How to Keep Moss Alive

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Things You'll Need

  • Soil-testing kit

  • Aluminum sulfate

  • Misting garden-hose attachment

Tip

You can also mist moss with a spray bottle -- make sure to clean it extremely well to remove any traces of chemicals before using it to water anything.

Moss can be planted on rocks or logs. Cover the object with a thin layer of wet mud from pH-treated soil, then simply place the moss on top of it. Water the moss regularly -- it will take some time for the moss to attach itself directly to the surface.

Moss is very slow-growing -- do not expect it to overwhelm gardens anytime soon.

A moss spray can be used to plant moss on trees and stone with minimal effort. Mix 1 part moss with 4 parts buttermilk and blend it until it has a thick soupy texture. Spread the liquid on the surface where you wish to grow the moss. Mist the surface regularly.

Moss requires moisture and shade in order to thrive.

Mosses are quite different from other plants in terms of biology and care. Instead of having true root systems, mosses have small fibers called protonema that attach them to soils and other surfaces -- they obtain their nutrition from the air rather than from soil. They also require less sunlight than other plants, and many species actually thrive in dark and shaded conditions. Mosses are slow-growing but very durable -- they can be grown in nearly any garden with only minimal effort.

Step 1

Select a location that is shaded from direct sunlight for most (but not all) of the day -- locations that are only exposed to sunlight from the north or east are ideal. Choose a planting site that is close to a source of water if possible.

Step 2

Test the pH of the soil with a soil testing kit -- the ideal pH for growing moss is between 5.0 and 6.0, with 5.5 allowing some wiggle room. Reduce the soil pH, if necessary, with aluminum sulfate -- the exact amount required depends on the soil's current pH. Test the soil 24 hours after applying the aluminum nitrate and make additional adjustments if necessary.

Step 3

Remove any leaves or debris from the soil, then tamp it down to compact it. Place the moss on the soil if it comes in sheets or layers, or dig a hole to place potted moss.

Step 4

Use a misting garden hose attachment to keep the moss damp for the first three weeks after planting it. Mist the moss at least once a day during dry weather conditions -- mosses can survive dry conditions but they require dampness in order to thrive.

references & resources

Jason Williams

Jason Williams has been involved in journalism since 2000 as both a writer and an editor. Graduating from the International Baccalaureate program in 2004, he has written on a wide array of topics, specializing in topics of natural sciences and technology.