Posted in category: Moss Gardens.

My Moss Gardens – An Experiment

It’s been about two weeks since I began my indoor moss garden experiments. I placed a bit of moss in my terrarium, some in a semi-enclosed environment and in an open dish. All of the moss was gathered from random places in our yard and at least two different kinds were involved.

Moss in a Terrarium

The terrarium had a few problems. It was way too wet. I don’t know if it was that or the moss doesn’t like a terrarium environment but it’s pretty much toast. Might try again once I think the terrarium is more correctly set up moisture-wise.

Moss in a Candle Jar

The semi-enclosed environment, if you remember is a glass candle jar. I put a little gravel in the bottom but not any dirt beyond what came along with the moss. I pretty much just stuffed it into the jar and hoped for the best. Here are the before and after shots…live-moss my-moss-garden-2

As you can see, the color of the moss isn’t quite as vibrant and a lot of it looks like it is dead or dying. But, there are little areas of green that might actually be growing here and there. I have little doubt the lack of soil is the culprit here. While moss doesn’t truly need soil, I think my little ecosystem could use some more soil to keep the temperature and moisture levels more consistent.

I also may not have been watering it enough in the beginning. I was misting daily but realized the amount of water actually being delivered was minuscule. I now spray about ten times with my little mister each morning until it looks like morning dew has settled everywhere. Sometimes I’ll give it a hit or two mid-day as well. As the temperatures get cooler, I might start watering it a little less.

Moss Likes Acid?

I’ve always read that beer and buttermilk provide acid that moss likes. I’ve never saw the economics in buying a container of buttermilk to use a tiny bit for moss or risking the ruination of our blender with a stray rock mixed in with the moss. We do have a few cans of beer in the house, but I don’t drink the stuff – opening a can for a little for moss just didn’t see cost effective either. Plus, it seems that quite often it doesn’t work. I recently read that you can use powdered milk to provide that bit of acid – aha, we have that. I might start dropping a few granules of the stuff on my moss garden and see how that goes.

Someone else mentioned that moss is an opportunist – it grows where it doesn’t have to fight anyone for space. It likes places where other plants aren’t. That source mentioned that since it is often somewhat acidic soil that is left readily available for moss that someone wrongly concluded moss likes acidic soil. I don’t know one way or another but I figure sprinkling a few granules of powdered milk on my moss couldn’t hurt anything.

My Purple Moss Garden

purple-moss-gardenA pretty yard sale find, that came covered in candle wax is the home of my other moss gardening experiment. I started my purple moss garden over a year ago. I watered it much like a houseplant and it was pretty much a bust.

Thought I would give it another go and keep it misted daily rather than watered once a week or so. Some of the moss browned and looked sad within a few days. There’s some that looks green in the photo but in real life looks extremely dried out. The flat patch, by the little mouse, was from last year. I was going to remove it and noticed it still had a little green on it. Thought I would leave it for now and see if it revives at all. And, then there’s the wild tangle. It has been the most successful of all the mosses I’ve tried. Not sure if it’s the type of moss, the conditions or what.

The purple moss garden is close to my desk light and I wonder if the additional light is having any sort of impact. It only gets a little of the light but it might be getting benefit of a little added heat too.

Working theory on moss transplantation…

Much of the moss that appears to have died almost immediately was in a reproductive phase. It had spore capsules about an inch tall. I’m wondering if it is not really a fan of being moved while producing spores. I’ve not seen that in writing anywhere but it sounds better than I killed it all. lol

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