Re: moss and seeds

From: Chris Teichreb (
Date: Thu Apr 08 1999 - 09:42:36 PDT

Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 09:42:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Chris Teichreb <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1246$foo@default>
Subject: Re: moss and seeds

Hi Kenneth,

> I am a novice with CPs but not with bromeliads, and wrote a series of
> articles on using different media for bromeliad seed germination. I did
> not have access to live sphagnum, but tried a product I have seen only on
> the west coast - Green Moss, harvested from the Pacific Northwest. It
> almost always starts growing again after being kept moist. This stuff was
> the best planting medium I found, very few problems with fungus.

        If it's what I've seen sold in nurseries, this moss is definitely
not sphagnum moss, but rather one of the terrestrial mosses found growing
in the understory of our wet, humid forests. It holds moisture, but not
as well as peat mosses. I have never tried it on cp's, and never will,
since it's not from their natural environment. You have to be careful
because all of the nurseries in my area sell this moss as sphagnum moss.
Make sure you can tell the difference!

> BTW, I have never seen *visible* fungus overwhelm a seedling, but of course
> have probably lost a lot to the more subtle sorts.

        Being in the Pacific Northwest, our winters are very humid, dark,
and gloomy, ideal for fungal growth. While my cp's which I have on the
west facing windowsill often become covered in the fungal mycelia, it's
never outright killed any of the plants (in case everyone doesn't know,
I'm very rough on some of my plants, it's surprising what they'll stand up
to sometimes!). However, I have had whole flats of seedlings die with no
visible fungus. Definitely must be the different type in my opinion.

> On that subject, just where *can* I buy some live sphagnum?

        Live sphagnum is definitely a hot commodity. I personally
obtained mine from when I was up north (with permission from the
landowner), but only a small amount. However, it grows like a weed under
the right condition, so you only need a little.

> Kenneth Quinn

Happy growing,


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

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