Country Gardens - - Garden Know-how -

Grow­ing moss isn’t dif­fi­cult, as long as you start small and choose a species ap­pro­pri­ate for your con­di­tions, says Wis­con­sin gar­dener Dale Siev­ert. Here are some of his tips:

PRO­VIDE SHADE. Moss plants have no roots—they ab­sorb wa­ter from rain and the air— and will quickly dry out in sun or hot weather.

COLD? NO PROB­LEM. Mosses have a sort of an­tifreeze. They go dor­mant in the cold but re­vive when the tem­per­a­ture is above freez­ing.


To find a species that will thrive in your yard, Dale rec­om­mends col­lect­ing moss nearby. Make sure you have the per­mis­sion of the prop­erty owner, and never col­lect from a park or na­ture pre­serve. Gen­tly peel the moss up in palm­size pieces.

IM­I­TATE NA­TURE. Mimic the con­di­tions the moss came from: If the soil was sandy, plant your moss on sandy soil. Moss likes its leaves to be moist, but it re­quires ex­cel­lent soil drainage.

BE PA­TIENT. Af­ter you ar­range your moss patches on the soil, wa­ter them. Then leave them alone, ex­cept for weed­ing. It may take sev­eral months for the plants to grow the tiny rootlets that hold them in place.

1. Baby tooth moss

(Pla­giom­nium cus­p­i­da­tum)

2. Com­mon fern moss

(Thuid­ium del­i­cat­u­lum)

3. Am­blyste­gium moss

(Hy­groam­blyste­gium var­ium)

4. Yel­low yarn moss

(Anomodon ro­s­tra­tus)

5. Amer­i­can cli­macium moss

(Cli­macium amer­i­canum)

6. Sil­ver moss

(Bryum ar­gen­teum)

7. Fis­si­dens moss

(Fis­si­dens du­bius)

8. Pin­cush­ion moss

(Leu­co­bryum glau­cum)

9. Com­mon tree-skirt moss

(Anomodon at­ten­u­a­tus)

10. Golden ragged moss

(Brachythe­cium sale­bro­sum)

11. Dry cal­care­ous bryum moss

(Bryum cae­spiti­cium)

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