Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

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Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by fmstuart » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:43 pm

For carnivorous plants (VFT, Drosera, Nepenthes), can one use with Sphagnum moss or Sphagnum peat moss? According to articles I have seen, there are some differences. Thanks!


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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by nimbulan » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:23 pm

Peat is just decomposed Sphagnum. Because of its consistency, it tends to be more dense and hold more water. Sphagnum will generally be more loose (though you can pack it if you really want to) and will be more suitable for plants that like soil that's less wet, or need more air on the roots.

Generally peat is fine for the majority of sundews, Sarracenia, flytraps, and terrestrial Utricularia. Sphagnum is used more often for Nepenthes, Heliamphora, and epiphytic Utricularia (some people also swear by Sphagnum for flytraps.) Some plants like Cephalotus are commonly grown in either and most CP species can be grown in either if you have the right soil mix.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by fmstuart » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:34 am

Thank you! What, in your experience, works best?


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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by nimbulan » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:51 am

I haven't really played with different soil mixes too much. I mostly stick with the more commonly used ones - 1:1 peat:sand for sundews, Sarracenia, flytraps, Utrics, etc, and 1:1 LFS:perlite for Neps and Helis. I get a bit more creative for plants that like it drier like Mexican Pinguicula and Drosophyllum.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by Hurrikale » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:14 pm

nimbulan wrote:Peat is just decomposed Sphagnum. Because of its consistency, it tends to be more dense and hold more water. Sphagnum will generally be more loose (though you can pack it if you really want to) and will be more suitable for plants that like soil that's less wet, or need more air on the roots.

Generally peat is fine for the majority of sundews, Sarracenia, flytraps, and terrestrial Utricularia. Sphagnum is used more often for Nepenthes, Heliamphora, and epiphytic Utricularia (some people also swear by Sphagnum for flytraps.) Some plants like Cephalotus are commonly grown in either and most CP species can be grown in either if you have the right soil mix.
I think there are two kinds of peat Moss, one is called "Sphagnum peat moss" because it is decomposed Sphagnum, and the other one is just called "Peat moss" as it is simply decomposed peat moss, not sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss and peat moss are different kinds of moss, Sphagnum is bog moss whereas Peat is just ordinary moss that grows everywhere. There seems to be too much confusion, so people often label one as the other one, sphagnum peat moss as normal peat moss, normal peat moss as Sphagnum peat moss. My guess is that Sphagnum peat moss looks golden-dark brown and normal peat is dark black.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by nimbulan » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:21 pm

I've heard that before but I've never seen non-Sphagnum peat for sale anywhere. Maybe it's the case elsewhere but it doesn't seem to be available in the US.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by ChefDean » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:03 pm

There are about 380 species of moss, including Sphagnum, that are considered peat moss.
Sphagnum is referring to moss still in its fibrous form, sometimes long fibers, whether live or dead. Peat moss that is used for gardens, or carnivorous plants, is simply one, or many, of the 380 species of peat mosses, including Sphagnum, that have been compressed, aged, and broken down in an anaerobic environment such as a bog or swamp.
Just like all Bourbon is Whiskey, but not all Whiskey is Bourbon. All Sphagnum is Peat, but not all Peat is Sphagnum.
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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by Hurrikale » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:54 am

ChefDean wrote:There are about 380 species of moss, including Sphagnum, that are considered peat moss.
Sphagnum is referring to moss still in its fibrous form, sometimes long fibers, whether live or dead. Peat moss that is used for gardens, or carnivorous plants, is simply one, or many, of the 380 species of peat mosses, including Sphagnum, that have been compressed, aged, and broken down in an anaerobic environment such as a bog or swamp.
Just like all Bourbon is Whiskey, but not all Whiskey is Bourbon. All Sphagnum is Peat, but not all Peat is Sphagnum.
But Sphagnum is bog moss, it's not the "fibrous form" but a different species, probably because it evolved in wetlands. I have seen many articles saying that Sphagnum and Peat are definitely not the same kind of moss, and they have very different requirements to grow. Let's say that you place a whole clump of live sphagnum moss on rocks, it will eventually die as it loses moisture, while normal land moss will survive and grow, like cactus in a desert. Sphagnum always needs moisture to stay alive, normal moss doesn't. Also both kinds of moss have very different appearances, and I think Sphagnum decomposes slower than normal moss. LIVE Sphagnum moss grows on dead sphagnum moss and it keeps on growing like that, at the same time it can accumulate to compact which would block oxygen flow to slow down the decomposition of dead sphagnum. This cycle is very important for Sphagnum to survive because dead Sphagnum can also hold so much water to supply the live sphagnum on top of them. Since they have different requirements and appearances (and maybe properties too) they are not considered the same.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by ChefDean » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:37 am

Hurrikale wrote:I have seen many articles saying that Sphagnum and Peat are definitely not the same kind of moss...

Read where, in the first paragraph of the first article and the third paragraph of the second, it states that Sphagnum and Peat are the same plant.
Hurrikale wrote:and they have very different requirements to grow.

Peat does not grow, it is formed by dead mosses, including Sphagnum, being compressed and decomposing over centuries in anaerobic environments.
Hurrikale wrote:Let's say that you place a whole clump of live sphagnum moss on rocks, it will eventually die as it loses moisture, while normal land moss will survive and grow, like cactus in a desert. Sphagnum always needs moisture to stay alive, normal moss doesn't

All mosses need moisture to stay alive, it's their most basic necessity. I have "normal land moss" grow in my lawn and flower beds every spring when there is more rain. But, when the rainy season ends, it dies from, wait for it,..... Lack of moisture.
Hurrikale wrote:LIVE Sphagnum moss grows on dead sphagnum moss and it keeps on growing like that, at the same time it can accumulate to compact which would block oxygen flow to slow down the decomposition of dead sphagnum.

You're finally making sense, this restates what I've already said.
https://www.hunker.com/13404497/peat-mo ... agnum-moss
https://www.sandiaseed.com/blogs/news/s ... -peat-moss
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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by Hurrikale » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:12 am

ChefDean wrote:
Hurrikale wrote:I have seen many articles saying that Sphagnum and Peat are definitely not the same kind of moss...

Read where, in the first paragraph of the first article and the third paragraph of the second, it states that Sphagnum and Peat are the same plant.
Hurrikale wrote:and they have very different requirements to grow.

Peat does not grow, it is formed by dead mosses, including Sphagnum, being compressed and decomposing over centuries in anaerobic environments.
Hurrikale wrote:Let's say that you place a whole clump of live sphagnum moss on rocks, it will eventually die as it loses moisture, while normal land moss will survive and grow, like cactus in a desert. Sphagnum always needs moisture to stay alive, normal moss doesn't

All mosses need moisture to stay alive, it's their most basic necessity. I have "normal land moss" grow in my lawn and flower beds every spring when there is more rain. But, when the rainy season ends, it dies from, wait for it,..... Lack of moisture.
Hurrikale wrote:LIVE Sphagnum moss grows on dead sphagnum moss and it keeps on growing like that, at the same time it can accumulate to compact which would block oxygen flow to slow down the decomposition of dead sphagnum.

You're finally making sense, this restates what I've already said.
https://www.hunker.com/13404497/peat-mo ... agnum-moss
https://www.sandiaseed.com/blogs/news/s ... -peat-moss
You don't know what I'm trying to say. I simply wanted to point out the fact that there are different kinds of peat Moss, one is formed by decomposed Sphagnum, another is formed by decomposed land moss. So are you telling me that land moss and Sphagnum are the same? Also I don't think people won't agree with me if I say live Sphagnum needs to stay moist to survive. Land moss will go dormant when it dries, but Sphagnum is unlikely to do that, most of them will die completely at the absence of water. If you say that they are the same, you're practically saying that bog moss and land moss are the same. Do you think that makes sense? Please do not think that I'm talking nonsense without checking it thoroughly in the internet.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by ChefDean » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:09 pm

Hurrikale wrote:You don't know what I'm trying to say. I simply wanted to point out the fact that there are different kinds of peat Moss, one is formed by decomposed Sphagnum, another is formed by decomposed land moss.

You dont even know what you're trying to say. Here you say that peat is formed, at least in part, from Spagnum. Contradicting what you stated earlier.
Hurrikale wrote:But Sphagnum is bog moss, it's not the "fibrous form" but a different species, probably because it evolved in wetlands. I have seen many articles saying that Sphagnum and Peat are definitely not the same kind of moss, and they have very different requirements to grow.

Here, you stated that they are different species. You need to make up your mind. Or at least do better research before you tell someone 2 "facts" about the same subject that are contradictory to each other.
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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by _-SphagnumFromHell-_ » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:24 am

For most temperate bog CPs, peat moss, usually with perlite, will do. This includes Dionaea, Sarracenia, and most Drosera. However many people use Sphagnum moss for all three with great results. Especially Dionaea. I believe for Nepenthes, using peat is a little taboo because it holds moisture without giving as much aeration even when it's mixed with perlite. So usually a basic Nepenthes mix will be a sphagnum moss and perlite.

Peat moss in a mix tends to hold moisture at a more even level. Allowing you to let your plants sit in trays and only absorb water up to a specific level. Sphagnum moss on the other end is incredibly absorbent. It sucks water up fast and holds a large amount for a long time. Making it difficult to maintain moisture for people who like to fill their trays up for a week and leave it. Usually it can be left to the point of drying out slightly without any harm to the plants.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by Hurrikale » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:39 pm

ChefDean wrote:
Hurrikale wrote:You don't know what I'm trying to say. I simply wanted to point out the fact that there are different kinds of peat Moss, one is formed by decomposed Sphagnum, another is formed by decomposed land moss.

You dont even know what you're trying to say. Here you say that peat is formed, at least in part, from Spagnum. Contradicting what you stated earlier.
Hurrikale wrote:But Sphagnum is bog moss, it's not the "fibrous form" but a different species, probably because it evolved in wetlands. I have seen many articles saying that Sphagnum and Peat are definitely not the same kind of moss, and they have very different requirements to grow.

Here, you stated that they are different species. You need to make up your mind. Or at least do better research before you tell someone 2 "facts" about the same subject that are contradictory to each other.
The "peat" I meant was the dark brown peat moss, not the live one. I know what I'm saying so stop assuming that I don't. Bog moss and land moss forms the same looking peat so I said one is formed by bog moss and another is formed by land moss. I don't think I can simplify even further in case you still don't understand. Do not think they are the same just because their decomposed form has similar appearance. Let me say it again, right now you're claiming that there is just one kind of peat, which is decomposed Sphagnum, but I said there's another kind of peat, formed by normal land moss.

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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by SundewWolf » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:19 pm

Hurrikale wrote:
nimbulan wrote:Peat is just decomposed Sphagnum. Because of its consistency, it tends to be more dense and hold more water. Sphagnum will generally be more loose (though you can pack it if you really want to) and will be more suitable for plants that like soil that's less wet, or need more air on the roots.

Generally peat is fine for the majority of sundews, Sarracenia, flytraps, and terrestrial Utricularia. Sphagnum is used more often for Nepenthes, Heliamphora, and epiphytic Utricularia (some people also swear by Sphagnum for flytraps.) Some plants like Cephalotus are commonly grown in either and most CP species can be grown in either if you have the right soil mix.
I think there are two kinds of peat Moss, one is called "Sphagnum peat moss" because it is decomposed Sphagnum, and the other one is just called "Peat moss" as it is simply decomposed peat moss, not sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss and peat moss are different kinds of moss, Sphagnum is bog moss whereas Peat is just ordinary moss that grows everywhere. There seems to be too much confusion, so people often label one as the other one, sphagnum peat moss as normal peat moss, normal peat moss as Sphagnum peat moss. My guess is that Sphagnum peat moss looks golden-dark brown and normal peat is dark black.

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The terms sphagnum peat moss and peat moss are used relatively interchangeably, even though the term "peat" just means organic matter decomposed in wet acidic conditions. Most of what you find on the market will be sphagnum peat moss. Of course you can read the labels to try to find if its really "sphagnum peat moss" and not some other decomposed material, but more often than not its sourced from a sphagnum bog. There is that Reed Sedge Peat that's sold which is just decomposed reed, but i've only come across it once.
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Re: Sphagnum moss versus Sphagnum peat moss

by ChefDean » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:30 pm

Hurrikale wrote:The "peat" I meant was the dark brown peat moss, not the live one. I know what I'm saying so stop assuming that I don't

Really, because here you claim peat moss isn't live.
Hurrikale wrote:I have seen many articles saying that Sphagnum and Peat are definitely not the same kind of moss, and they have very different requirements to grow.

Yet here, you claim it grows, but differently than Sphagnum. Contradicting yourself again I see.
Hurrikale wrote:Let me say it again, right now you're claiming that there is just one kind of peat, which is decomposed Sphagnum, but I said there's another kind of peat, formed by normal land moss.

I never claimed that, this is what I claimed.
ChefDean wrote:There are about 380 species of moss, including Sphagnum, that are considered peat moss.
Sphagnum is referring to moss still in its fibrous form, sometimes long fibers, whether live or dead. Peat moss that is used for gardens, or carnivorous plants, is simply one, or many, of the 380 species of peat mosses, including Sphagnum, that have been compressed, aged, and broken down in an anaerobic environment such as a bog or swamp.

About 380 species of moss that can turn into peat? Wow! A far cry from the one type you claimed I said.
Since I've pointed out your many contradictions and shown your lack of comprehension, I'll bow out and let you continue to spit and sputter. Peace
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