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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

Moderator: Matt

By schmeg
Location: 
Posts:  214
Joined:  Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:07 pm
#318099
Can someone please point me to the authoritative guide to preparing long-fiber sphagnum moss (Besgrow Spagmoss) for flytraps?

Does the moss really need to be rinsed with boiled distilled water, or microwaved?

I read that people do this, but can anyone confirm that it makes a difference? Or can I just hydrate and go?

Thank you!
By Secretariat73
Posts:  155
Joined:  Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:28 pm
#318102
It is always best to test the moss before using it. To do this, saturate the dry moss with RO/distilled/rain water. No need to nuke or boil. Squeeze the moss and collect a water sample. Test the water sample for dissolved solids.

The last batch of Besgrow Spagmoss that I received from Amazon returned an initial reading of over 200ppm. Rinse the moss (saturate/squeeze dry/discard rinse water repeatedly) until you receive an acceptable ppm reading. I use RO water and shoot for a reading around 20ppm (of which the water accounts for 17ppm). Usually takes me about 4 rinses to get to that point with this last batch of moss.
By SundewWolf
Posts:  2205
Joined:  Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:38 pm
#318141
Some people do that to kill any potential fungal spores in the moss, but for the most part you shouldn't have any issues. It can potentially break down the sphag and you'll have deteriorated substrate much earlier and have to repot more often. I just buy good quality sphag and rehydrate it in a bucket of distilled water before potting.
By promethean_spark
Posts:  72
Joined:  Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:00 pm
#318337
If you're going to plant seeds on it and seal it in a bag or with saran wrap, microwaving helps it last longer before it starts growing mold and algae. I do that with cactus seed I sow in bagged pots, which I leave sealed for up to 5 years and it works great. Tried that with Sarrs and they still got mold and algae after several months (vs weeks without microwaving) I think it's just too wet. By that point they're fine to come out though.
By schmeg
Location: 
Posts:  214
Joined:  Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:07 pm
#318365
I had flourishing algae on my peat-perlite-sand media for flytrap seeds. I carefully scraped off the peat around the 5-week-old sprouts and topped each seed pot with fresh media mixed with cinnamon and a touch of hydrogen peroxide.

My next batch of seeds has been soaking in rainwater. I'm planting them as they kick out a root cap. Part of the idea is to minimize the time the peat spends zipped up in a baggie.

But I'm also trying different combinations of sphagnum and peat: like, packing the seedling cup with long-fibered sphagnum moss with a dot of fine peat on top for the seed bed; 100% LFSM; and so on. I'll do some with microwaved moss and some without.
By Secretariat73
Posts:  155
Joined:  Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:28 pm
#318383
The next time you try a peat mixture, try rinsing the peat before you sow the seed. It will make a huge difference in the amount of resulting algae. I didn't rinse the first time I tried sowing CP seed in peat/perlite and got lots of algae. After that, I filled the pots with peat/perlite and let water drain through them two or three times before sowing the seed. Worked like a charm. Virtually no algae whatsoever. :)
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