Need help identifying moss


Hi, I have this moss growing in my plants and I’m not sure what it is. I think it’s star moss. From what I’ve heard star moss is bad for carnivore seedlings, which I do also have in these pots. Id like to know if this is safe for my carnivores, including the seedlings.


If the moss starts to grow close to my small plants, should I remove the moss around those areas to keep them from being overgrown?
I think these are star moss. They form a dense layer on the top of the substrate with their roots if given time. I don't want them to decrease the aeration of the medium, so I tend to remove them if I see they are clumping up.

Lloyd Gordon

Cactus micrografter newbie.
Staff member
Me too. Although for the bigger plants, I ignore it until it's a wooly mass and I get tired of it.


Hi! Quick update, The substrate close to my dwarf sundew seedlings are starting to sprout this moss. I can't really get rid of it because plucking disturbs the substrate around my baby sundews. There aren't many resources on how this moss affects seedlings, so I need to know if this moss will kill my sundew seedlings. The only resources I've found say that they shouldn't but I'd like to know if any of you guys have experience with carnivorous seedlings sharing space with this kind of moss.


Oh okay. I was just heavily worried because some people said it would literally grow on the seedlings (wasn't sure if this was true). Giving it a trim is easy enough though. Thank you for your quick response btw!
I had some pygmydrosera outside. A lot of this moss grew on the clumps where these Drosera lived.
I cut it from time to time with a small scissor and everything was alright.
Then something strange happened, the moss disappeared on this floating island. Some humus like black substance was all that was left.

I had an infestation of some moss eating Tipula larvae. They did not eat the drosera but these died probably from the excrement of the tipula.
The larvae I could detect were 2 cm long 2 to 3 mm thick and of grayish color.

steve booth

It is a star moss, more precisely Bank Hair Cap Moss and is really a pain in my outside bogs, it's invasive, tall, and vascular so it's dry rather than wet so isn't useful for carnivorous plants. If you can get rid of it, please do, it is not useful in any way for carnivorous plants.
Heres a link to it
I doubt it to be this species. I think this one above does not grow that big as Polytrichastrum. This more tiny species turns up on most of my planting devices.
On one outside I had a infestation of tipula larvae which eat up every single strand of moss there. Before it was covered complete.

Polytrichastrum and related species have a lot of merits like keeping blackbirds at bay (because of hardening peat with its rhizoids), creating a durable substrate addition for some orchid-mixture, looking good when wet and stabilizing Sphagnum bog bulbs etc..
On the downside when really dry and not growing in Sphagnum bulbs, water has some problem to seep through, small plants get overgrown quite fast, Finally to divide Sarracenia in these spots is hard work, sometimes next to impossible.

I care for a few ordinary bog setups (there is maintenance some issue in respect of this moss group)
On my floating devices it seems to be no problem. I even harvest some of this moss for other purposes. On this always wet substrates it can be harvested easily. Just plug it up. Maybe because there is only little substrate underneath and this is always moist. No hardening issue underneath
Nevertheless Saracenia, Pinguicula and Drosera thrive there.
But experience with this moss on these floating devices is only 3 years.
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Polytrichastrum and Polytrichum species have another great advantage. If you have them in your Nepenthes pots you always know when it is time to water again. Especially for species which do not like it very wet.
When they close their leafs it is time to water the plant again.
Today a expert grower talked about this. He has it in between the pots and even inside some. When he transplants he rips it out but it easily grows back. A perfect measurement for moisture.