Reviving sphagnum

I have a 50 gallon terrarium that has been growing well for several years. IN the last year, most of the sphagnum has blackened on top. Some is still a vibrant green, but most looks pretty bad. What can I do to revive the moss and get it growing nice again?


Carnivorous Plant Addict
Black on the top?
Could be too much light or a lack a moisture.
Even some kind of fungus...

Do you have a picture?


Staff member
All of the things suggested could be issues, heat, lack of dormancy for native species, built up minerals, etc. Any chance you can snap a quick photo and post it?
I don't think it's too much light. Until a couple of days ago it's only had a 36" T5 light that is about 5 years old over it. I just put in a new bulb and added a 24" T5 as well. It does dry out a bit in the winter due to lack of water. I melt snow when we get it.Temps are usually around 68 for most of the year. Warmer now that the weather is heating up. It started as dried New Zealand sphagnum, and came to life beautifully. I've been thinking of flooding the terrarium with about 10 gallons of water, then siphoning it all out to remove any nutrient build up. I've also been thinking of just trimming off the top layer that is black, or just getting some new dried moss to put in.


Carnivorous Plant Addict
Mine get black tips where I trim it. Here you can see I recently trimmed the right side to keep it from over growing the sundews. Also if you don’t trim it will grow to a point where It doesn’t suck enough water up. At least in the case of my setup then the tips get black as well. Can’t win but it keeps coming back.

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The moss has been at the same level for a couple of years now. It's about 4" off the bottom of the tank. There is currently about 1" of water in there.
Have you tried flushing it with clean water? it looks a little stagnant?

Edit: I just READ your post instead of honing in on the image... good idea! cant really hurt