How to Plant Moss

Gardeners with a densely shaded and moist growing area can grow moss successfully. Although moss does not have true roots, it needs moist, acidic soil to flourish. It is not necessary to amend soil before planting moss, because this plant prefers poor rather than rich soil. Choose between a variety of different mosses including hypnum (easy to grow and handles foot traffic), polytrichum (anchors itself like a rooted groundcover) and leucobryum (light green and grows in a cushion shape). Plant moss in a home garden to create an unusual and fascinating green ground cover in a shady growing location.

Moss will grow in moist, shady areas where other plants cannot thrive.

Step 1

Prepare the growing area by raking or blowing away all debris from the soil. Scratch the soil surface with the garden rake to prepare it for the moss.

Step 2

Saturate the soil evenly and thoroughly with the garden hose or sprinkler.

Step 3

Press the moss into the prepared soil in a single layer. Moss comes in rolls like turf grass (hypnum) or in individual clumps (polytrichum and leucobryum). Butt the edges of the moss up to each other to cover the soil completely.

Step 4

Fill the soil roller with water and push it over the moss to press it evenly into the soil. As you push the soil roller, the water inside will drip out onto the moss, further moistening it.

Step 5

Water the newly planted moss again after you finish rolling it. Saturate the moss completely with the hose or sprinkler. Water the moss every day while it acclimates to the growing location. After the moss acclimates (approximately one month), water the moss when it appears dry.

Step 6

Keep leaves and debris off the moss by blowing it with the leaf blower or dusting it away with the broom. Take care not to damage the moss as you remove leaves.

Step 7

Minimize foot traffic over your mossy areas. Although moss can tolerate gentle foot traffic with flat-soled shoes, high heels or playing children will wreak havoc on the moss, possibly killing it.

Kathryn Hatter

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.