Peat moss is what some call a “soil amendment.” It is essentially the “partially decomposed” remnants of previously living or decayed, dried sphagnum moss found in bogs. Peat moss was first used by gardeners sometime in the 1950s. Some online sources claim that peat moss has actually “revolutionized” how plants are grown today. Peat moss is utilized as what experts call a “soil conditioner” in that it multiplies the soil’s water-holding and nutrient-retaining capacity. It does so by actually increasing cation exchange capacity and capillary forces. Peat moss is especially helpful when one is planting in sandy soil or working with plants that require a steady or increased amount of moisture to flourish genuinely. It can be very important in other ways as well. For example, it is an essential part of raising mushrooms. Online sources indicate that the “fungal mycelium grows in compost” beneath a layer of peat moss. The mushrooms grow out of this. The process is known as casing. Additionally, peat moss is both an important topper and soil for the majority of carnivorous plants. It is very versatile and has other uses as well. For example, peat moss is also used as insulation material by residents of specific regions of the north Arctic.
Peat Moss grows primarily in bogs or fens. It is primarily green in color and has no true leaf structure. Instead, it consists of a leaf-like structure composed of living green cells with larger dead clear cells underneath. This moss can be distinguished by its rather unique branch cluster which stems from the center of the plant. It is capable of holding up to 20 times its dry weight. Peat Moss has no flowers and bears no fruit. With a lack of "true roots", it is easily found on many surfaces such as, but not limited to, rocks, tree bark, and soil. This moss is famously known to be a great fertilizer and is sought after for its amazing absorbing qualities. Needing little direct sunlight makes this moss easy to grow.
Peat Moss - Sphagnum flexuosum
USDA Climate Zone: 3-8
Maturity Height: Approximately 30 cm
Maturity Width: Varying
Soil: May Grow in a Variety of Soils
Sun: Prefers Low to Moderate Sun