Moss Propagation: Learn About Transplanting And Propagating Moss

Green Sponge Like Moss
(Image credit: Andrii Atanov)

If you're frustrated at trying to grow grass in the shady moist parts of your yard, why not stop fighting nature and turn these areas into moss gardens? Mosses thrive in areas where other plants struggle and will cover the ground with a soft and gentle layer of color. Moss doesn't actually have a root system or seeds like most garden plants do, so propagating moss is a matter of art more than one of science. Let's learn more about moss propagation.

Transplanting and Propagating Moss

Learning how to propagate moss is actually quite easy. Prepare the area for a moss bed by removing everything that's growing there now. Dig up grass, weeds, and any plants that may be struggling to grow in the meager light. Rake the soil to remove any stray roots, and then water the ground until it is muddy. 

You can spread moss to parts in your yard using two different methods: transplanting moss and moss spreading. One method may work best for your area or a combination of both. 

Transplanting moss - To transplant moss, pick bunches or sheets of moss growing in your yard or in a similar environment. If you don't have any native moss, look near ditches, in parks under trees and around fallen logs, or in shady areas behind schools and other buildings. Press chunks of the moss into the soil and push a stick through each piece to hold it in place. Keep the area moist and the moss will begin to establish itself and spread within a few weeks. 

Spreading moss - If you have a rock garden or other place where transplanting won't work, try spreading moss slurry on the proposed garden spot. Put a handful of moss in a blender along with a cup of buttermilk and a cup (453.5 g.) of water. Blend the ingredients into a slurry. Pour or paint this slurry over the rocks or in between chunks of transplanted moss to fill in the empty spaces. The spores in the slurry will form moss as long as you keep the area moist to allow it to grow.

Growing Moss Plants as Outdoor Art

Turn moss into a piece of outdoor art by using the moss and buttermilk slurry. Draw the outline of a shape, perhaps your initials or a favorite saying, on a wall with a piece of chalk. Brick, stone, and wood walls work the best. 

Paint the slurry heavily within this outline. Mist the area daily with clear water from a spray bottle. Within a month, you'll have a decorative design growing on your wall in soft, green moss.