moss query

Steve

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Years ago my bonsai potting mix was much more like regular garden centre potting mix. Now I am just starting to make up mixes with gravel, clay based kitty litter and pine bark. The mix I used to use I could grow moss on no problem, this new stuff is so well draining I can't seem to get moss to stick to it so it can grow. I'd be grateful for any ideas.

Steve.
 

Jay Wilson

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Hey Steve,
I have the same problem. I've read advice to put a layer of finer soil on top for the moss to grow on, but the finer stuff seems to just wash into the coarser soil below.
I've had some success by growing the moss on a fairly thick layer of fines in a seperate tray then putting pieces of it on the bonsai soil and burying the edges. Doesnt' work all the time though.

Of course, some folks give the advice to NOT let moss grow in your pots and only place some on the surface when you want to show you tree then take it off again.

I know, not a lot of help, but it's all I've got.
 

Rick Moquin

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I have no problems growing moss on mine in the shade of the tree. This is the soil I use.
 

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I seldom grow moss in the pot, but instead culivate it and then transplant sheets of it. I find this works better, gives one more control, and offers a change of texture, color, etc when desired.

You may find this useful.



Will
 
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A little moss growing on the pot is no problem. The problem comes when it climbs the trunk of the tree, harboring pests, diseases, moisture, and overwintering eggs. If you cultivate moss as Will suggested, placing it on the soil for an exhibit can be a temporary thing that looks great for photos or display without the worries of too much moss.

An article that contains some good info on mossing trees.
 

Rick Moquin

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The problem I have is the moss spores from the shed roof. I can eliminate the moss from the pot, but cultivating it is not a major problem. I re-shingled the shed this summer so hopefully ii won't be a problem in the future.
 

Steve

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Thanks for all the great information guys. I am definetly going to get out there and try cultivating some.

I can't wait to see the look an my girlfriends face when I go out into the garden with the blender under one arm and a six pack under the other!

Cheers,
Steve.
 

Tachigi

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Moss on a composition, if warranted, is key to selling the image. It is interesting to observe that in AoB's recent contest roughly more than 2/3 of the European entries used moss in there compositions. While less than half of American entries used moss in there compositions. Granted moss use in some compositions would have detracted from the presentation, but those were far and few between. Moss use like most things in bonsai is a technique that can either make or break the image.

Like your tree moss needs maintenance. The type of moss selection is crucial to. A moss that will thrive in sunshine is a important factor to consider. Some moss types should be avoided at all costs. Here in the states there is a moss called star moss which sends its roots very deep into the soil. While attractive is not suitable for container grown plants due to this trait. A tip that was offered to me when I started fooling around with moss was to take some pine bark roughly 1/4 in size and mix some plain yogurt into it. This was used as a bed for growing moss in flats. To my surprise it worked rather well. It also made for a great backing when cutting squares for transfer to a bonsai pot.
 

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