How to Use Mosses in Landscaping

Where To Get Moss For Your Shade Garden

You can transplant moss and other plants growing on other parts of your property to new areas. If you have friends or family growing in their yards, ask them if you can have some of it to transplant on your property. You can also find mosses at your local landscaping or plant nursery store. Always keep mosses moist until transplanting to the desired area.

Basic Growing Tips For Mosses

Mosses need just a few essential elements to thrive. They need shade, which holds moisture more consistently than areas exposed to the sun. They like acidic soil, with a pH of around 5.5.

  • Remove weeds and grass from an area in a location that has shade for most of the day.
  • Prepare the ground area with a rake to create a bed on which the plant can grow.
  • Layout a piece of moss on the prepared area and gently tamp down. You may want to ensure the plants don't get displaced by placing a few rocks on them to secure them solidly.
  • Water the newly set most generously.
  • Fertilize with a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.
  • Keep the plants consistently moistened until they are established.
  • Pull weeds and grass out of bed to prevent plants from being choked.

Growing Moss on Rock Walls, Bricks, or Clay Pots

The spread of moss along a wall or other garden object adds a picturesque quality to landscaping. If you want to grow mosses on these objects:

  1. Mix up a batch of 2 cups of buttermilk and about 1-1/2 cups of chopped moss.
  2. Blend thoroughly.
  3. Spread the buttermilk-plant mixture onto the object where you'd like the plants to grow.
  4. Keep the mixture moist for several weeks while it becomes established.
Choosing Mosses For Shade Gardens

Some mosses grow horizontally. Others grow vertically. Your choice depends on how you want to use it in your landscape design.

  • Fern moss, Thuidium delicatulum, is a fast-growing variety with a defined "fern leaf" shape used to cover rocks and walls.
  • American Tree Moss, Climacium americanum, spreads along the ground through rhizomes. It gets its name from resembling tiny clumps of trees. It can be used in semi-shaded areas and areas that experience occasional standing rainwater.
  • Mood moss, Dicranum scoparium, grows in thick clumps of vibrant green color. You can use it for rock gardens, floral arrangements, and terrariums. It gets its name from changes in its appearance when growing conditions are not ideal. It is one of the slower-growing types.
  • Shiny Seductive Moss, the Entodon seductress, is a short, fast-growing moss that spreads close to the ground. Unlike many mosses, they can be grown in entire sun areas. It can be used as ground cover for rock walls or green roofs.
Explore Mosses To Add Maturity and Serenity to Your Yard

If you have not grown mosses before, you will find them both easy and fun to establish in garden areas. 

Fern Moss - TN Nursery

Fern Moss

Fern Moss displays feathery, fern-like fronds and is often found in damp and shady environments. It resembles miniature forest ferns. This delightful and beneficial plant for landscaping projects belongs to the Bryophyte family and thrives in wet and shady environments, making it a perfect choice for various landscaping applications. It is known for its delicate appearance. These plants are widely distributed throughout North America and often add color and beauty to shady, humid gardens. Natural Habitat Of Fern Moss It forms lush, branching carpets on decomposing logs, rocks, and patches of damp soil. They can flourish in various moist, shady environments all year round. They are commonly found along mountain streams and river banks, on hillsides and ravines, underneath trees, and on forest floors. It has feathery triangular fronds arranged in a triple-pinnate structure, with central stems that grow up to 3½" long. The fronds consist of tiny, bumpy leaves that give the fern moss a slightly rough appearance and branch out to create a layered mat with a soft, plush texture. The fronds intertwine to create a colony with a three-dimensional profile. The leaves tend to open in humid air, but they contract against their parent stem or branch in dry air. It can display a spectrum of colors, changing from golden brown to dull yellow-green to bright, then deep green shade and moisture increase. To propagate themselves, they create sporophytes that mature and release spores that can grow into new plants. As they establish themselves, they grow fibrous rhizoids that attach to their new substrates. These thin, root-like rhizoids anchor the plants and pull nutrients and moisture into the fronds. Fern Moss Adds Graceful Charm It can create a tranquil aesthetic and lend a graceful charm to cultivated areas in your landscape. Gardeners often use it as a ground cover in tree-filled areas. This plant can add color and texture to rock gardens and shady regions while providing winter greenery patches. It is a beautiful choice if you're looking to create a microhabitat for small animals in your garden. Songbirds like swallows, vireos, juncos, robins, and warblers use the fronds in their nests to protect their hatchlings and conceal them from predators. Forest Up Your Garden with Fern Moss Adding Fern Moss to your garden is a lovely way to bring the freshness of the forest into your landscape and enhance your time outdoors.

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