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- 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
Spaghnum Moss - Sphagum Andersonium
Spagnum Moss, which is also known by its more common name, peat moss, is a grouping of approximately 380 different types of moss. It mostly grows in dense, tightly-packed clumps but can sometimes be found in small patches. Its minuscule leaves which are sometimes toothed grow close to the stem in tufts, not unlike hair. Most of the time, these leaves are a light green color, however, some species also have colored leaves such as brown, dark red, pink, and yellow. The plant grows to no more than four inches and is known for its shallow roots that take to wet, boggy areas best and thrive in acidic (low pH) soil. When it takes off, the sphagnum moss grows so tightly together that when it's growing in an especially watery area, it forms what are known as "bog mats" which float, are cushiony, and can withstand a lot of weight. Moss is an excellent water absorbing plant, able to soak up water much like a sponge, thanks to its capillary tube system. When the plant is dried and/or decayed (then specifically known as peat moss), it is a great conditioner for soil and allows it to hold a greater capacity of water and nutrients than most soil is on its own. Dried, it also makes great tinder material as it catches fire very easily. In its dried state, its absorbency and acidic composition, as well as its antibacterial and fungicidal properties made it a popular wound dressing back during the time of the World Wars. This moss also works great as a fertilizer for gardens and flower beds. Mushrooms, for example, grow incredibly well in soil conditioned with peat moss. The moss's absorbent, nutrient-storing abilities make it ideal to use for those who do soil-free gardening as well. Sphagnum moss is also a perfect plant on the smaller scale for hanging baskets and window flower boxes, as well as in topiaries for an excellent filler.
Sphagnum Moss is a genus of moss belonging to the Sphagnaceae family. It has a system of tiny capillary tubes, which makes it absorb water like a sponge. However, it can be dried out and re-used. It is found in wet, boggy areas. Maximum growth occurs in acidic soil (low pH). Sphagnum Moss grows in thick, compact clumps and has very shallow roots. Its tiny, rigid leaves are typically green, but red, pink, yellow, and thick red leaves are possible. The base of its stem is covered in hair-like tufts. Use this moss as a great base for a topiary or terrarium!