What is this plant?
March 1, 2019 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Can you identify this little plant which is growing in my pot? Is it a moss or a fern? What species is it? And how do I keep it happy?

It seems to be 'reanimating' from some dried matter which was used as filler in response to high moisture. I think it is positively adorable and want to best support it. Is this the best living environment for it or should it get its own home? I mist it twice a day with a spray bottle but I'm not in the office on weekends, is it OK a couple of days without water? Thanks all.
https://imgur.com/2V5RS1c
https://imgur.com/51DWPaV
posted by epanalepsis to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
 
Weird, the image links didn't seem to work. Mods, can you add? https://imgur.com/X8qH0iD , https://imgur.com/j1BIHLp .
posted by epanalepsis at 8:50 AM on March 1, 2019


It looks like some form of peat moss to me, maybe sphagnum. I agree it seems like it is growing or reanimating from the soil cover.
posted by OrangeDisk at 8:57 AM on March 1, 2019


It looks like someone used sphagnum moss to aid in mulching and water retention, and some of it is growing.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:58 AM on March 1, 2019 [1 favorite]


It seems to be 'reanimating' from some dried matter which was used as filler in response to high moisture

That dried matter will be sphagnum moss, and it looks like some of it wasn't dead, just lying doggo.

Sphagnum is pretty hardy stuff. The easiest ways to kill it are to drown it and make it rot, or cook it in blazing sunshine outdoors. Do almost anything else and it will be fine, as the regrowth from what you thought was dead nicely demonstrates.

Best practice for most kinds of indoor plant is to water them heavily but infrequently. As long as that little palm thing sharing the pot with your moss is happy, so will the moss be.
posted by flabdablet at 9:05 AM on March 1, 2019 [3 favorites]


The moss will be fine if you keep it evenly moist. The big plant is probably ok with that much water but I can't tell for sure what kind it is, and to avoid waterlogging it you can spray water on the moss without soaking the whole pot. Outdoor direct sun will send the moss dormant/dead pretty fast. Moss is finicky to keep well, there's a reason it's not done more commonly. It will likely die back and re-emerge several times over the course of the next few years.
On preview: jinx, flabdablet
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:07 AM on March 1, 2019


Moss! Generally speaking they like moist environments and enclosed spaces are better for the moss. You could transplant it to its own container if you wanted. Oh look, I made a whole web page on how to do that!
posted by jessamyn at 9:28 AM on March 1, 2019 [7 favorites]


If you want to promote it, keep it moist (think spritzer/ spray bottle) and out of direct sunlight. They're tough stuff, but they look nice and keeps the soil from drying out too fast.

They may eventually grow little "clubs" on thin stems; those would be fruiting bodies.
posted by porpoise at 9:36 AM on March 1, 2019


Do you have an Android phone? Picture This.
posted by dobbs at 10:24 AM on March 2, 2019


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