Re: moss in my cp soil

From: Chris Teichreb (
Date: Fri Jan 08 1999 - 10:30:10 PST

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 10:30:10 -0800 (PST)
From: Chris Teichreb <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg56$foo@default>
Subject: Re: moss in my cp soil

Hi Chad,

> I often use a 1/2sand 1/2peat mixture for my cp.
> Always, I try to sterilize my soil using a microwave or oven.
> However, eventually moss begins to grow with my cp.

        That technique probably doesn't kill off all the spores as they
can be heat resistant. If the moss is wetted and then heated, that will
probably get rid of most of the spores. Pressure cooking (ie:
autoclaving) will sterilize the soil for sure.

> Lucky for me, the moss that sneaks into my carnivorous plants
> is not a kind that will overwhelm a small cp.
> The moss that grows here is very compact, and tolerant of
> extreme temps. It survives 90F and low humidity in the summer
> and -10F cold in the winter. With my carnivorous plants, the
> tallest I've seen it grow is aprox. 1cm.

        This is the same stuff that grows in my pots, and rosetted
sundews, especially when young, are easily overwhelmed. While it does
grow taller than most of the terrestrial Utrics, it doesn't seem to affect

> I wonder, how many moss spores are floating in the air I'm
> breathing? How many moss spores are in a Liter of my sand?

        If you're worried about moss spores germinating within your body,
don't :)! If you're handling the soil with your hands, there's probably
spores on your body, in your clothes, etc. Even going outside for a walk
can result in picking up a few spores. It's just a matter of time! No,
I'm not paranoid :)!

> Maybe, the only way to grow carnivorous plants, without moss,
> is growing them in tissue culture media. However, there are
> carnivorous plants that grow better with moss. That's my
> impression from what I've read in CPN and this mailing list.

        Yes, I agree. If you don't want moss growing, you have to grow
your plants in tc. The type of moss that grows on the soil is, however,
unsuitable for cp cultivation as it's too fine and compact and is actually
quite dry to the touch. However, mosses that you find growing in the bog
are extremely ideal for many cp, IME, but do need occasional trimming.

> Chad.

Happy growing,


Chris Teichreb
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C.

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