Peat Moss vs. Sphagnum Moss (Key Differences and Uses)

There are two types of bog moss:

peat moss and sphagnum
  • Peat moss
  • Sphagnum moss 

Sphagnum is harvested from bogs in Europe and Canada and is used for many applications, including lining baskets, arts & crafts, and soil amendments. 

Read Also:- What Do Pitcher Plants Eat? (Insects, Ants, see more)

What is the difference between Peat Moss and Sphagnum Moss? 

Sphagnum has a neutral pH, which makes it a good choice for a variety of purposes. Peat sphagnum is an acidic moss, and its use as a soil amendment is limited in parts of the world where clay is common.

Sphagnum Moss is a Living Plant

It is harvested by peat harvesting companies. The peat is then screened, compressed, and sold commercially. 

In 2010 the United Kingdom encouraged commercial growers and households to use more environmentally friendly alternatives in their gardens. 

These efforts are being geared towards protecting fragile peatland habitats and preventing floods.

Sphagnum moss is a lighter version of peat sphagnum moss

It is often sold in compressed bags or bales. The latter is more expensive but is more commonly used in gardening. It is a great choice for gardeners as it is relatively easy to work with, lightweight, and inexpensive. 

There are two main types of peat sphagnum mosses: sphagnum and peat sphagnum moss

There are several types of seed starter mixes that contain peat sphagnum moss. The most popular ones use peat sphagnum moss. 

These mixes typically contain equal parts of perlite, vermiculite, and some lime or fertilizer. For the best results, choose a mix based on the specific needs of your crops. In addition to being more expensive than compost, peat sphagnum moss is a superior option for many gardeners.

Read Also:- Angel Wing Begonia Varieties (Here Are 5 Popular Types)

Peat Moss is Popular

Peat moss is the most widely used, and the sphagnum variety is most often available in home gardening supplies. Sphagnum moss is more commonly available in hardware stores and is often labeled as peat moss.

It is also more sustainable than other peat sphagnum moss because it can be replenished.

Sphagnum moss is a great option for potting plants

sphagnum moss | Plant Gardener

Its high water holding capacity and low pH level makes it a great choice for Orchids and seed starting. Sphagnum consists of long fibers and is available in the milled form. It is often used as a potting medium for terrariums. 

Sphagnum moss is commonly found in craft stores.

Sphagnum moss is more expensive than Peat moss, but it has the most pronounced advantages. It is more durable, which is why it is the preferred soil amendment for orchids. Its unique texture and softer than sphagnum is. It also holds more water than sphagnum moss.

How is Sphagnum Moss Harvested?

Sphagnum moss is harvested from the remains of dead sphagnum fungus and is often referred to as Sphagnum peat moss. It is a plethora of uses, from bog regeneration to landscape landscaping. 

And while sphagnum moss can be expensive, it has many benefits.

Sphagnum moss is a rich organic material made of organic matter and dead insects. Sphagnum mosses are excellent soil amendments, but peat sphagnum moss is more commonly used for landscaping and lawns. 

Its benefits include high aeration, a neutral pH, and a variety of microorganisms.

Sphagnum moss is often harvested for its high acidity. 

It does not require digging up bogs and can be harvested without killing plants and their habitat. Sphagnum mosses have many uses in the garden, including as a growing medium for seeds. It is also used to create potting mixes. 

However, sphagnum moss can be more expensive and is generally not recommended as a potting material.

Sphagnum moss is a good choice for planting in soil, but it must be spread on the soil in order to be effective. 

Sphagnum mosses are not ideal for long-term use, and they need to be supplemented with other materials containing important nutrients. It is also recommended for short-term outdoor plants.

Read Also:- Do Deer Eat Impatiens? (Yes, here’s why)

How to Make Peat Moss For Your Garden

If you want to know how to make peat moss for your garden, you will need to prepare the soil for it. The process is simple and requires only a few ingredients. It is a great option if you want to grow your own food. 

The main benefits of peat moss include its high sterility and antiseptic properties. The fine texture and low fertility make it perfect for plants. You can use it alone or mix it with soils to improve the soil’s pH level.

Peat moss is not an entirely renewable resource, so you should only use it for seed starting, pots, and soilless mixes. 

Don’t use it for lawn work or amending soil.

There are other natural and organic alternatives, such as compost, which is much better for your plants. If you want to plant trees and flowers, use coco coir. It will improve the soil’s structure and provide excellent drainage.

Peat Moss is Ideal for Growing Acid-Loving Plants

Peat moss is a carbon-rich material that is perfect for growing acid-loving plants, but many others don’t like its acidic properties.

A neutral pH environment is important for plants, while an alkaline pH environment is necessary for many species. 

However, you need to monitor the pH level of your soil carefully, as too much of it can degrade your soil’s pH levels. If you can’t afford peat moss, consider adding pine needles to your soil. 

This natural organic material will help the growth of your plants.

If you want to grow plants in your garden, peat moss is the ideal choice. Peat moss is clean and easy to work with, and it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or weed seeds. It also absorbs water very efficiently and works well with other growing materials. 

You can use peat sand to make your own soil amendments. It will make your garden look amazing and help the environment.

Read Also: 20 Best Privacy Shrubs for Your Garden retreat today

Peat Moss Alternative: Leaf Mold

If you don’t want to use peat moss, leaf mold is another great option. It’s similar to compost and increases the water-holding capacity of your soil. 

In fact, some types of leaf mold can hold 500 times its weight in water! 

This is an excellent alternative to peat moss and is an excellent substitute for peat moss. In addition to being cheap and free, leaf mold is easy to make and is a renewable resource.

Using peat moss in your garden is an excellent way to improve the texture and consistency of the soil. It is also a good choice for a variety of reasons. 

Despite its high pH, peat moss is an excellent choice for plants. It can increase the fertility of your soil while retaining moisture. It is also a great alternative to sawdust in potting mix.


Discover the vital differences between peat and sphagnum moss in gardening at PlantGardener. Unearth the benefits and drawbacks of each, empowering you to make informed choices for your plants. From water retention to environmental impact, our comprehensive guide equips you with insights essential for successful cultivation. Dive into the world of substrates and enhance your gardening prowess with Plant Gardener’s expert advice. Explore the nuanced realm of peat and sphagnum moss, ensuring your plants thrive in the optimal growing medium.

Read more for a greener, more knowledgeable garden journey. 🌿

Read Also:- Why Is My Rabbit Foot Fern Dying? (+ how to revive it)


As you can see, both Peat and Sphagnum are essential components for enriching your soil, but they also have their key differences.

Given that Sphagnum is known for its neutral pH, it can be used for a variety of purposes. Peat Moss is acidic moss and plays a key role in soil amendment.


To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow!

Sign up for our newsletter and turn your thumb greener with each season. No spam, just blooms. Subscribe now and start nurturing nature's beauty with us!

You have Successfully Subscribed!