How to make mini moss gardens

Written by chyrene pendleton
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How to make mini moss gardens
Choose polished river stones that match your room's decor. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Besides being the most abundant plants in the Antarctic and Arctic, mosses are the earliest living land plants on Earth, needing only moisture to thrive. Mosses, known as bryophytes, appear in either feathery or cushiony types with upright stalks. When growing moss inside of your home, select mosses such as spike moss (Sagina subulata "Aurea")" which requires misting frequently, or Irish moss (Sagina subulata), which produces small white flowers.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Polished river stones
  • 2- to 3-inch-deep rectangular container
  • Moss
  • Sharp knife
  • Scissors
  • Charcoal
  • Potting mix
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite (optional)
  • Trowel
  • Large spoon (optional)
  • Distilled water
  • Slow-release fertiliser
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Tweezers (optional)

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  1. 1

    Select polished river stones and a container to harmonise with the decor of room in your home. Pick a rectangular container about 2 to 3 inches deep. Choose a container with drainage holes that sits on a tray to keep your plants out of the water.

  2. 2

    Take your chosen container with you when you purchase your moss, so you can ensure the moss has room to grow. Combine moss textures, colours and shapes to add interest to your mini garden.

  3. 3

    Cut the moss into 2- to 3-inch plugs with a sharp knife. Cut off matted roots using scissors.

  4. 4

    Place a 1-inch layer of river stones at the bottom of your container, then add 1/2 inch of charcoal on top of the stones to absorb any odours that may occur.

  5. 5

    Combine potting mix with one-third perlite or vermiculite, which keeps the air circulating through the soil.

  6. 6

    Mix just enough distilled water in the potting mix to moisten it, then add a half dose of slow-release fertiliser to the mix.

  7. 7

    Use a trowel, a hand tool with a curved blade for scooping, or a large spoon to add the potting mix to your container, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top.

  8. 8

    Set plugs of moss into the potting mix, using tools such as kitchen tongs or tweezers. Cover the roots firmly with the soil, then cover all of the soil with river stones placed around the moss plugs.

  9. 9

    Place your container in an area of the room where it can receive bright, indirect light.

  10. 10

    Water the moss with distilled water only when the top portion of the potting soil underneath the stones feels dry. Use purified distilled water rather than tap water, which has chemicals that can harm your plants or minerals that can leaves a residue inside of your container.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase river stones in a wide range of colours from garden supply stores, landscape suppliers and pet stores. River stones are also available in hobby and dollar stores inexpensively.
  • You can also use rocks collected on a walk or seashells in place of the river stones.
  • Do not let a moss plant press against the container sides; this may cause plant decay.

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