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How to Grow Moss

Updated on November 14, 2016
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Moss Garden

A moss garden can be a fun project to start at home. They are very easy to care for and to maintain. Moss is one of the most beautiful and simplest of plants that is found all over the world. It can usually be found in moist areas, around rivers and streams, and can often be found on trees. Moss is a resilient plant that can survive through hard conditions, such as a dry season, and then quickly rejuvenate once conditions are favorable again. Although the moss may turn brown and look dead it will thrive once again under the proper conditions.

Moss has a shallow root system and the roots are not used to absorb nutrients. It relies on getting nutrients from the air and water rather than soil. Because moss doesn't require soil, it can be found on trees, rocks, and generally surfaces where most other plants cannot survive. Although moss can grow on trees, it is not parasitic, and can be beneficial to trees in many cases. Moss prefers acidic soils, and will thrive on nutrient poor soils; on nutrient low soil it has less competition with other plants, such as weeds.


Where to Find Moss


Mosses prefer wet, boggy places in nature. Some mosses live in very damp or even submerged conditions, while others are more tolerant to dryer areas. When looking for moss you just need to find wet areas around your property, or go down to a nearby stream. Often, I see different types of mosses growing in between the sidewalk slabs. Bring a clear container to gather your moss into, before adding the moss be sure to add a cm or half an inch of filtered or bottled water. Don't add tap water because it contains lots of chlorine and other bad substances. Sphagnum moss may be familiar to many people, especial sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum peat moss is “dead” moss, and it is great for absorbing lots of water and then releasing it slowly over time. Sphagnum moss is easy to grow as it loves wet conditions and can even grow under water.

There is some controversy about sphagnum moss (not sphagnum peat moss which is dead), since it may carry a fungus that causes sporotrichosis. Roses and many other thorny plants also may also carry this fungus. People could become infected if they get pricked with the thorn that has this fungus on it. There are many plants that could infect you with this fungus. This issue has been very exaggerated with sphagnum moss.


How to Grow Moss


It's as simple as finding a damp and shady area outside to start your moss garden. You can even grow moss indoors. If growing moss indoors be sure to place the moss in a sunny location and keep it soggy. Even dead looking moss will start looking green again in a very short time.

If you have a large rock on your property it may look nice if covered in moss. Moss can produce an aged, calm, and relaxed feeling in a garden. To cover any objects in moss, you simply take the moss you desire to use and place it in a blender, along with either beer or yogurt; the reason for these ingredients is because they are acidic and the sugar in them provides food for the moss. The mixture is not going to be very thick as you are merely releasing the spores in moss. After blending the moss, brush it on the surfaces where you would like it to grow. Keep in mind that moss will only thrive if the area is moist enough, so think about growing it in shady areas.

Some people will spread the moss onto unglazed terracotta pots. The moss is brushed onto the outside of the pots all around and then placed in a cool shady area.

Moss Gardens

Moss gardens are great projects for all ages. They don't require much light and are very easy to setup and maintain. You can easily find kits to buy online and various moss terrariums.

Moss terrariums can be made out of glass bowls or jars. You can find suitable products in the vase (flower) area, or garden section of popular retail stores. Dollar stores sometimes have the cheapest 'terrarium' type glass bowls.

Nature is usually not too far from most of us. Any trip down to a forest, wooded lake, or river, and you can find all sorts of mosses growing on the ground, on rocks and trees. Marshes and wetlands are the best places to find moss and to get your garden started.

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    • profile image

      Gerry email: hutchison.gerry@gmail.com 9 months ago

      Had a quarter mile long driveway through the woods with beautiful green moss on both sides and in the middle strip. In addition, about 3,000 square feet of moss under live oaks. I maintained the moss simply by blowing off leaf litter and have done this for twenty plus years. The tidal surge from Hurricane Matthew inundated the entire area with salt water and tons of debris. In have carefully cleared off all of the debris but now all of the moss is BROWN! Did the salt inundation kill the moss? I had hoped that subsequent heavy rains would leach out any remaining salt and the moss would green up again. Hasn't happened (yet)! Area is lower South Carolina coastal plain. Please advise,

    • profile image

      Zaranth 20 months ago

      I'm starting today from sending my housemate to the store for yogurt. I was wondering how much yougurt I need for lets say 500g of moss?

    • profile image

      Larissa 2 years ago

      P.S. I'm also wondering what henpaps when you take clippings from succulent plants that are larger, with stems that grow up to 12 long for example, or even the vining types of succulents. Even if I clip the smaller and younger parts of the plant, will they stay somewhat small in the wreath, or will they become huge eventually and offset the wreath? I would imagine that even these larger varieties can't grow too incredibly big in the wreath with only moss to feed off of, rather than soil. Am I right?[]

    • profile image

      Ania 2 years ago

      I appreciate your kind and geuneors advice a lot!. I have been trying it hardly and did not get those amazing results!. It is nice to see that you got my comment in a good way!God bless you!VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

    • Durant profile image
      Author

      Joel Durant 3 years ago from Canada

      It stops growing until the spring.

    • profile image

      Debbie O in Idaho 3 years ago

      How does moss do in the winter and snow? Does it die and come back in the spring?

    • profile image

      sandie t 3 years ago

      I am excited about starting a moss garden--I had a business previously centered around moss topiaries (large and small).

      Customers loved them. All one need do to maintain them is a spritz of water ocassionally. Now I want to continue my love of moss by designing a small space as an accent to my landscaping. Thank you for publishing your knowledge. I shall be very attentive.

    • profile image

      ant 3 years ago

      I have no hair so i grow moss an whereas a wig

    • arusho profile image

      arusho 5 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      Cool hub, I've never tried growing moss indoors, but it sounds like a great idea. I have moss growing in my lawn and I just leave it, it still looks green, so you can't tell it's moss.

    • rutley profile image

      rutley 5 years ago from South Jersey

      Love moss Durant.....especially if you don't want to mow the grass. There will be none. Check out my hub Avocado

      smoothie....You'll learn how to grow an avocado tree indoors or out!

    • Durant profile image
      Author

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, Phyllis for your kind support! That terrarium is very beautiful. It's happy to hear that other people love moss too. :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Durant, this is a wonderful and helpful hub to get me started on how to grow moss. I even clicked on the link to order 2 of the moss and Japanese Lantern terrarium. Thank you!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love moss, it's beautiful, I have a few rocks in the garden that are covered in moss,they look great!

      I think I should grow more, Lovely hub thank you and voted up.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Thanks Durant. I'll try a part of the yard and see what happens!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very nice. I like the idea of growing moss..Thank you.

    • Durant profile image
      Author

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      Moss has a hard time competing for moisture with weeds. Moss loves acidic and damp soils, and nutrient poor soil is even better. You'd have pull the weeds out first, but it's definitely possible to spread it all over that area. Blend up some moss with beer and spread it around.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Wow, I love this. I have always loved moss ad would like to cover a large area with it. Is this possible? This area in my yard has nothing but weeds. Can the moss overtake the weeds, so to speak? Thanks.