How to grow moss on concrete is a question asked by many artistic enthusiasts who wish to make their walls more attractive. With over 12,000 different species, mosses are small, non-vascular plants that do not bloom flowers.
They usually grow in the wild but can feel at home anywhere – except in areas that contain saline water. Here is an easy and comprehensive guide on how you can decorate your garden walls with moss.
- How To Grown Moss on Concrete
- How to Care for Moss in the Best Manner
- Prevent Problems
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Grown Moss on Concrete
The most effective way is to use a slurry made from moss but there are various ways to grow moss in new places. However, propagating moss on concrete is very difficult.
People have tried various methods to encourage moss growing on concrete surfaces and have concluded that there is only one way to promote moss growth and that is by creating a slurry and applying it to the desired surface. Although you can buy it from a plant store, making one at home is not rocket science.
– Gather the Tools That You Will Be Needing
You will needing certain tools for this project and the most important is shredded moss which can be of many variants, including Taxiphyllum Taiwan moss. Next, you will need a thick paintbrush, a wet dairy product, a little sugar, a blender, water, and a mister. And, of course, you need somewhere you want the moss to grow!
– Gather the Moss
You can collect and harvest the moss from many different locations around you. You may even have what you need in your backyard! However, even though moss grows wild and is “free” some of them are endangered species and should rather be left alone.
You can very easily just buy moss on the internet. That way has the benefit that if it is a reputable company the moss will have been grown in a sustainable way and your purchases will not put the whole crop in jeopardy.
If you are gathering wild moss, you must choose that which looks bright green, vibrant and springy. Carefully peel it off the surface it is growing on. Be sure to leave at least 50 percent of what is there so it can regrow successfully. Transport it in a cardboard box.
You should rather harvest from where there is minimal foreign bodies, other plant material and living creatures. But we’ll deal with that in the next step!
– Washing the moss
You must thoroughly yet gently wash the moss to remove any detritus – sticks and stones for example – living creatures, and soil. Break the moss into small, manageable pieces, press on it to find any of the aforementioned items. Don’t be afraid to press down firmly to find what you are looking for.
Now, dunk it in tepid water and keep on pressing and agitating to remove any impurities and soil. If the water gets very muddy, simply replace it with clean water. After you have washed the moss you can put it on a rack or something similar to dry. It is important to dry it before use as you can rather add water later and not have a runny slurry!
– Make the Moss Slurry
Before anything else, you need to decide which of the species you plan to grow. As mentioned, there are more than 12,000. Heath star, Baby tooth, Common Haircap, and Springy turf are some of the most famous species you can choose from. Whatever you decide to go for, they almost all require the same care, and it will not cause a problem.
Start by taking one pound (500 g) of shredded moss of your preference and combining it with about 17 ounces (500 ml) of unsweetened yogurt (add a little sugar) or condensed milk. Although you can use any wet dairy product, these two are the most easily accessible.
Next, add these ingredients to a blender and blend until combined. Add water if the mixture gets too thick – it should form a slurry in the end. If, on the other hand, it gets too runny, add some more of the moss.
Next, pour the mixture into a bowl and let it sit for at least two days. Chooses a spot that it will not be disturbed. It is necessary because the slurry needs to form moss spores, and it will only form moss spores if it is at room temperature, so do not refrigerate it.
– Spread the Slurry on Concrete
Choose the place where you want to plant your moss. Make sure the slurry you made is sufficient to cover the whole area. You can spread it in small patches or cover the entire place, depending on how you plan to decorate! Just be careful that you do not plant it near your vegetable gardening area because it can harm vegetable growth severely.
Take your slurry in a container and spread it evenly on the concrete where you want your moss to be with a thick paintbrush. After this, mist it with water. For optimum growth, use filtered water or freshly collected rainwater. It is because plants are usually sensitive, and tap water may contain minerals or chemicals depending on the area in which you live.
When watering, see that you give it sufficient water and do not over-water it. Over-watering can wash away the spores in your mixture, making your slurry useless, and all that waiting and hard work will go to waste!
To avoid this, mist your slurry every two days, being careful you do not soak it. Keep it moist at all times, and be sure it does not turn solid. Initially, it may mold, but it is not something to worry about.
After all, it is a dairy product that you are fermenting. For moss growth to appear, it will take around six weeks and, after that, you should slightly increase the amount of water to keep it moist.
How to Care for Moss in the Best Manner
Once it shows real signs of growth, nit too much of your attention is required. You can care for it in a way you care for grass lawns. Water it regularly with a hose, keeping in mind to keep it moist at all times.
Over-watering will not be an issue now as the slurry has gone, and your moss is spreading rapidly. There are no roots and stems in moss, so keeping it alive may seem a mystery.
- For moss to thrive, the only requirement required is water and sunlight. The spores on its leaves take in water and sunlight.
- The environment should be hygienic, and mold, bacteria, or fungi stay away. It will starve the moss. Do not use fertilizer as it contains chemicals and minerals which the moss may be sensitive to.
- Regularly keep track of soil acidity. The best soil pH level for it to thrive is around 5 to 5.5.
Apart from this, nothing special is required to take care of it. Water gets retained by it due to its sponge-like properties. It flourishes and spreads all by itself without requiring any of your attention.
– How To Be Creative While Propagating Moss On Concrete
As mentioned earlier, people encourage moss growth to decorate their lawns and gardens, and some go to the extent of creating graffiti, also known as moss graffiti. If you want to give an aesthetic look to your walls, here is how you can do it, too.
Prepare some slurry and let it rest for two days for the reasons mentioned above. After sitting for two days, place it in a container, and with the help of a paintbrush, spread it evenly into designs or patterns of your choice where you want your art to be. Within six to eight weeks, moss will grow, and your moss graffiti will be ready, giving your place a fairytale vibe.
Moss grows rapidly and hardly has any issues. Although you might enjoy it at the start, it may be a little bit of a nuisance when it spreads to areas where you do not want it to be. Sometimes it is challenging to manage, and once it grows on concrete, it is not easy to take it out.
Certain factors encourage moss’s growth, and if not taken care of, it will always return, no matter how hard you try to remove it. Even chemical treatments will not keep it at bay.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Long Does Moss Live?
Depending upon the species, the lifespan of moss can range from a couple of years to 10 years. It should not really have an impact on your art as the moss is constantly spreading and renewing itself.
– What Are the Benefits of Moss?
Moss improves the environment for other plants to flourish, it purifies the air around it (when in large enough quantities) and helps prevent soil erosion. During the second World War, it was used as a sort of bandage and in cold times, when dried out, it can act as a source of firewood and keep the environment warm.
– Does Moss Grow Better in Shade or in the Sun?
Moss grows better in the shade, it is known for it. The spores only need moisture to sprout though and once fully grown, they do not require direct sunlight. The sun does not harm them, but they are known to thrive better in damp, dark, and shady conditions.
– Does Moss Destroy Concrete?
Yes, Moss is known for damaging hard surfaces. Just like it can destroy a roof, it can damage concrete. That is why you should be very careful on where you apply the moss and let it grow. It is astonishingly difficult to eradicate.
– How to Make Moss Grow Faster?
The environment should just fit the primary care requirements and that will ensure faster growth of the moss. The main requirements are: a damp, shady area. It does of course need some light.
– Is Moss Harmful to Humans?
Moss is not harmful to humans. It does not produce any kind of spores or bacteria to shorten or hinder human life. Moss is sometimes confused with mold which may have many harmful properties for humans.
With everything said, moss is easy to cultivate on soil but is quite challenging when it comes to concrete.
But that should not leave you hopeless, not when this guide is at your fingertips. Just keep a few things in mind:
- Only mist your slurry every two days to avoid the spores from washing away
- Avoid the use of fertilizer as it contains minerals that might harm the moss.
- Use distilled or rainwater for better growth.
- Moss of all kinds can be used for growing on hard surfaces like stones and concrete.
In short, it is a great way to introduce greenery to boring surfaces and turn concrete into a breathing green space.
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