Bhart90 wrote:What makes my sphagnum bleach white under the new growth.
Sphagnum can have up to two pigments: green and one other color, typically a shade of red or a shade of orange. Even sphagnum that looks red is green on the inside. The green pigment is for capturing light for photosynthesis. It looks green because photosynthesis uses blue and red light and throws away the other colors. When sphagnum gets more light than it can use in photosynthesis, some species have the ability to “tan” like a human... except sphagnum tans a shade of red or orange depending on the species. Some species of sphagnum are incapable of tanning.
The reason why some species if sphagnum turn white underneath the new green growth is because that part of the plant is not getting enough light and so photosynthesis is impossible and the cholorplasts that are green are dying. This is natural. With stronger light you can keep the deeper parts more green because more light will penetrate deeper down.
Species that tan a color can keep that color, even after the green chloroplasts die. In fact dead austinii and dead fuscum look very similar to live austinii and fuscum when grown under very intense light because it is dark brown when dead and alive. You can’t see any green.