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Old 02-07-2011, 08:19 AM
swiatoniowski swiatoniowski is offline

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 55
Default sphagnum


I have some very simple question refers to sphagnum. A few months ago I repotted some orchids into fresh New Zeland sphagnum. It was bright yellow. Now, after just about 4 months it change colour into much darker, grey-brown... When I saw orchids in some collections, sphagnum usually looks very bright in colour... I know, that generally plants in sphagnum should be repotted every year. But, please tell me if this is just normal, that it change colour so fast ?

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Old 02-07-2011, 10:33 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Lancashire UK
Age: 41
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sphagnum Female

I think the colour change generally depends on certain factors. Such as Light, Moisture, Mix and how clean everything is.

If you want your sphag to stay that light brown colour for longer, then it can't stay too wet for too long (for starters). Thus you would have to have a plant that likes similar conditions.

I have a couple of mixed pots with bark, coconut chips and sphag for my experimental Noid Dendrobiums. This has seemed to go a darker brown in places quite quickly. Though I presumed in one case that it was because the Bark/Coconut chips was not rinsed enough before use. In another pot because it had a rest. For the one with the rest the sphag had started to go green in places and then after (with the dry out) the green bits went a darker brown (the Algae dieing I presume).

Others, which are just Sphag such as Neo falcata on mount and a Sarracenia in glass (Trumpet Pitcher - predatory plant) just seem to go green over time.

I'm not too sure about the tone of Grey-Brown you mean but I think it is virtually impossible to keep the dry Sphag from changing colour once you start using it. There are things you can do to help like making sure pots and mounts etc. are properly clean before use, also the quality of the water you use may have an effect. But eventually with the addition of moisture and light the colour will change.

Generally Green is more often than not the colour I expect.

These are just my own observations .
I too would also like to hear others experiences with Sphag.
(always eager to learn more! )

Last edited by Triffid; 02-07-2011 at 08:33 PM.. Reason: Bad grammar
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:10 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: middle of the Netherlands
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The sphag on my mounts changes color much more rapidly than the sphag of the potted plants. The mounts are watered everyday, and the sphag doesn't stay dry very long. For my orchids potted in sphag (and especially the sphag mound potted Neos) they are watered much less frequently, and they'll usually start to get algae even before really starting to go off color.

So the color change is normal, but like it's already been said, the time it takes will depend on a lot of factors.

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:31 PM
swiatoniowski swiatoniowski is offline

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 55

Many thanks for your reply. Perhaps, I simply worry too much. I suppose it also depends on quality of sphagnum. Unfortunately in Poland, there is just two internet shops, which sell this moss... So, in future I will look for some good quality in other countries. The colour is not a problem for me, but I wasn't sure if this doen't mean, that sphagnum started to breakdown so fast.

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bright, colour, orchids, repotted, sphagnum

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