, last month I started a very small pot of live sphagnum, just to get some going for my few Paphs and some carnivorous plants. I will have to see how well it does, but if it does well, maybe I can send you some live stuff in a few months? Right now my pot of live moss sits down in a yogurt cup - it's that small!

blackvine 11-01-2013 10:49 AM

Catt, that would be great! Thank you!

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