How to Buy Sphagnum Moss


Sphagnum peat moss has a variety of uses around the home. Gardeners use this flexible plant as a cushioning layer in container gardens. The excellent moisture-retention properties of sphagnum assist in keeping container plants healthy. Decorators and florists use dried sphagnum moss in floral projects. Landscapers also us sphagnum peat moss as a soil conditioner in garden and flowerbeds. Learning how to buy sphagnum moss involves selecting the right type of moss for your needs.

Step 1

Visit the garden center to determine which type of sphagnum moss best suits your gardening needs.

Step 2

Check the potting container sections for bags of moss for use in planting hanging baskets or pots. High quality sphagnum moss should be completely dry inside the bag. Moss color should be gray to light brown and free of clumps in the storage bag. This type of moss requires the gardener to completely soak the medium before planting. Dried sphagnum moss will hold up to 20 times its weight in water.

Step 3

Select milled sphagnum moss for use in planting seeds. This medium is sold in bags and contains finely ground sphagnum moss. Always moisten this product before use. Milled sphagnum moss contains no nutrients and is disease free. The sterile medium helps limit disease in juvenile plants. Milled moss isn't a permanent growing medium, so have fertilizer and potting soil available for transplanting seedlings.

Step 4

Create floral arrangements using dried sphagnum peat moss. Don't moisten the medium at all. Florists tuck this medium around the top of arrangement containers to hide planter foam and stems. This product can also be used around the top of indoor plants to retain moisture in the soil. Dry sphagnum expands after water absorption and won't harm indoor plants when wet.

Step 5

Choose sphagnum peat moss if you need an excellent soil conditioner for the garden bed. This product comes in large bags and should be dry at the time of purchase. Sphagnum peat moss is blended into the garden after cultivation to increase the organic material in the soil. This type of moss also increases the water-absorbing ability of the soil and can be used as an additive in compost bins.

Things You'll Need

  • None


  • Iowa State University: Container Gardening with Sphagnum Moss
  • University of Illinois: Soil Conditioners are Explained
Keywords: buying sphagnum moss, sphagnum moss, peat moss

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.