Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum is a genus of a large number of Moss species.  It is also called peat moss.  It is a very popular type of moss in Bonsai. 

Sphagnum moss absorbs water many times its volume.  This ensures that the Bonsai plant has access to moisture at all times.  It ensures that there is no excess water in the soil which can cause damage to the roots of the Bonsai.  In recent years, there has been concern that the sphagnum Moss carries a fungus which can disease in humans called sporotrichosis. Sporotrichosis is a fungal disease which affects the skin.  In rare cases, the infection can spread to the bones, lungs and joints.

The Sphagnum Moss like other mosses reproduces through spores.  The spores are produced in receptacles called capsules.  When the spores ripen, they are ejected into the air.  Sphagnum spores are available at Bonsai stores. 

Sphagnum can also be collected from natural locations such as a swampy area or a lake shore.
The sphagnum collected from the wild can contain insects and infections.  This sphagnum should be disinfected by means of an insecticide before being transplanted in the Bonsai floor.