Moss Question

Joedes3

Shohin
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Now that it is getting cooler and I will be bringing in my tropicals, can moss grow under lights? My light set up is regular Home Depot shop lights in the basement. Typically, 60 degrees.
Thanks
Joe
 

bonsaiTOM

Mame
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Joe,
Have been bringing the trop's in for a couple weeks now - at least for the colder nights - back out on warm sunny days.

Moss. From my experience moss does not do well under artificial lighting. More importantly it can be harmful to the trees if it climbs up and around the trunk. It traps moisture and impedes good drainage and 'air-flow' which can lead to root rot.

Moss looks nice when displaying your bonsai for a show. Pretty! Natural looking! But, in most cases, not good for the health of the tree.

Exceptions are for hot dry climates where some moss can help add some protection and extra humidity like a little insulator 'blanket' BUT still should be used with caution. ;)
 

rockm

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The thing to keep in mind with moss is that it's temporary and seasonal. It thrives some times during the year and then dies off, only to return again. Trying to maintain it in a pristine state year round is futile and can ultimately harm the tree it's on...
 

ericN

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Hi Joe,

If your asking if you can grow them indoors with lights, the answer is yes. But growing them on your bonsai pots is not a good idea. I usually keep a very small patch of moss in my pots. I do let them grow on my mame trees which help them from drying too much, I just cut them when they get too thick and overgrown.

You can also put all of them in one pot and grow them separately. This moss planting I have for years grown indoors exclusively.

Hope that helps
Eric
 

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tmmason10

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Eric the stuff you post is great. You seem to be pretty handy with growing indoors how long have you been doing this?
 

ericN

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Eric the stuff you post is great. You seem to be pretty handy with growing indoors how long have you been doing this?

Thanks for the kind words Tom. I'm growing bonsai indoors for about 6 years now and carnivorous plants before that.;)

Eric
 

ericN

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Eric:
What are you now growing?


I only grow tropical trees, Ficus varieties is the majority of what I have. Over the years, I found trees that grow well in my simple indoor set-up and stick with them. Ive learned that to enjoy this hobby, its better to grow trees that can adopt to my growing conditions rather than changing my growing condition to grow a tree.

Hope that helps
Eric
 

Joedes3

Shohin
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Thanks!.

I have schefflera and two ficus but also have some outdoor. My indoor set up is very simple, two Home Depot shop lights.
 

Bonsai Nut

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If your moss dies, don't throw it away. Remove it, and let it dry out completely. Then grind it into a powder and save it. Next summer, sprinkle the powder on your soil when you set your bonsai outside. Voila! Perfect moss!

I agree with other comments here - moss should be used carefully lest it trap moisture and rot out the tree. However if you have free-draining soil (shouldn't we all?) with a nice amount of organic fertilizer, you probably will not have a problem as long as you keep it from covering ALL the soil, or encroaching on the trunk and rotting the bark.
 

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