What is the difference between New Zealand, Chinese, and Sphagnum moss?

Strands Large, robust leaf and long stem Dense leaf but short strands Fragile leaf and short strands
Structure Strong structure Reasonably strong structure Weak structure
Chemical Properties Natural pH, 4.8 with an EC of 0.1mS/cm. Natural pH, 4.8 but inconsistent EC of between 0.1-0.5mS/cm. High pH and high EC
Salt Accumulation Will hold onto nutrients for the plant but not accumulate harsh salts Potential to accumulate salts when nutrients applied. Can easily accumulate salts when nutrients are applied
AFP Strong structure means it won’t become over compacted in the pot. Dense leaf hugging stem means it may have lower AFP when compacted in the pot Provides little air to the plant when compacted tightly in the pot
Contamination Minimal amounts of contamination dependant on grade Minimal amounts of contamination dependant on grade Can contain contaminants which break down quickly in the pot consuming nitrogen. Can effect plant growth and cause pathogenic problems.
Sterility Sterile substrate, protecting plants from pathogens Generally a sterile substrate but can harbour Sporotrichosis (fungal pathogen to humans) Unsterile substrate; sterilisation is recommended before use due to a high level of contamination
Logevity in pot Robust nature allows it to last long time in the pot (4-5 years) Shorter, less robust strands and smaller leaf structure lessen the longevity in the pot (2-3 years) Due to contamination and the fragility of the moss it can break down very quickly (9-12 months)

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