Sphagnum Moss has long had a place in both the animal and plant hobbies. It's widely available, and has a multitude of uses. Yet, even though sphagnum moss is seemingly everywhere, many know surprisingly little about it. Let's take a trip down moss lane and explore the natural history of sphagnum moss, and what it can do for you.
What is sphagnum moss?Sphagnum is a genus of moss consisting of over 100 species, found worldwide. Sphagnum is known for it's water retaining abilities - even dead sphagnum moss can hold a huge volume of water. This allows sphagnum to slowly grow from wetter areas onto formerly dry land and create bogs. In these bogs, generations of sphagnum grow on top of each other, forming dense mats that can be several feet thick! I've read estimates that sphagnum bogs cover 1-2% of the earth's surface.Sphagnum creates a low pH environment, resulting in anaerobic conditions that reduce and greatly slow down the decay process. In this naturally anti-bacterial environment, the process of decomposition can take ages! In the past, this characteristic of sphagnum led ancient peoples to use sphagnum bogs as a sort of primitive refrigerator, storing meat and other foods in the sphagnum bog. Sphagnum has also been used a dressing for wounds in the recent past.The best part about sphagnum moss is that it grows back! Sphagnum is a renewable resource - depending on the location, sphagnum will regrow in 8-22 years after harvesting. That means that sphagnum is a green substrate, in both senses of the word!
How can I use sphagnum in a container garden or terrarium?Josh's Frogs Sphagnum Moss can be used as a top dressing on potted plants to aid in moisture retention. It can also be use to line hanging baskets for outdoor plants to prevent soil loss. Use Josh's Frogs Sphagnum Moss in floral arrangements to cover floral foam or as a decorative addition. Josh's Frogs Sphagnum Moss can be used for art and craft projects and home decor. Sphagnum moss will hold in moisture, keeping soil moist, and can even be used as a substrate for carnivorous plants and cuttings.
How can I use sphagnum moss in a vivarium or naturalistic terrarium?Sphagnum moss is a vital part of any naturalistic vivarium. Placed above the soil layer and below the leaf litter layer, sphagnum moss mimics the layer of decayed plant material found right above the soil layer in the tropical jungle. Sphagnum moss keeps the dirt off of your vivarium inhabitants, and also promotes a more humid soil layer, while providing a home to beneficial microfauna.Sphagnum moss can also be used as a stand alone substrate for quarantine or temporary enclosures. It's natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, coupled with it's ability to hold a vast amount of water, makes sphagnum moss an ideal temporary substrate for humidity loving amphibians. Sphagnum moss also makes a great substrate for humid hides, providing much needed moisture to a wide variety of reptiles, and aids in the shedding process.Many people want a lush, live bunch of moss in their vivarium - if this is the case, sphagnum moss is not for you! Check out our blog ""
Growing Moss like a Boss"" for tips on creating your lush green moss oasis!
What are the different kinds of sphagnum moss?Sphagnum moss is available in a wide array of different qualities and types. Canadian sphagnum moss tends to be cheap and full of sticks and other debris. This is the kind of moss you're most likely to run into at the big box garden centers or home improvement stores, and is not appropriate for use with animals.Chilean sphagnum moss is of moderate quality, still containing some debris but relatively clean. Once available widely in the United States, Chilean sphagnum is now mostly exported overseas to emerging Asian markets, making it a non-viable option for us in the US.New Zealand sphagnum moss is widely hailed as the highest quality, most preferred sphagnum moss available. Largely free of debris, New Zealand sphagnum moss is a great option for use in naturalistic vivaria and container gardens, and is what we carry at Josh's Frogs. We also have chosen to carry a higher grade New Zealand sphagnum than commonly available - only the best for you and yours!
Where do I get sphagnum moss?Sphagnum moss is widely available at garden centers and nurseries across the nation. But, many of these stores focus on selling a cheap product for a cheap price - it's difficult to find quality sphagnum moss that's appropriate for use with our animals and delicate plants in many places. We sell quality, clean
New Zealand Sphagnum Moss for use in hanging baskets, container gardens, and naturalistic vivaria at Josh's Frogs. We purchase the highest grade moss available in order to ensure you're getting the best.