Shades of Green – Moss

What is moss? Let’s start with a quick botany lesson. Lacking conventional leaves, stems and roots, moss is a simple plant belonging to the class Bryopsida. It is believed to have evolved from primitive vascular plants and is among the first green land plants to have developed during the evolutionary process. There are now over 12,000 species of moss.

Commonly found in wooded areas and at the edges of streams, mosses thrive in damp, low-light conditions. Although a few varieties of moss can survive drying out, and will return to life after being dehydrated, all mosses require constant moisture to survive. Indoors, where the air is typically dry, terrariums are perfect environments for growing moss. This lovely example by Mossopotamia is made from an upcycled glass jar. As easy to care for as it is pretty, all that it takes to keep your moss lush and green is a light misting of water and indirect light. As shop-owner Sherri says “No green thumb or horticulture degree required!”


A staple of Japanese gardening, moss is thought to add a sense of calm, serenity and stillness to a garden scene. Wearing one of these adorable pendants by Warm Country Meadows would be a good reminder to keep calm during those busy days when you are constantly on the go. (Yes, that is *real*, live moss inside!) As the mother of a busy tween, I think I could definitely use one (or two)!


Lost in the woods? Look to moss for directional clues. Generally speaking, in northern latitudes moss will grow more vigorously on the north side of trees. There’s one caveat, though; mosses will grow equally well on all sides of the tree trunk in deep forests where sunlight does not penetrate through the leafy canopy. This recycled fabric/ribbon lanyard from Strand Redesign of Norway is printed with detailed botanical drawings of moss. It’s perfect for holding your ID, keys, cell phone or even a compass. You know, just in case…


In the late 19th century, collecting moss was a popular hobby. Mosseries were a common feature in many gardens throughout America and Britain. Avid moss collectors would display and tend to their various samples on simple, slatted structures in a shady spot in the garden. You can bring the beauty of a moss display to your table with these cute organic moss balls handmade by Alison of New Hampshire Woods Creations. Piled in a bowl or basket, they’ll add a touch of care-free nature to your home all year-round.

moss balls

Moss has always been a fixture in rock and shade gardens, but is now being sought out by today’s eco-savvy gardeners as a low-care alternative to conventional grasses. Although it has been commonly considered to be a weed in lawns, moss is becoming an increasingly popular replacement for thirsty, high-maintenance grass. For more information on using moss in your own yard, speak to the experts at your local garden store or visit Moss Acres. Indoor gardeners will want to check out this site for tips on growing moss in terrariums.

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  1. says

    The moss that you see in my terrariums is called cushion moss. It does well in closed containers with moderate lighting and the right amount of moisture. As long as the closed container is not completely sealed, it will flourish.


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