How to properly plant moss in the garden

How to properly plant moss in the garden

In which location can moss grow?

All types of moss thrive as spore plants that do not take root in the ground, but simply hold onto cell threads (rhizoids). Thus, mosses have the ability to establish themselves on a wide variety of substrates, such as bed soil, tree bark or stone. However, you will only grow moss successfully when these conditions prevail at the location:

  • Partial to shady location
  • Moist and cool, preferably near a pond or stream
  • Nutrient-poor, freshly moist soil with an acidic pH between 5.0 and 6.0

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A few types of moss can tolerate sunshine and dry periods, such as the native common moss. The majority of the spore plants only meet expectations if they are assigned a constantly shady, cool and moist place in the garden.

When is the best time to plant?

The temperature optimum for the vast majority of mosses is between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Thus, in our regions, the time window for planting is open during the entire vegetation period. For best results, grow moss in the garden between April and September.

How do I properly plant moss in the bed?

Careful soil preparation sets the course for rapid growth. Therefore, carefully remove all weeds at the chosen location so that they do not overgrow the moss. Check the pH in the soil. If this is well above 6.0, work some peat or bog soil into the soil. Then smooth the planting area with a lawn roller. How to proceed:

  • Water the bed area with the lawn sprinkler (€ 27.94 at Amazon *) or the watering can
  • Spread pieces of moss on the surface and press down
  • Press very small pieces of moss into the substrate with tweezers
  • Finally sprinkle the freshly planted moss with water

The planting material for growing moss in the bed can be found elsewhere in the garden. Garden centers and hardware stores offer different types of moss in pots at planting time. Please do not remove any moss from the forest. A large number of native moss species are threatened with extinction and are subject to strict nature conservation.

How can moss be propagated?

The vegetative reproduction of moss is gratifyingly uncomplicated. To do this, fill a pot or bowl with a poor, acidic substrate, such as peat, herb or succulent soil. Akkadama or a similar bonsai substrate is also ideal. First moisten the soil with soft water. Then divide a piece of moss into several parts, which you press into the substrate at a distance of 5-8 cm and water with a fine shower.

Although moss plants do not produce seeds, they can very well be propagated generatively. For this purpose, numerous spore capsules sprout during the growing season, which rise on small stems above the moss. Cut off these stems. Crush the spore capsules on a plate, pick them up with a fine brush and transfer them to the moist propagation substrate. Then pour on from below and put a transparent cover over the vessel.

Growing moss on stone - that's how it works

Moss does not need to take root in a substrate. So stones and walls are also an option to create a velvety green moss carpet on them. Coat the level surface with nettle manure and place small moss sheets on top.

If you want to grow moss on an uneven, spherical or sloping surface, you can do the trick with a moss-milk shake. In a blender, add 1 large piece of moss, 2 cups of buttermilk, and 2 cups of water. If the mixture has a creamy consistency, apply it with a brush or a spray bottle. This opens up creative design possibilities on walls, boulders, house walls or tree trunks.

Are there suitable plant neighbors?

Although moss spreads vehemently in the lawn and displaces the noble grasses, it is otherwise weakly competitive. Any moss would be overgrown within a short time by rapidly growing neighbors. Therefore, the spore plant is only suitable as a ground cover where it should not suppress weeds. In the company of slowly growing trees, however, all types of moss feel right at home. This is especially true in the vicinity of deciduous and coniferous trees or hedges, which also provide the necessary shade.


In humid interiors, you can conjure up an atmosphere of green comfort with moss. This is especially true for the bathroom on the north side of the house, where other types of plants rarely feel comfortable. Simply plant moss in a decorative bowl on peat or succulent soil to use it as an eye-catching house plant in shady places.