Peat Moss Vs Sphagnum Moss – What You Actually Want

There may be at all times a confusion amongst gardeners whether or not to buy peat moss or sphagnum moss.

Whereas they each sound identical, there’s fairly distinction amongst them. And an skilled gardener would identified the distinction between them and select the proper one amongst them.

However if you’re newly venturing in planting or gardening and wish to know every part about them to make a clever resolution, then this text is for you.

Right here, we are going to clarify variations clearly together with some suggestions, the place it’s best to use it and different side of sustainability.

Peat Moss Overview


Peat moss will be described as a lavatory. That is when the sphagnum-moss has been layered and is not lively. Peat bogs are shaped when the fibrous materials has been eliminated. These peat bogs additionally comprise crops, twigs and bugs.

It’s much like sphagnum and has excessive water retention. Peat moss will be simply discovered as a soil modification, and many individuals mistake it for sphagnum. They’re typically known as “sphagnum peatmoss”.

The formation of peat moss takes 1000’s of years. It’s excessive in each tannins and acid. It’s nonetheless broadly utilized in backyard soils, regardless of all this. Peat moss may also be nice for acid-loving crops. Due to its unimaginable water retention, peat moss is nice for rising tomatoes and pepper. It’s also accessible in milled and long-fibered variations, identical to sphagnum.

It is not going to change the pH of potting soil or backyard soil, regardless of all this. There was a big lack of peat bogs, so individuals are searching for different choices.

Makes use of for Peat Moss

Peatmoss is a soil modification that improves its suitability for gardening. It is a wonderful option to acid-loving crops due to its low pH. It’s usually utilized in mixture with crops that don’t like an acidic setting.

As a soil modification, peat moss is primarily used to extend water retention and add density that doesn’t disrupt airflow. It retains water nicely however doesn’t compact in addition to soil. This makes it a wonderful selection for preserving crops well-watered and with out choking them.

There are a lot of plant varieties that love sphagnum peatmoss, together with blueberries, camellias, tomatoes and azaleas

Properties of Peat Moss

  • Cheaper in comparison with sphagnum moss
  • Excellent for acid-loving crops
  • Bought in compressed and bale kind
  • Appropriate for potting and gardening soil
  • Contains combination of twigs, bugs, crops, and moss
  • Doesn’t have any noticeable plant components resulting from its fixture

Sphagnum Moss Overview

Sphagnum Moss

Due to its excessive water-retentive capability, sphagnum is a favourite selection for backyard homeowners and plant lovers. Sphagnum moss is delicate and supple, creating dense clumps. It may be used to start out seeds or for different functions. Sphagnum moss has the benefit of having the ability to add potting soil amendments. It may also be utilized in winter to create mulch.

It could possibly develop on soil surfaces. It thrives in moist, shaded situations with loads of rain. It may be bought commercially and is absolutely dried. Sphagnum moss will be bought in two variants: fibered or milled. The fibered kind is extra pure and is available in finely chopped kind.

It’s accessible in smaller baggage and prices greater than peat moss so it isn’t a regular software for each gardener.

Makes use of of Sphagnum Moss

For ornamental topiaries, sphagnum moss is used usually. Sphagnum moss sticks are additionally used to assist the aerial roots for aroid crops by many individuals. It has a impartial pH which is a superb factor about it. It could possibly additionally comprise fungal spores, which might trigger well being issues. When dealing with sphagnum moss, it’s at all times finest to put on gloves.

Sphagnum moss has a pH of zero, making it appropriate to be used in potting soil. It may be used as a pure moss with out the addition of every other plant materials. It may be used for line baskets, moss sticks, or seed starter medium.

Properties of Sphagnum Moss

  • Highest water retention means
  • Impartial when it comes to pH
  • Lengthy-fibered texture so it’ll keep in its pure kind
  • Pure and pure with none plant supplies or bugs
  • Excellent for rising medium as it’s supple and delicate
  • Appropriate as progress materials

Why Is Differentiating Between Peat Moss and Sphagnum Moss Necessary?

Simply because peat moss comes from useless half and sphagnum moss comes from residing a part of the plant doesn’t imply they’ve comparable impression.

For instance, peat moss is acidic and sphagnum moss is pH impartial. So, their skills and options totally different as it is crucial for the gardeners to know them in order that they don’t get confused and use a fallacious one.

Similarities Between Sphagnum Moss and Peat Moss

Though there are a number of variations between these two choices, you could find two putting similarities.

1. Each are Moss

Though each peat and sphagnum moss are comprised of identical plant, they develop in numerous environments. The soil isn’t at all times the perfect, however the moss stays the identical.

Two sides of the identical coin are sphagnum and peat moss. The way in which we consult with it after it has been packaged on the market will rely on the situation it was grown.

2. Water retention

Though sphagnum consists of much less water, each varieties are good at water retention. Each sphagnum and peat moss can maintain 20-30 instances their very own weight in water. In some circumstances, peat moss can retain greater than 50 p.c of its personal weight in water.

Peat Moss and Sphagnum Moss – Variations Between Them

Although these two develop from the identical plant, there are some components the differentiate them. We have now talked about them under on your reference.

1. Decomposition

As you already know, sphagnum moss builds over the swamp floor or on the soil. However peat moss grows under the waterline within the cloudy depths.

However when the plant matter is just too saturated with water, it begins to decay which precisely what occurs with peat moss.

Peat moss will be added to the soil of your indoor crops when it’s nonetheless residing however has begun to decompose. In sure situations, you’ll be able to reuse the moss as soon as it’s useless.

Peat moss, nonetheless, is nicely previous the stage of decomposition when in comparison with surface-growing Sphagnum moss.

2. Natural Matter

Because it develops above the water’s floor (a reminder), sphagnum doesn’t have DOM. Nonetheless, it might comprise SOM (soil-organic-matter).

This SOM consists of natural matter comparable to humus, decomposing matter, and residues of plant.

Sphagnum might have a smaller quantity SOM than peat moss, nevertheless it may comprise extra DOM. As sphagnum accommodates fewer natural materials in comparison with peat moss, chances are you’ll miss sure soil advantages. You’ll be able to steadiness the distinction by together with compost to your soil.

3. Age

In case you are extracting sphagnum from a swamp or lavatory, it is strongly recommended to offer the moss 5 to six extra years no less than to mature sufficient to be harvested.

Subsequently, it’s cheap to imagine that almost all of sphagnum present in indoor crops’ pots is older than 5 years. Nonetheless, it’s potential that a few of it might take older than that. Although the typical age was twice as excessive, it wouldn’t be older than peatmoss.

4. Fibres

It may be troublesome to inform the distinction visually between sphagnum and peat moss once they attain the patron, so as to get into your plant’s soil.

Nonetheless, it’s a lot simpler to find out which mosses are which when they’re free to develop of their pure environments.

Peat moss usually has the feel you affiliate with moss. It’s a skinny, vivid inexperienced moss that appears nearly like turf. It will likely be damp and squishy should you contact it or stroll on it. Though sphagnum moss will be moist and mushy, it isn’t like turf. It as a substitute grows seen fibres.

5. Ph Scale

Once you select soil amendments for indoor crops, it is very important rigorously think about the place each modification falls on the pH scale.

You shouldn’t use any amendments which can be too fundamental or acidic if the soil is extra impartial. You should utilize soil with barely acidic amendments for acidic soil. The identical guidelines apply to alkaline soil indoor crops.

Though you may solely be accustomed to tannins in espresso, they’re a pure composite that’s astringent in addition to bitter. They are often present in nearly any plant matter, together with peat moss.

Peat moss is extra acidic as a result of it accommodates tannins. The pH vary for this species ranges between 3.0 and 4.5.

Are Sphagnum Moss and Peat Moss the Identical?

There are greater than 350 species of sphagnum moss. These crops species can present sphagnum moss and peat moss. Sphagnum moss is harvested in wetlands and grows in bogs. After draining, it kinds sphagnum moss. It’s a residing plant that’s harvested when it’s alive.

Peat moss then again is settled on the sphagnum bogs’ backside. It contains useless and decayed plant and bug supplies. It needs to be famous that each peat moss and sphagnum moss are useless and decayed earlier than harvesting. Sphagnum moss and peat moss would be the identical as each have the good water-retaining means and are derived from sphagnum moss.

Some Incessantly Requested Questions

1. Why do individuals refer sphagnum as peat moss?

This confusion stems from the truth that sphagnum refers back to the species of moss. As the principle materials in a peatbog is made up of sphagnum, the moss which builds above it. Peatmoss can typically be known as “sphagnum peatmoss”.

2. Is it potential to make the most of peat moss instead of sphagnum?

Every one has its personal most well-liked use. Peat moss can be utilized to amend gardening soil, whereas sphagnum moss can be utilized for propagating crops and seed starters.

3. Is sphagnum moss renewable or not?

Opposite to what some firms might declare, it isn’t true. Regardless of rules being set concerning the harvestable peat allowed, the sluggish pure process of creating peat implies that the bogs don’t regenerate.

4. What crops are you able to develop in sphagnum-moss?

Pure sphagnum can be utilized in containers to develop crops that favor a mix of moist substrates and wonderful drainage. You’ll be able to combine sphagnum with soil amendments comparable to pumice, perlite, or coco husks to enhance drainage.

5. Can I combine sphagnum moss and potting soil?

It may be blended with soil or different potting medium relying on the plant. Sphagnum moss isn’t very wealthy in vitamins so it might require extra frequent waterings.

6. Is sphagnum mould potential in sphagnum moss?

Gardeners who use sphagnum moss instead of conventional soil are extra in danger from fungal and mould issues that might have an effect on the rising medium.

7. Do that you must moist peatmoss?

You will want to completely moist the peat moss earlier than you employ it. Take as a lot of the peat moss as you want and place it in a big container or wheelbarrow. Stir within the water, after which permit it to soak for just a few extra minutes. Proceed so as to add water till the combination is absolutely soaked.

8. Does sphagnum moss rot?

The quicker sphagnum-moss degradation happens, the extra you retain it soaked. The moss turns into fungi and micro organism, and the cells are damaged down by different fungi and micro organism. This transformation tends to be extra dramatic than every other potting soil.

9. Why is my sphagnum moss turning inexperienced?

A darkish inexperienced color is often an indication that alga is rising. It could possibly drown or overwhelm small crops. It’s best to cowl it with silica sand and top-dressing. Sphagnum Moss is a light-coloured, fluffy new progress level that seems to be coming from dormant Sphagnum Moss spores.

10. How are you going to rehydrate sphagnum moss?

Preparation of Sphagnum Pour water on the sphagnum and let it swell. Heat water will be useful to hurry up the method.

11. Do I’ve so as to add peat moss to the soil?

It may be added to your soil to provide the next results: Dryer, sandier soils retain extra moisture. It could possibly assist clay soils have higher drainage and loosen up. The soil’s natural matter will likely be diminished over time, offering vitamins.

12. Does peat moss appeal to bugs?

Natural mulch, no matter whether or not it’s comprised of leaves, grass clippings or compost, has the best tendency to draw undesirable pests.


For any budding gardener, it is very important perceive the variations amongst sphagnum and peat moss. Although they arrive from the identical plant (however totally different components), there are a number of variations and a few similarities between them.

Utilizing the proper one makes an enormous distinction and a fallacious selection can clearly impression the crops. That will help you perceive the variations, now we have introduced element illustration on this article.

We hope the data has helped you. In the event you nonetheless have any questions, write to us within the remark part under. We will reply on the earliest.

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