Peat Moss- Sphagnum Hardy Planting Zones- 3-9 Sun or Shade- Shade Mature Height- 1"-3" Mature Width- varies Bloom Season- year round Gardener Status- Beginner
Sphagnum moss is known for being able to hold great quantities of water. This is true of both the living and dead parts of the plant. This ability allows the plant to spread out into areas that are much drier. Still, the moss is seldom found in woods or in alkaline water.
In the wild, sphagnum moss forms mats and thick clumps that float on bog water but are strong enough to hold the weight of a moose.
The leaves are tiny, sometimes toothed, and grow close to the stems. The living leaves are light green, though they can also be pink, red, brown or gold.
It is used to line the interior of hanging pots, and if there’s no other dressing around, moss can be used to dress wounds, for its acidity kills pathogens. Live plants and seeds are packed in sphagnum moss for the same reason before they’re shipped.
Gardeners who are interested in growing mushrooms use sphagnum moss as a medium. It's also used as soil for carnivorous plants such as Venus fly traps and pitcher plants. Sphagnum moss is used in a form of plant propagation called air layering. In this method, a slanting cut is made part way through the stem of a plant such as a diffenbachia, a toothpick is inserted and damp sphagnum moss is wrapped around the cut then secured with plastic wrap. The roots of a new plant form in several weeks. The plant above the new roots is cut off and repotted.