How To Grow And Maintain Sphagnum Moss In Your Garden

Live Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum Moss is a family of 380 mosses. This moss can expand to dry areas in the garden and generate huge mires. It is often used as ‘peat moss’ which is soil that is made out of this plant.

Live sphagnum moss is often used in gardens because it is known as an environment manipulator and can enrich the soil and the composition of an ecosystem.


Living sphagnum moss is usually found in temperate regions (for example the boreal forests of North America) but it also can be found in the tropics. It can in areas with a damp atmosphere and is often found in bogs, fens, marshes, swamps, and on the forest floor.

This plant prefers acidic soil with a pH of 3.5 to 4.5 and needs full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and need moist conditions to grow like most moss species.

Tip: Read this article if you want to learn more about the science of Sphagnum Moss.

Is Sphagnum Moss Vascular Or Non-Vascular?

Sphagnum Moss is a non-vascular plant because it does not have any vascular tissue. The plant takes nutrients from the water around it.

Benefits Of Live Sphagnum Moss In Your Garden

Sphagnum Moss can be used as a ground cover and is a great way to help to control erosion and help to control weeds and regulate temperature. It can improve drainage and will add organic matter to the soil. Therefore compaction is reduced and aeration is increaded.

Live sphagnum moss will hold water and nutrients and can make the soil more acidic. The moss will improve the structure of the soil and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria for the rest of the plants in a garden.

As you can see, sphagnum peat moss can be very beneficial for any garden and has a multi-purpose function.

How Long Does Sphagnum Moss Live?

Once you plant live sphagnum moss in your garden, you can expect it to live for many years as long as it does not dry out or burned by the sun. Some say that it outlives humans and reaches an age of 100 years or more.

Types & Characteristics

This lush plant can grow to be up to 11.8 inches (30 cm) tall and can be found in various sizes and shapes.

There are many different types because this family consists of 380 mosses and can be found in many colors, including:

  • green;
  • red;
  • yellow, and;
  • brown.

The most well-known type of family is the sphagnum peat moss which is often used to make soil for gardens.

What Does Live Sphagnum Moss Feed On?

The sphagnum moss species feeds on dead and decaying plants and helps to decompose plant matter. During this process, it releases nutrients into the soil creating humus that is an important base of the ecosystem.

Can Live Sphagnum Moss Be Used For Moss Lawns?

Yes, live sphagnum moss can be used for moss lawns but we recommend other mosses like sheet moss for this particular case. It is often used to create green roofs and functions as a natural insolator.

Tip: We also sell live Spagnum moss.

How To Grow Sphagnum Moss

Growing sphagnum moss can be done in many ways. One of the ways it to do this by spores and another of growing sphagnum moss is to propagate it by division.

Simply use a sharp knife and split the moss in two. Plant the two separate pieces in an area with partial sunlight and keep them moist with distilled water, or rainwater. After 1-2 months it will start to spread.

Planting Instructions

You can also buy live sphagnum moss from our webshop. Remove one inch of topsoil in the area you want to plant the moss or speard it around carnivorous plants. Pin the moss down and water it with rainwater, reverse osmosis water or filtered water. It will attach itself to the surface area in 3-6 weeks.

This moss (sphagnum) can grow on many different surfaces. Prevent areas with more than 2 hours of afternoon sunlight. Areas with partial sunlight and a lot of moisture are the best conditions for this moss to thrive.

You can plant this evergreen in many ways. It will thrive:

  • in pots;
  • in the ground;
  • on logs;
  • on rocks; and
  • on many other places.

Best Time To Plant

The best time to plant Sphagnum Moss is in the spring or summer. But it will survive transplanting in fall or winter as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing.

How To Care

Mosses do not require much care and are known as easy plants to take care of. Live sphagnum moss is not an exception to this rule.

Prevent watering it with tapwater but use rainwater or filtered water instead. Fertilization is not required and avoid areas where a full afternoon sun is at its strongest.

Pests And Diseases

The sphagnum moss family can be susceptible to pests and diseases. This plant can be attacked by mealybugs, aphids, scale insects, mites, slugs, snails, nematodes, fungi, and all kinds of bacteria and viruses.

But don’t worry, it is also known to be resilient and will bounce back after it has been under attack from a pest or disease.

Can Sphagnum Moss Be Used As A Mulch?

Yes, sphagnum mosses can be used as a mulch. It will help to control weeds, retain moisture, and regulate temperature. This type of moss is often used in combination with other materials such as:

  • leaves;
  • bark;
  • straw; and
  • compost.

How To Use Sphagnum Moss As A Mulch?

The best way to use Sphagnum Moss as a mulch is to spread a layer of it around the plants you want to protect. This moss is often used as a soil topper for growing carnivorous plants to prevent the growth of weeds and hold moisture in the soil.

Do You Need A License To Harvest Sphagnum Moss?

Yes, in some states you need a license for harvesting this moss. It is often used for horticultural purposes as a soil mix and is often harvested from the wild.

Four Ways To Preserve Sphagnum Moss

If you want to preserve this moss, there are a few things you can do. This moss can be preserved by:

  1. Drying;
  2. Freezing;
  3. Pressing, and;
  4. by treating it with glycerin.

Make sure to keep it in a dark and dry place once you’ve prepared the moss for preservation.

How To Make Dried Sphagnum Moss

The best way to make dried sphagnum moss is by spreading it out on a screen or towel and placing it in a dry and warm place. Make sure to turn the dried moss regularly so that all sides get an equal amount of air exposure.

How To Freeze Sphagnum Moss?

Freezing is one of the most common ways to preserve this moss. All you have to do is place it in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer.

How To Press Sphagnum Moss?

The only thing you have to do is place it between two sheets of paper and weigh it down (for example between two books).

How To Treat Sphagnum Moss With Glycerin?

Treating Sphagnum Moss with glycerin is another way to preserve it. Mix one part glycerin with two parts water and soak the moss in it.

When Is Sphagnum Moss In Season?

This moss is in season all year round.

Is It Possible To Grow This Moss Inside?

Yes, it is possible to grow sphagnum moss inside. All you need is a pot, some and some filtered water or rainwater.

First, you have to soak the the live moss in water for about 30 minutes. After that, squeeze out the excess water and place it in the pot.

Now all you have to do is water it regularly and place it in a bright spot, but not in direct sunlight.

Sphagnum moss will grow best at a temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Is Sphagnum Moss Peat?

Peat is Sphagnum Moss that has been decomposed and is used as a soil amendment or as fuel.

It is often used in potting mix and can improve the drainage and aeration of potting soil. Peat is a natural growing medium can also help to lower the pH of the soil.

What Animals Eat Sphagnum Moss?

There are a few animals that love to eat this moss. These include:

  • deer;
  • moose;
  • rabbits, and;
  • rodents.

These animals often eat sphagnum mosses because it is a good source of nutrients. It is also a good source of water for them.


Sphagnum Moss is a great addition to any garden. It can help to control weeds, retain moisture, and regulate temperature. This moss can also be used as a mulch, potting soil or as a soil amendment.

If you want to preserve this plant, you can do so by drying it. This will result in beautiful dried moss that can be used for decorations. Another way is preservation by freezing it, pressing it, or treating it with glycerin.

This moss is in season all year round and can be grown inside as well.

If you have any questions regarding live Sphagnum Moss, feel free to get in touch with us!

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