Difference Between Peat, Peat Moss, and Sphagnum Moss. The most common use for peat moss is for producing professional and consumer growing media to grow plants. A surgical bandage made of Sphagnum moss, like those used in WWI. Peat moss is used by professionals and consumers to make growing media or to incorporate into a garden or landscape as soil conditioner. Peat moss is the collective name given to moss that comes from genus “sphagnum”. You Can Use Sphagnum Moss to Filter Water. Peat is a product that is created from organic materials. And although this moss has been used as an antiseptic and antifungal agent for about 1000 years, its “secret ingredient”has recently been revealed. There are approximately 12,000 species of moss, but it’s only the 380 species of sphagnum moss that create peat. Because of the high acidity and the antibacterial properties of sphagnum moss, it can be included in your filtration system to help filter your water. The survival uses for moss are many and varied. Sphagnum moss also makes a good packing material for protecting delicate items in transit, it can be used as a cotton wool substitute and as a potting material for many species of orchid. Peat moss is an excellent soil amendment for your acid-loving plants. Florists use sphagnum moss to line wire baskets or add a decorative touch to potted plants. (National Museum of American History) Unlikely savior: The remarkable properties of spaghnum moss … Generally, people use the terms peat and peat moss alternatively. What are the uses and Benefits of peat moss in your garden. However, these two things are not the same. Sphagnum moss has long been used for medical purposes. It was a real lifesaver for cuts and other injuries with skin disorders, as well as burns, frostbite, fungal lesions, psoriasis. It usually gets submerged into the peat bogs. Whether the type of moss is sphagnum, Spanish, reindeer or excelsior, the crafts made are basically the same for each type and can be used interchangeably. This is a field of sphagnum peat that is in the process of being harvested. The semi-decomposed plant, excavated from bogs, is a first rate soil conditioner and is also used in seed and potting composts. Peat Moss and Gardening. Many people feel a twinge of guilt when they use peat moss in their gardening projects because of environmental concerns. They are the remains of the dead materials of wild mosses that have been piled up in a peat bog over a thousand years. How Peat Moss works in an Aquarium There are almost 400 species of peat moss. As it grows, it spreads onto drier areas and turns those into bogs as well. Bogs and fens form where sphagnum grows because both living and dead moss absorb and store water. It comes from a wetland. 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