Sphagnum magellanicum moss is a species of moss that grows in southern Chile. It is quite a versatile product, but mostly used for orchid cultivation. Its high water holding power is the main characteristic of this product and its antibacterial acid compounds prevents root disease. This all results in an increasing international demand over the recent years. This is explained by Camilo Maldonado of Exportadora Mossy Chile, a company that is dedicated to producing and marketing quality moss and has 7 years of experience in the Sphagnum Magellanicum moss industry.
Versatile product but mainly used for orchid cultivation
Sphagnum magellanicum is a versatile product as it is being used for different purposes. "It is mainly used as a substrate for the cultivation of orchids, but also for other hydroponic crops, horticulture in general, vegetative reproduction of fruit trees, insulating and packaging material, for food preservation, in the diaper industry, requiring different types of product formats."
How it works
So how to create the product that is suitable to use as a substrate in plants? "We extract the product for further processing out of the wetlands or swamps in Southern Chile, their natural habitat. The moss is extracted live to subsequently go through a dehydration process and then carry out productive management to obtain the final result." But what is the final result? "High quality product with low percentage of impurity, characterized by the light brown color and an approximate length of 8 to 14 centimetres the fiber of the moss." Maldonado stresses that Mossy Chile develops its production process in a way that is committed to the environment, safeguarding the necessary parameters for the timely growth of the renewable product.
The main characteristic of this type of moss is its high water holding capacity, but that's not all. "It can retain water up to 20 times its weight and redistribute this water to the roots according to its own requirements. Simultaneously, it provides optimal oxygenation to the plant. Additionally, an another feature of sphagnum moss is to release antibacterial acid compounds, ensuring that plants grow without root disease. Likewise, moss is a stimulant of the roots, allowing them to breathe."
International demand increasing
The main buyer countries for moss are Taiwan, the United States, Japan, China and South Korea, and over the years, Maldonado has seen the demand increasing. "The international demand for Sphagnum moss has grown in recent years, derived from the different uses it has been given, mainly due to its high water-holding power". And Maldonado believes that the demand for the substrate will increase." As the interest in plants and flowers in homes is increasing, along with helping a greener and more ecological world, we think the demand will increase."