What is Sphagnum Moss?

Sometimes confused with ferns and other similar plants, Sphagnum Moss is a genus of moss that has many different species. They can be found around the world and New Zealand has an environment where they thrive. So what exactly is Spaghnum Moss and why is it important and relevant to you?

Characteristics of Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum is a type of peat moss that have long branches tightly packed together. Other kinds of mosses are Granite mosses that are found in mountainous regions and True mosses that form in clumps.

Sphagnum moss is usually found in the Northern Hemisphere in bog-like regions. In the Southern Hemisphere, only a few countries like New Zealand have it in high quantities. It is comprised of long fibres and has a very high water retention level, with the ability to absorb up to 20 times its weight in water. Sphagnum Moss works incredibly well as a seed starter to help garden plants grow.

In fact, it has been cultivated in New Zealand for decades and is sometimes called “Green Gold”. The industry is most common in the West Coast where the moss thrives due to the wet conditions. The moss also has uses in the water filtration industry and for reptile breeding, making it valuable for many applications.

Sphagnum moss and plants

Many gardeners add Sphagnum moss as a supplement to help with plant growth. But it also grows naturally. The moss isn’t usually harmful to plants, but it can potentially thrive in garden areas. This can be an issue if you have rare plants as the moss can cling to the root system and grow quickly. In general, Sphagnum moss is more helpful than harmful to plants which is why it’s grown commercially for helping grow plants like orchids.

Is Sphagnum moss what I find on my roof?

Not likely. Sphagnum moss is typically found in concentrations of high water, so you would be more likely to find it in a water feature than on your roof. You are much more likely to find a True moss or lichen on your roof. No matter what kind of moss you have on your roof, you should keep a close eye on it.

Sphagnum moss isn’t the only kind of moss that has high water retention. This is a characteristic of moss in general though not all species swell as much. However, this swelling is one of the main problems with having moss on your roof.

If moss spores get beneath your roof shingles, for example, they can cause major issues. The spores can get beneath the shingles, then grow and swell with water and push the shingles upwards. This can leave openings for unwanted things to get into your roof, like water. Water damage can be catastrophic if not addressed soon and it’s ideal to stop water from getting in before it can damage the property.

Help with moss removal

Because moss on your roof can be more than just an eyesore, it’s important to remove it before it can cause major damage. Getting on the roof can be dangerous though, especially during the rainy season. Take a look at our article How to get rid of moss for some tips.

Or If you’d like help and want professional moss removal, the team at Nexus can help. We’re experienced with removing roof moss and can remove existing moss from your home or business and help ensure that it doesn’t return. To get a quote for professional moss removal, give us a call or fill out the contact form below.