Leucobryum glaucum, pincushion moss,
lower right corner with astilbe in upper right,
bishop's weed upper left and Pulmonaria or
lungwort in lower left. The braided moss, Hypnum imponens is also in lower center. Both mosses are growing on moss mat system
Moss Gardening FAQs
Where can I plant moss? On shaded ground
that will get some rainfall.
Where can I buy moss?
www.mossacres.com is a good source.
How can I transplant moss? If transplanting from
similar soil to similar soil then just pick up the moss.
If the moss clump is too fragile or if it has extensive
rhizomes like hair cap moss then use a spatula or
putty knife to get under the clump. Press the moss
clump firmly down on its new location. If transplanting
from an acidic soil it is critical the new soil is acidic.
Also the complement is true, alkaline soil to alkaline soil.
What is the most important thing a gardener must
know when starting a moss garden? Grow your moss in
shady areas with only dappled or intermittent sunlight and if
you decide to water use collected rainwater.
Moss generally doesn't need to be watered when it becomes dessicated
(dried out). New rains as well as mists and dews will rehydrate your moss. IF you feel the need to mist or spray then use only collected rainwater. Only rainwater which has no dissolved salts or hardness ions is acceptable.
Do you water your moss gardens? No.
Do you fertilize your moss? I have done a little work with fertilizing and think it is not really necessary. If your moss will get rainfall it will also get windblown dust which is an adequate source of minerals. A weak acidic fertilizer, such as Miracid, at little more than 10% of the solution recommended for vascular plants and applied monthly can be used. Water used to make up fertilizer solution should be distilled or rainwater.
How do you identify different moss species? Identification to the genus and species level is a difficult task and is not really necessary for the horticulturist. Many moss species are very similar in appearance and can be difficult to tell apart. A good botanical primer on mosses and liverworts is Susan Munch's Outstanding Mosses and Liverworts of Pennsylvania & Nearby States. Her book can be purchased by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or it can be purchased from Moss Acres, www.mossacres.com.
Why do we see little moss on our every day walking paths. Salt used to melt ice and snow will kill moss. High pressure washing will scour the moss from most surfaces including sidewalks. Brick walkways that are shaded and have no ice melt salt applied will have the sidewalk mosses, B. caespiticium and B. argenteum over time growing in the cracks and crevices.
Can I grow mosses in full sunlight? Some mosses do grow in full sunlight but there are three issues here; 1) only certain species of moss will survive in full sunlight and none of them are available commercially, 2) moss growing in full sunlight will grow very slowly and 3) most species do not look appealing in the dried up state and when grown in full sunlight they will spend a lot of time in that state particularly during the summertime when you most often wish to view them.