Could growing and selling moss be the next big business opportunity you never knew existed?

Could growing and selling moss be the next big business opportunity you never knew existed?

If you're wondering what exactly Spagmoss is, don't worry you aren't alone. 

Luckily Besgrow, a New Zealand business that exports the highest quality organic growing substrates knows everything there is to know about Spagmoss and the business of growing, developing and eventually selling for the benefit of plants and other living organisms.

Lyndon Strang from Besgrow told REX host Dominic George they are trying to encourage more farmers who have the appropriate conditions to look at growing moss themselves.

"We had a stall at the AgFest last year over in Greymouth trying to promote farmers on the West Coast, if they had a swap area that they could get it picked by us(sic)," he said.

"We can come and harvest it or they can harvest it and dry it, there are a number of different services we offer."

He admitted that there is a bit of maintenance controlling weeds and pests, protecting it from goats and deer, but the upside offers a lot of potential.

"We export to about 15 countries globally and send about 130 containers of moss every year, it's a good business."

The main purpose of Spagmoss is as a growing medium for plants such as orchids. It has significant moisture-holding capacity and Strang explained that it is largely popular due to its ability to simulate the natural environment where a lot of tropical plants would naturally grow.

"It's a premium product and we sell it as that. 

"You could use bark but Sphagnum moss is the top end of the product range."

Besgrow owns around 400 hectares of land down the West Coast of New Zealand with the main factory and business based in Hokitika.

Spagmoss takes around five to six years to grow and is harvested on a rotational grazing program which produces around 150,000 kg of dry moss each year.

Japan, Europe and North America are the biggest importers of Spagmoss from Besgrow and Strang said COVID saw a massive boom in pot plants, which was great for their business.

"People were going out and spending crazy amounts of money on pot plants and we caught that wave by being the growing media of choice.

"They wanted their $200 plant to be wrapped in some good New Zealand Sphagnum moss."

He did note that the logistics of getting their products across the country and overseas did create some hurdles for Besgrow, but overall, it was a very successful time for Besgrow.

Listen to the full chat between Besgrow part owner Lyndon Strang and Dominic George above.

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