Sphagnum moss for damping off.

Newsgroups: rec.gardens,alt.folklore.herbs
From: Donna Maroni <dmaroni.email.unc.edu>
Date: 09 Dec 1995 10:20:07 -050
Subject: Re: Please help germinate my Meconopsis - a most beautiful flower!

> I had some trouble germinating meconopsis last year, and all my seedlings died. I hear they're hard to grow!

If you had Meconopsis seedlings last year, you succeeded with the germination part--so just do what you did last year. But, the seedlings may have died due to a fungus infection called "damping off." You can guard against this by adding a layer of **milled** sphagnum moss on top of the soil. The moss contains a natural fungicide; I haven't had a case of damping off since I started using the moss.

And, be sure the seedlings get plenty of light--if you are using fluorescents, you'll have to have the seedlings only an inch or two from the tubes.

Good luck. You live in the right area for these gorgeous things. I grew and bloomed some last year here in North Carolina; but, with our miserable summers, there is no hope of having them come back in succeeding years.