How To Grow Moss: A Simple and Fun Project

How To Grow Moss

While some people are looking for ways to get rid of moss, others are trying to find ways to grow it. Learning how to grow moss is a fun and easy project that can involve the whole family.

Why grow moss?

There are many reasons you might want to grow moss:

Moss is always green. Sometimes there are different shades, but it never turns brown unless it’s dead. And it’s tough to kill.

Looking for excuses to mow less? Moss never has to be mowed.

Have lots of shade where nothing else will grow? Moss grows in shade.

Moss grows in ground that’s always wet or damp.

Moss grows in compacted areas.

Looking for a fun gift to give? It makes a great addition to DIY terrariums or fairy gardens.

It is very easy to propagate. Here’s how:

How to Grow Moss

Ingredients & Supplies

  • starter moss (see suggestions below or find it here)
  • buttermilk
  • bowl
  • potato masher or other tool for mashing
  • old paintbrush

Process

  1. 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. 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 makes 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 the moss 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.

Alternatively, if you want more moss nearby some moss that is already growing, 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!

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Comments

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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

    • 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!