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By Gary
Posts:  327
Joined:  Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:23 pm
Hi all. I was recently gifted some red sphagnum (thanks, Nocturne!) and I'm wondering if I should be feeding it now and then. I read through the great post titled "Sphagnum Science" but I'd prefer to use an OTC product just for the convenience. Has anyone who's growing their own had success with feeding and what did you use? All advice appreciated!
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By steve booth
Posts:  1141
Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
Good question, I've never fed mine, on the principle that it grows in a nutrient-free (ish) environment when growing in/on peat which is what I normally grow it on, but when grown in trays of water with a couple of handfuls of ordinary garden soil it does seem to be greener but not necessarily bigger or faster-growing.
I would like to know this too.
ChefDean liked this
By davinstewart
Posts:  314
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
I would only feed it if it looks pale and sickly. The problem I've seen with feeding sphagnum is that it promotes algal bloom and slime molds.

Instead, I'd focus on dialing in the cultural conditions first. It should grow just fine without fertilizer and feeding it is optional, honestly.

I also have some red sphagnum and was impressed with how much light it needs to show color. It's basically growing within 3-4" of some generic led shop lights and seems to like those conditions, as long as I can keep it from drying out.

If/when you decide to try fertilizing it, I would start with a very dilute solution and slowly dial it up. You want to find the sweet spot where the sphagnum is getting a boost but the algae and slime molds are not.

Hope that helps and good luck!
By Gary
Posts:  327
Joined:  Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:23 pm
Good point about the light. I have just one small single bulb fixture that I've used to keep the sundews happy during the winter. I could try rotating the moss tray under it and see if it improves the color. And that's true about the natural environment of sphagnum, acidic bogs don't provide much in the way of nutrients. More research needed. Thanks, all!

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