If you are looking to introduce some pretty exotic plants to your terrarium, then why not try some Spanish moss? It has stunning aerial roots which make it suitable for most types of terrarium, especially the water-based ones. It provides a very effective barrier against any soil erosion, helping to retain your water feature’s look and elegance. What’s more, your lovely Spanish Moss plant will thrive in almost any conditions – providing it is well cared for.
But if you’re not exactly sure that you could take care of this beautiful addition to your home aquarium, fear not. Spanish moss, doesn’t contain easily to tap water, but performs quite well as a mulch, particularly for indoor plants. The secreted substance which makes this material so desirable for gardens is its tight fibrous inner core. The fact that it can be compacted into a fine powder makes it ideal as a soil additive for pots and growing mediums.
Spanish moss is a member of the fungi family, which contains many species. It is particularly prevalent in south western Europe and Asia, however it’s now becoming popular in North America too. Most commonly known as sphagnum moss, the beautiful white or brown spiral looks much like the real thing – only you can’t see the beautiful succulents inside! These succulents do well in many conditions and are suitable for low-light environments. They are also relatively slow-growing, which explains their ability to grow for several years even in an overcrowded tank.
Like all members of the sphagnum family, the Spanish moss plant prefers a cool, moist and dark environment which protects it from too much heat or too much light. Too much light or warmth can cause the plant to burn, for instance, and so it is important that you don’t give your plants too much sunlight either. For this reason it is not recommended that you give plants direct sunlight or allow them to get too much of the day’s rays.
To best to start out with your Spanish moss planting, add about half a teaspoon of soil to a standard pot, and then add a single sphagnum spore. This should be added about two inches underground, and then just cover the whole pot with the moss mixture. You will need to do this for at least two weeks, and then just top it off with new soil. Do this for one month, and then just top it off with new soil.
Carefully choose plants that are going to need minimal attention. Ferns, hyacinths, and any other low maintenance plants are perfect candidates. They will get the nitrogen they need from the moss and will also keep the moisture in the soil, while still looking very natural. Some good candidates are African violet, tobacco plant (nicotine), and California poppy. Other plants, such as cosmos, Dutchman’s creeper, and pencil phlox should also work. Just look around your terrarium for some great choices, and then just add them to the mix.
Once the moss has been in place for a few weeks you can then put in a few fish, and you can do this up to three weeks before the end of your terrarium’s lifespan. One caveat – make sure that the water has not gotten too hot or it will kill all of the plants. If it has reached that point already, then just add water to the plants’ containers before adding them to the terrarium, and then add water as you normally do.
The last step is to top off your container with some more moss and put in some driftwood, rocks, or other pieces of driftwood to further help the moss grow. You can then use a light fixture to create the sky and base your Spanish moss terrarium on top of that. This is a great way to provide the best environment possible for your plant friends and to show off your own artistic flair as well. You will be proud of your creation, and you can show it off to family and friends.