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How to Grow Moss

Joel is a small business owner and blogger. His interests include gardening, health, and meditation.

All about moss!

All about moss!

What Is Moss?

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 simple plants found all over the world. It is usually found in moist areas, around rivers and streams, and can often be found on trees.

Moss is a resilient plant that can survive harsh 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 surfaces where most other plants generally 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

Moss prefers wet, boggy places in nature. Some mosses live in very damp or even submerged conditions, while others are more tolerant of 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 chlorine and other moss-unfriendly substances.

Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss may be familiar to many people, especially sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum peat moss is dead moss, and it is excellent 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 underwater.

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 may also carry this fungus. People could become infected if they get pricked with the thorn that has this fungus on it, so exercise reasonable caution around this plant.

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 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 wish to use and place it in a blender, along with either beer or yogurt (these ingredients 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 set up and maintain. You can easily find kits to buy online and various moss terrariums.

Moss terrariums can easily be made with glass bowls or jars. You can usually find suitable glass containers in the garden section of big-box retail stores.

Dollar stores are a great option to check out; I've often seen affordable glass bowls or containers that would be suitable for use as a terrarium.

Do you have any tips on how to grow moss?

Let me know in the comment section below!

© 2011 Joel Durant

Comments on November 01, 2017:

Ich finde die Information wunderbar. Danke

Gerry email: on January 02, 2017:

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,

Zaranth on February 23, 2016:

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?

Larissa on December 17, 2014:

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?[]

Ania on December 15, 2014:

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)

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on September 24, 2014:

It stops growing until the spring.

Debbie O in Idaho on September 19, 2014:

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

sandie t on March 23, 2014:

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.

ant on November 27, 2013:

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

arusho from University Place, Wa. on January 08, 2012:

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 from South Jersey on December 02, 2011:

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!

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on November 30, 2011:

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

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on November 30, 2011:

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 from United Kingdom on November 30, 2011:

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 from the South on November 29, 2011:

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

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 29, 2011:

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

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on November 29, 2011:

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 from the South on November 29, 2011:

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.