Garden Moss For Lush Shade Gardens
Live moss plants are to a garden what a blueprint is to an engineer. Moss plants are the most useful and diverse garden supplements for bare spots, rock gardens and dramatic fillers between sidewalks and as border plants.
Types of Garden Moss Plants
When people hear the word moss, they are usually reminded of the delicate Spanish moss hanging from trees in tropical areas. However, moss is one of those natural plants with a life and mind of its own. There's carpet moss, cushion moss, sheet moss and fern moss plus many more varieties of live mosses.
The clue to where moss thrives is taken from Spanish moss which thrives best in densely humid air. In more northern growing regions, live moss is more likely to be found in spots in gardens and landscapes where there is an unusual amount of moisture. There are over 23 types of live moss species.
A little known fact about some species of mosses is that they contain natural nutrients for the soil. Most live moss grows in clumps, which is a big advantage for creative gardeners with an artistic talent for using this plant in stunning designs. Cushion moss, fern moss, braided moss and haircap moss are native to North America.
Gardening with Moss Plants
Since moss grows in low lying clumps and has rhizoids that attach itself to the ground, it requires no watering and no fertilizing. Moss plants rarely grow more than one foot in height at maturity. It is one of the hardiest species of garden plants and does well even in cold winters. The rhizoids survive and flourish when temperatures warm again in spring. Moss plants can be purchased from local garden centers or online.
Creature a picturesque blanket of emerald live moss on hillside areas where it is difficult to grow grass or flowers. To use moss for topiaries, it is necessary to help moss plants along with a metal form.
For an artistic look to your moss garden, choose broom moss, pretty cord moss with its silvery tips, small redleaf peat moss or the elegant looking waned hair-cap moss. Training moss into designs is fairly easy, but does require some maintenance and control. Mosses attract certain insects like gnats and ants. Use a natural pyrethrin repellent for insect control.
Planting Live Moss
There isn't much work to planting live moss. However, you may want to prepare a light layer of rich dark humus to hasten growth of your moss plants. Lay out humus in the shape you want the moss to take when new growth appears. Since live moss retains moisture, it can be planted in dry areas of the garden or landscape around the base of trees that may not receive enough water. This reduces the need for frequent watering. Each rain event will cause live moss to absorb water and quench the soil beneath.
Live moss is excellent for terrariums, pots, most types of containers and for Bonsai gardens. Live moss plants provide a depth of tranquility to a lush garden and in they are a great way to keep the indoors bright and green all year round.