Moss can be used in many instances around your plants or to make a display all on its own. Thus, knowing how to grow your indoor moss garden is worthwhile. Fortunately, achieving this isn’t difficult. The ins and outs of growing moss indoors will be covered with information on how to maintain your indoor moss garden once it is set up.
Being a very easy project, growing moss inside is ideal for parents to do with their kids. All you need is some living moss, a growing area, containers, and water. Most often, you’ll see them grown in a terrarium, yet any container will suffice, or you can grow moss walls if you have a larger area.
It is straightforward, yet there are some things you need to know when growing moss or similar other plant species in the home. In our guide, you can learn more about how to grow and how to take care of moss you find on the forest floor. By the end, you’ll know all you need for moss to be grown indoors in a glass container or around the base of your new bonsai trees. (Read Does Round Up Kill Moss)
What is Moss?
Moss is a bryophyte, a category of tiny, non-vascular plants that reproduce through spores rather than flowers and seeds.
Moss are multiple plants growing together, which act like photosynthesis factories, where they take in water and nutrients through their leaves to generate food.
Moss has been used as fuel, house insulation, floral shop materials, and indoor gardens for many years.
Here are the various types of moss growth you can find.
Three bryophyte mosses exist. Musci has leaves and stems. Some stems are matted, and others are upright. Sphagnum moss and Hypnaceae are two typical Musci that work well for indoor moss gardens.
Hepaticae, also called liverworts, is a soft moss. This moss prefers dark, humid areas near water; therefore, it needs additional care in a dry indoor setting.
Rare Anthocerotae moss. It bears spore-bearing branches that resemble pointed horns.
Moss varieties you can grow in the garden fall into several groups.
- Sheet moss (Hypnum) is one of the most common varieties used between stepping stones or garden paths since it can handle light foot traffic.
- Cushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum) forms a ball-like shape and favors shade.
- Club moss (Lycopodium) prefers chilly, low-light, and moist soil.
- Rock cap moss or Mood moss thrives in the shade and grows on rocks and stones.
- Polytrichum commune (hair cap moss) prefers acidic soils and medium shade. However, it requires wet soil to survive bright sunlight and thus can be used as a garden path border.
- Fern moss is a fast-growing species and a helpful alternative to grass in gloomy settings.
- Reindeer moss is not a moss but a lichen. It’s gray or green and grows in clusters.
- Spanish moss is not a moss; air plant is the actual term.
- Irish moss (Sagina Subulata) is a perennial plant of the clove family with branchy stems, little white blooms, and needle-shaped leaves.
- Sphagnum (peat moss) is a perennial plant with greenish-white branchy stems.
- Giant spearmoss (Calliergon giganteum) is a green or brown perennial that grows on trees, rocks, and soil in the shade yet can tolerate sun.
- Vesicularia dubyana is a hypnoid moss subspecies. This ornamental species grows in wetland snags and rocks. It’s not fussy about soil, water, or temperature, thus often used in aquariums.
- Fern moss (Thuidium) is a low-growing plant that develops dense, attractive thickets matching any landscape but is aggressive to nearby plants.
While used in a terrarium, if you have only moss in your enclosed environment, such as a clear glass container, the name changes, becoming a mossarium.
Guide to Growing Moss Indoors
Although moss grows with little effort, there are certain things to ensure your moss growing venture is a success, or you could end up killing moss rather than having a host of tiny plants.
You should concentrate on simulating the ideal conditions for moss growth because it thrives in environments with adequate moisture and sunlight. (Learn How Many Pumpkins Per Plant)
What You Need
- Pincers or Tweezers: Used to pick and place your moss. They can help when removing the dead material from your moss garden.
- A container: A terrarium or glass jar is preferred, although plastic can be used, and any shape that sits flat can be used.
- Pebbles: One layer of pebbles across the bottom of the container is all you need inside your moss garden. Saturated sand can also be used, yet pebbles prevent waterlogged containers.
- Organic matter: Potting soil can be used, yet you get better results from either pine needles or rotting bark. Some species of moss requires potting soil, so have some on hand.
- A spray bottle: Moss needs constant moisture to thrive, and the inside of the container will need to maintain a humid atmosphere.
- Clean Water: Most moss species prefer distilled or purified water rather than tap water. Only add enough to your spray bottle as you use it. It is worth noting, moss in the garden is excellent for preventing soil erosion and can be used for water filtration.
Building An Indoor Moss Garden
You can get preserved moss, yet it is far better to use sheets of fresh moss that is already growing.
Building your contained moss garden is straightforward, following these steps:
- Make sure your container is clean.
- Place a layer of pebbles one pebble deep (or sand) on the bottom of your container. For texture, you can add a couple of differently shaped rocks.
- Lay any rotting bark, pine needles, or potting soil across the pebbles in a thin layer.
- Carefully place the gathered moss across your bark/pine needles or soil layer.
- Mist your moss using your spray bottle.
- Seal the container lid.
- Wait and watch as your indoor moss garden grow.
Caring for Indoor Moss
Collecting moss is better than buying one. It will be free from any contaminants which could affect your indoor environment.
Moss grows in most climates and seasons so that it won’t be an an
Moss needs hardly any care to grow once you build your indoor moss garden. However, with water consumption, moss is more demanding than other plants.
A moss garden can turn brown and die without adequate hydration and humidity.
Here are a couple of tips moss care can highlight:
Many people put moss containers in the dark to increase humidity. Don’t do this, as moss needs direct and indirect sunlight to grow.
If feasible, place your pot on a sunny windowsill to catch the morning sun and move once direct sunlight gets too hot.
Use a fluorescent lamp to grow moss in a desktop or tabletop planter. (Read Can You Grow Potatoes Indoors)
With moss growing, you don’t need to use fertilizers or nutrients; it needs water. Moss has no root system; therefore, it gets water from the environment, unlike other plants.
How often you need to sprinkle your moss with a spray bottle depends on environmental circumstances and moss species. For example, Moss in a glass jar will require less water than if you make a moss wall in your home.
Water it quickly when your moss becomes dry to the touch or loses its green color. Check your moss daily and ensure it is wet and green.
Overwatering moss as possible so it avoids flooding the container. The surplus water won’t evaporate and create high humidity if you make this error. It is also why pebbles can help on the container bottom.
How to Care For Indoor Moss Plant
All seasons and climates have moss growing naturally. However, Moss is far more common in moist areas than in dry areas.
You can collect moss in many wet areas, dark areas, and other potential water flow areas.
Carefully remove how much moss you need from any outdoor locations. Determine the quantity of moss required based on the capacity of the container.
Put little sticks (toothpicks) into the moss every 5 inches to keep huge moss sheets in place.
It can prevent disruptions from interfering with moss growth. Keep them around until the moss grows.
Mistreat the moss with water (2-3 times daily) using a spray bottle.
Place your moss in a healthy location, and remember to regularly mist.
Since tap water has excessive chlorine, it must be used with DM or purified water to turn moss from turning brown.
You must now add moss to the jar until it is as high as those toothpicks.
The toothpicks shouldn’t be a concern because they will mix in with your indoor moss.
You only need to apply a few mist sprayer sprays once the moss layers have dried.
Please keep in mind that they only occasionally need watering. The best way to grow moss inside is to spray them when they start to feel or look dry.
Keep the container out of direct sunlight and in a shaded area. Keep moisture in the container by spraying it with water two to three times per day. After misting, keep the container covered.
To ensure that water stays inside the container, it is preferable to use a lid for the terrarium. Depending on the size of the moss, it is necessary to open the cover once a month for 10 to 20 minutes so that the container can breathe fresh air.
The state of the moss must be assessed if the container cannot be shut so that it can be treated if they dry out.
What Not to Do?
The moss should be kept indoors with great care. It doesn’t keep a lot of moisture, sunlight, or fertilizer. So the surface should be misted frequently to keep the moss moist.
After misting, leave a small amount of space so that air can circulate on top of the container.
Another consideration while growing moss inside is to keep the plants out of direct sunlight and always to use distilled water when spraying. (Learn How To Grow Strawberries Indoors)
Growing Moss Indoors FAQ
How long can moss live when indoors?
Your own moss sculptures can live and keep growing for months, even years, with careful watering and attention to the moss’ need for sunlight.
How long does it take for moss to grow?
After about week six, when you ensure the moss is hydrated and gets lots of sunlight, you may anticipate some really quick development.
Due to the small size of the moss garden, you can see the growth even earlier if you’re making a small container moss garden.
Does moss ever need pruning?
Your moss will have some areas that look fantastic and others that distract from the appearance, just like any other form of plant you may grow.
Over time, moss will grow into lengthy pieces that need to be cut down—this aids in promoting a more robust regeneration.
What do I do if I see mold?
Mold growth is a danger if you grow moss in a terrarium or other container. Overwatering the moss causes this.
If you notice white patches (mold) appearing on the surface of your moss plant, don’t become upset. To start, try wiping it away. You can use scissors to remove the mold if it can’t just be washed away.
However, if mold has significantly overtaken it, you could be best off just replacing the moss in your indoor moss garden with new moss.
How can I prevent mold growth?
Mold can develop within your enclosed container even if you don’t overwater your moss.
Remove the lid to allow extra moisture to escape from the container to reduce the likelihood of this. Then, about once every week, leave the cover off for a few hours.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, one of the best things about moss is how simple it is to care about, even inside.
Even little children or the busiest professionals can do it because it is so simple! To ensure that your moss grows healthily, it needs a closed container, lots of sunlight, a base made of pebbles and other materials, and routine sprinkling with a spray bottle.