Welcome to our guide to how to prepare sphagnum moss for propagation. Moss is great for propagating aroids, I use it a lot as it is cleaner than soil so you get less rot, it also keeps the nodes both moist and airy to encourage rooting.
See also some of our propagation guides that use sphagnum moss: Philodendron Gloriosum Propagation In Moss, Monstera Dubia Propagation In Moss, Philodendron Melanochrysum Propagation In Moss Philodendron Micans Propagation In Sphagnum Moss.
What You’ll Need
You will need:
- Sphagnum moss
- A bowl big enough to hold the moss
- Filtered tap water
- Pots for planting in (I re-use office plastic cups)
How To Prepare Sphagnum Moss For Propagation
The moss can get clumpy and often come really compressed together. You want to separate out the strands as much as possible so it does not clump together when wet.
You can do this by pulling off bits at a time from the main bag or block of moss and putting small bits at a time in a big bowl so the moss is a separated as possible before wetting it. One of the great things about moss is that is it keeps the nodes airy and moist, if you let it clump it will not do that so well.
Once you have got rid of any lumps you can soak the moss in filtered tap water. I pour in plenty of water then squeeze the moss out and put it back in the water a couple of times. Then I squeeze the moss against the side of the bowl and tip the bowl at the same time to drain off any excess water into the sink.
I pick apart the moss one last time to get rid of any other clumps in it.
Then it can be put into the pot or cup you want to propagate in.
I normally use a pot without holes (I re-use plastic office water cups), and I put a layer of leca clay pebbles in the bottom of the cup so any excess water can drain off the moss into the leca
Can You Reuse Sphagnum Moss? (And How To Sterilize It)
Yes, I re-use moss all the time. I collect it from old plants that I repot. I remove as much of the plant matter as I can at the time – the roots etc. Then I keep it in a big tub. When I need to use it I pour boiling water over it to kill any bacteria, then I squeeze off all the water I can (using rubber gloves as it is hot!). Then I let it cool down and I re-rinse it in filtered tap water and squeeze off excess water and it is ready to re-use.
Why Use Sphagnum Moss?
It is a great propagation medium as it keeps the nodes moist and also gets air to them much better than soil can. It is also much cleaner than soil which lowers to risk of rot.
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