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How to Use Sphagnum Moss

By Steven White ; Updated September 21, 2017

Sphagnum moss, also known as bog or peat moss, grows naturally in standing water, forming bogs. Common species of sphagnum moss include S. cristatum, S. australe, S. falcatulum, S. subnitens, S. squarrosum, and S. subsecundum. This common moss is fast growing and spreads quickly, making it a renewable resource that many use for moisture retention in planters. Sphagnum moss also possesses natural bacterial fighting abilities and was used in World War I as a wound dressing. Sphagnum moss is simple to use and beneficial for potted plants as a liner, as it acts like a sponge absorbing and retaining moisture while keeping its natural acidity.

Pull the moss bail apart and place it into a bucket of water.

Soak the sphagnum moss for 30 minutes.

Take the clumps of moss out of the bucket and press them into the sides of the wrought iron hanging container.

Place the moss in the bottom of the container first, then build up the sides, making sure to leave a space in the middle for soil.

Fill the center of the hanger with potting soil, and add any desired plants.


Things You Will Need

  • Bail of sphagnum moss
  • Bucket
  • Wrought iron hanging container
  • Potting soil


  • Sphagnum moss also can be tilled directly into a garden to a depth of 6 inches for more efficient nutrient and water retention.


  • Sphagnum moss may contain the fungus Sporothrix schenckii, which can cause sporotrichosis when it is introduced into the bloodstream through open wounds. This fungus is also found in hay, soil and rose bushes. To avoid the infection wear gardening gloves when working with sphagnum moss and never work around any plant matter with open cuts.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after working with plants to avoid this and any other plant-related disease.

About the Author


Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer and efficiency analyst. He has more than five years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. Along with his technology background, White enjoys carpentry and plumbing.