Harvesting Moss

SerSwanky

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I've trolled the internet for information on moss as a top dressing for my ficus benjamina bonsai and found some bits of helpful information here and there (regarding the moss).

However, I didn't find any information about bugs. Since the harvested moss is from the outdoors, have any of you noticed bugs in the dirt of the moss you brought from outside now on your indoor bonsai?

I read in one of the articles people boiling the moss for a minute or two to kill any critters might be hanging out. Does that work? Normally when I boil water and pour it on weeds it kills it. I just want to make sure I'm getting good info before killing a good patch of moss!
 
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Wires_Guy_wires

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Moss bugs shouldn't be an issue. They're most likely already living in your soil.
But indoors, most mosses don't fare well for some reason unless they're absolutely soaked at all times.
 

Shibui

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I've also never had any problem with bugs in moss. I've introduced some weeds but no bugs of note.
I've never heard of boiling moss. It tends to be fairly delicate so I suspect hot ware would kill it but I've also been surprised how many seeds can survive heat treatment so maybe moss can too. More likely the boiling water treatment may be aimed at sphagnum moss which is not expected to live as a surface dressing.
Also agree with @Wires_Guy_wires that moss will probably be a challenge indoors. Hard enough getting it to thrive on outdoor pots.
 

Potawatomi13

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I read in one of the articles people boiling the moss for a minute or two to kill any critters might be hanging out. Does that work? Normally when I boil water and pour it on weeds it kills it. I just want to make sure I'm getting good info before killing a good patch of moss!
If you want dead brown moss:rolleyes:.
 

Lutonian

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I think there may be some confusion between placing live moss on the substrate surface and covering the surface with shredded sphagnum moss. Collected sphagnum can be boiled to remove bugs and stuff as it doesn't matter if it's alive or dead as its just a water retentive top dressing. Live mosses should have soil removed but not boiled as it will kill the moss this this is used as a aesthetic cover for the bonsai soil.
 

Arnold

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The easy way: collect just regular street hardy moss, wash it well trough a fine mesh to get rid of the dust and nasty stuff, let it dry and store it, any time you repot or want to use it for airlayering you will have it ready
 

Kadebe

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I think there may be some confusion between placing live moss on the substrate surface and covering the surface with shredded sphagnum moss. Collected sphagnum can be boiled to remove bugs and stuff as it doesn't matter if it's alive or dead as its just a water retentive top dressing. Live mosses should have soil removed but not boiled as it will kill the moss this this is used as a aesthetic cover for the bonsai soil.
You can also let the moss dry out completely, then sieve it and make a 50/50 mix with sphagnum.
The spores will do their job and after a while your pot will be overgrown with moss again. just make sure you keep it moist.
 

penumbra

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You can also let the moss dry out completely, then sieve it and make a 50/50 mix with sphagnum.
The spores will do their job and after a while your pot will be overgrown with moss again. just make sure you keep it moist.
Some years ago I did this quite often without the sphagnum, just using dried collected moss. It is unreal how smooth a moss cating you can get. Also, this same dried moss can be mixed with buttermilk and brushed on rocks, wood etc to give a nice coating of live moss.
 

SerSwanky

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I went for a walk (through the snow) up into the valley I live in and found a lot of great moss on the rocks. I’ll take the challenge to see how long I can make it live!

I know it’s more for display for and such, definitely not necessary in a trainer pot but it’s fun so ima do it anyways. And it looks nice(r) in my office. I’ll see if I can get it to grow and then shape it a little. If not I’ll just clean it out.
 

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