How To Grow Moss: A Simple and Fun DIY Project

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How To Grow Moss

Learning how to grow moss is a fun and easy project. While some people are looking for ways to get rid of moss, others are trying to grow it.

This is a fun and easy project that can involve the whole family.

Why Grow Moss?

There are many reasons you might want to do this:

  1. Moss is always green. Sometimes there are different shades, but it never turns brown unless it’s dead. And it’s tough to kill.
  2. Looking for excuses to mow less? Moss never has to be mowed.
  3. Have lots of shade where nothing else will grow? This is the perfect environment.
  4. Moss grows in soil that is always wet or damp.
  5. Moss grows in compacted areas.
  6. Looking for a fun gift to give? It makes a great addition to DIY terrariums or fairy gardens.
  7. It is very easy to propagate. Here’s how:

How to Grow Moss


  • bowl
  • potato masher or another tool for mashing
  • old paintbrush


  • starter moss (see suggestions below or find it here)
  • buttermilk


  1. To grow moss you need to find some “starter” moss. Look around your yard, ask a friend, check local garden centers or even the parking lot where you buy groceries. I found a nice clump where I buy my food. So I asked the store manager if I could take it and he looked at me like I was nuts. He told me I could take all I wanted! So I gathered some up and took it home.
  2. Place moss in a bowl (I used one that I use for mixing soil) and then added some buttermilk. It doesn’t matter what kind of buttermilk you use. I think it’s the acidity and ability to adhere that make a difference. Then I took an old potato masher and mashed it all up.
  3. When it looks like mud, use an old paintbrush to apply it onto any surface you want to grow moss. I painted mine on an old bucket, some rocks, and a dish I used to put succulents in.
  4. In a few weeks, you’ll have moss growing all over the surfaces.

Another Method

Alternatively, if you want more nearby some that already exist, you can paint buttermilk on whatever surface you want to have moss on, and the spores should find it. (Sometimes this method works well, and sometimes it needs some help.)

Whatever your reason for growing moss, you’ll never have to mow it!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Ben Sweeton says

    Would you be so kind as to be a bit more specific on how much moss and how much buttermilk? Thank you! This idea/process is too cool! I am going to have moss everywhere! LOL

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Hi Ben,
      That depends on the moss itself. Some moss is quite dry and takes a lot more buttermilk to make it moist, while some is really damp and it only takes a little bit of buttermilk. Generally, for each cup of moss, I use about a half a cup of buttermilk. Start with a smaller amount. You can always add more, but it’s hard to get it out if you have too much. Hope this helps!

  2. Jane Vu says

    Hi Debra, thank you for the helpful article. Just one small question, does moss attract mosquitoes? I find moss will make my backyard look more green and relaxing, but am afraid my son will get bite.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Hi Jane,
      I have not noticed any mosquitoes around the moss. It’s probably because the moss is very short and compact. Mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in open bodies of water and long grass that can hold onto moisture. I don’t think the moss will be a problem unless there is a lot of standing water.