You can easily grow moss indoors using a clear glass container with a lid. Place a layer of pebbles on the bottom of the container followed by another of granulated charcoal.
Then add two inches of moistened potting soil, stones, or sticks to create the shape of the landscape, and a sheet of moss to create your own velvety forest floor.
Read this article to find out all the details.
What is moss?
Moss is a bryophyte, a group of small, non-vascular plants that reproduce through spores rather than with flowers and seeds. Moss is actually a collection of many, many plants growing together. These tiny plants are little photosynthesis factories, absorbing water and nutrients through their leaves and harvesting carbon dioxide and sunlight to create food. Various types of moss have been used for many years as fuel, house insulation, food packing, florist trade materials, and in indoor gardens.
There are three different types of moss in the bryophyte family. The first one is Musci, which have distinct leaves and stems. Some of the stems are matted to the ground while other stems are upright. Sphagnum moss and Hypnaceae are two of the most common Musci, and they work well for indoor moss garden projects.
The second type of moss is Hepaticae, also known as liverworts, which is very soft to the touch. This moss grows best in shaded, humid places close to water, so it would need extra attention in a dry, indoor environment.
Anthocerotae is the rarest type of moss. It is also known as hornworts and has spore-bearing branches that resemble pointed horns.
How to grow moss indoors
Next, you can add a layer of rotting bark pieces or pine needles on top of the base to help the moss develop faster. Place rocks and twigs strategically in your container to create a forest floor look. Now you are ready to add fresh, living moss, which you can either purchase or find in forests on logs, stumps, twigs, and rocks. Carefully peel back a layer of moss from where you locate it and move it to your container, covering the base completely.
Press the moss down firmly and secure it with fishing line, if necessary, to keep it in place. After it is established, the moss will grow over the fishing line and hide it. Mist the moss and put the lid on the container. Move it to an area without bright sun directly on it for a few hours each day.
Caring for moss indoors
Since it is easy to maintain, keeping moss alive indoors can even be a good project for your children. All that it requires is a damp, well-lit container in which you can maintain high humidity to mimic the environment that moss thrives in. No fertilizer is needed as moss gets all its nutrition from the sun. So, proper light and water are really all that you need to create an environment that will make this plant thrive.
If you provide the right conditions for it, you can keep the moss alive indoors for many months or years. As this plant has no root system, all water is taken in through the surrounding environment. This means that hydration, in addition to proper light levels, is very important. It is possible to overwater moss, so you never want to create a puddle.
After a month, the moss should begin to grow rapidly if you have provided optimal conditions. You may even need to consider pruning. Long pieces of moss that grow disproportionately might need to be trimmed. Pruning also encourages healthy regrowth and is a way to get rid of mold, if any appears.
Light requirements for indoor moss plants
The correct amount of light is important for the photosynthesis of nutrients that feed your plants. Your moss cannot live in the dark as sunlight is part of the food cycle. Moss requires about two hours of sunlight a day inside your house. Morning sun is optimal.
One way to ensure that is to move the container to bright sun for a couple of hours. Then move it into space with lots of light but not direct sun for the remainder of the day. Excess sunlight will dry your moss out. Too much exposure will harm the moss, so it’s best to pay attention to the balance between direct sunshine and a well-lit space.
You can also grow moss under a fluorescent lamp placed a foot from the glass container. Using fluorescent bulbs saves 75 percent of the energy required for incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs also provide broad-spectrum light needed by the plant for growth. Do not put the lamp right over the container as too much light can hurt the moss.
Moisture requirements for indoor moss
Aside from providing the container the correct amount of light, the other essential element of care is watering. This should be done by misting the surface of the moss with a spray bottle a couple of times a week. It is best to have the lid for the top of the container placed on it to keep the humidity up. It is recommended that you remove the lid once a month for ten to twenty minutes to let the moss air out and prevent mold from growing.
As moisture balance is critical for moss, overwatering may stunt growth but excess dryness causes the moss to die. The best way to maintain proper moisture is through misting with distilled or purified water, rather than watering. It is best to close the container right after misting. If the moss begins to fade or feel dry, you should increase the frequency of misting as, without adequate moisture, the moss will turn brown and die.
Closed containers create a slightly higher temperature environment than the surrounding air. This causes moisture to evaporate from the moss and the condensation that forms on the containers’ walls falls to the moss below. What results is a water cycle and a constant supply of water for the moss. As moisture is recycled in this situation, minimal care is required to keep the moss damp and healthy.
Growing moss in a terrarium
As moss does not have any roots, it will not compete with other plants in your terrarium. If you choose to keep only moss in your terrarium, it is actually then referred to as a mossarium. This word literally translates to “a container of moss.” Mossaria describes multiple moss terrariums or a room dedicated to growing moss.
The first order of business is to find the terrarium itself. These miniature greenhouses are typically glass or plastic and come as sealed or open units. You will want to choose a sealed terrarium with a removable lid for growing moss. This allows water recycling and self-nourishment to occur to sustain the forest floor environment.
Types of moss for terrariums
Next, you will want to acquire the moss for your terrarium and there are many types to choose from – thousands in fact! However, some are particularly good for terrariums. Two basic types of growth patterns exist in the moss world, the carpeting or sheet types and the clumping types. Both will work in your terrarium in different ways.
Carpeting type moss includes Sheet moss, which is the most popular and readily available. Another option is the aquatic Java moss that is adaptable to both water and land environments. Feather moss is a hardy moss from the arctic and as the name implies, it is feather-like in nature. Fern moss has long, fern-like leaves and it will add texture to your mini-forest scape.
Clumping mosses include Cushion moss, which has small, prolific leaves that form compact mounds. Mood moss grows in clumps but has wavy leaves that resemble windswept grasslands and is a popular addition to terrariums. Star moss grows in spiky, star-like shapes for a unique look that will add interest. Sphagnum moss is a backbone for terrariums but it does not really fit into either the carpeting or clumping moss categories, exclusively.
Setting up a terrarium for moss
Setting up a terrarium is like setting up any other glass container with a lid for moss growth. The enclosed environment allows the natural water cycle to occur and sustain the moss. Start with a substrate of some sort that will encourage the moss rhizoids to attach. Rhizoids in bryophytes function in a similar way to the roots of other plant species.
Next, you can place sticks and rocks in to add variety to the landscape. In nature, moss happily grows up on cliffs and trees. Then, select a carpeting type moss for the first layer above the substrate and position it gently. A clumping moss can then be added to soften areas around the logs and rocks that have been added.
Be sure to mist well for the first several weeks while the moss is adapting to its new home. Give it the two hours of sunshine it needs and then make sure it is in indirect light for the remainder of the day. No need to fertilize as the water cycle of a closed terrarium takes care of all the needs. Just enjoy your beautiful creation.
Adding plants to indoor moss gardens
Other plants can be grown in your moss garden for added interest. Slow growing plants like ferns are a good choice. Maidenhair, bird’s nest, and button ferns do well in terrariums. Since they may need fertilizer, you will have to carefully water these plants with a fertilizer solution but avoid spreading it liberally on the moss.
Bonsai trees also are a nice choice to grow with moss. A full bed of moss around a slow-growing bonsai will help the soil retain moisture. A bit of moss growing up the tree can be quite attractive too but you do not want it to cover the tree as it will eventually rot the bark.
Grow moss inside on a wall
Choose the moss you like and affix it to the corkboard with a fine layer of peat moss between the corkboard and the moss. Combine different colors and textures of moss along with accessories to create the look you want. You can use tacks or natural glue to fasten the moss. Be sure to acquire natural glue if you decide to use glue, possibly from a floral shop, as regular glue will poison the moss.
You will need to consider the placement of the wall so that it has a couple of hours of direct sunlight each day. Since the wall is not an enclosed environment, it will need extra misting, likely daily, with a spray bottle to maintain the health of the moss. A humid bathroom with sufficient lighting is a great place for a moss wall. Although it is more of a commitment than an enclosed moss garden, it is a beautiful addition to your home.
Benefits of growing moss indoors
Biofiltration is the first of several benefits of growing moss indoors. Moss absorbs air pollutants, turns them into water and carbon dioxide, and helps to purify the air in your home. The second benefit of indoor moss is that it can act as a layer of insulation if you decide to grow a vertical green wall. In a home or office situation, the moss will absorb heat and cold, helping to regulate temperature and reduce your energy bills.
Moss is beautiful to look at and can be incorporated into many home décors. Whether it is a small glass container with a lid, a Victorian terrarium, or a vertical green wall, moss is a subtle decorating feature. It can make people feel they have encountered a moss-covered woodland with the serenity that accompanies it. The calming green colors of a moss garden tend to be both soothing and aesthetically pleasing.
Another benefit to growing moss indoors is that it brings life to your inside space. It is alive and constantly improving air quality. Growing moss indoors is also a low maintenance way to garden. With the correct amount of sunshine and some regular light misting, you can enjoy peaceful, easy gardening indoors.
A lot of information about keeping moss inside your home has been provided to you.
Here is a summary of growing moss indoors:
- Moss is a bryophyte that can readily be grown in an indoor environment
- A closed container provides the right environment for growing moss indoors
- Moss does need a couple of hours of direct sunlight each day
- Watering moss should be done using a spray bottle for misting
- Moss does not need fertilizer as the water cycle in a closed environment, along with sunshine, provides all its nutritional needs
- There are many types of moss to choose from for your indoor projects and they are primarily divided into sheet and carpet moss varieties
- Terrariums for growing moss are beautiful and provide ideal climates indoors
- Living moss walls can be stunning works of art in your home, although a bit more time consuming
- There are many benefits to growing moss indoors including biofiltration, insulation, and good mental health
Moss is easy to grow indoors and makes a lovely addition to any room in your home or your office. As one of the lowest maintenance plants available, indoor moss gardens can be a great project for you and your family to do together. You can collect the moss yourself and create a miniature living forest floor inside.
It’s a great plant for beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike!