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5 Types of Moss That Add Beauty to Your Garden



Moss is a beautiful addition to the garden, requiring minimal care. Discover five types of moss that add a charming touch to your landscape!
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Transform your garden space by adding texture and greenery with moss! With over 15,000 species, moss is a non-flowering type of plant that reproduces in the garden via spores. Moss is a part of a group of plants called bryophytes, which also include liverworts or hornworts.

Unlike regular garden plants, moss doesn’t have traditional roots but instead has root-like structures known as rhizoids. These rhizoids allow moss to attach itself to various structures and surfaces — like rocks, trees, logs, cliffs, and more.

Most types of moss favor a damp and shady environment, however, some can tolerate other environments too. Moss likes to grow in acidic soil. For the best results, aim for a soil pH of 5.0 to 5.5 when growing moss in the garden. Read on and discover five types of moss that add natural beauty to your landscape.

1. Common Fern Moss

Common fern moss (Thuidium delicatulum) is a popular choice for landscapes. This type of moss has green to yellowish-green feathery foliage that resembles a fern plant and grows up to 3½ inches in length. You’ll typically find fern moss growing on hillsides, on the banks of creeks and rivers, and around swamps. It also commonly grows at the base of trees, or on top of logs, stumps, and rocks.

Gardeners use fern moss in flower pots, hanging baskets, as a soil cover, or in terrariums. Fern moss favors a moist and somewhat shady spot in the garden that receives about two to four hours of sun daily. Choose a location that has acidic soil and provides protection from high winds (why?).

In the olden days, fern moss was utilized for comfort purposes. Many used fern moss to stuff their mattresses or as bedding.

2. Juniper Haircap Moss

Juniper haircap moss (Polytrichum juniperinum) is another great option to add to your backyard space. This evergreen moss spreads out in a dense mat in the garden, growing up to 4 inches tall. It has multiple blueish-green leaves with hair tips that turn reddish-brown as they age. Its natural habitat is along roadsides, rocky ledges, and forests.

Juniper haircap moss differs from other mosses as it needs adequate sunlight to thrive in the garden. While it prefers fun sunlight (anywhere from eight to six hours daily) it can also tolerate light shade as well. It isn’t as finicky as other mosses, liking both moist and drier soil conditions. For garden beds and planters, opt for an acidic mineral soil that also has gravel or sand in it.

3. Pincushion Moss

Add natural beauty to your garden by growing pincushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum). Pincushion moss grows low to the ground in mounds that form a dome-like shape, reaching lengths of up to 5 inches. It ranges in colors from pale grayish green to a more medium-toned green color. In nature, pincushion moss is found in forests, parks, shady hillsides, sandstone cliffs, and alongside streams.

Pincushion moss is able to handle moist and slightly dry conditions, unlike other types of moss that only thrive in a damp environment. It prefers a spot in the garden that receives partial shade and partial sun, receiving anywhere from two to six hours daily. If growing on the ground, plant pincushion moss in an acidic soil that has clay, sand, gravel, or some sort of rocky material.

4. Broom Moss

Broom moss (Dicranum scoparium), sometimes called mood moss, is sure to add some interest to your garden! Broom moss grows upright and compact in clumps, growing anywhere from 2 to 10 inches tall. It has unique leaves that are asymmetrical with a fluffy-like appearance, and is typically yellowish-green to a deep green hue. As it continues to grow and mature, foliage will become slightly curved to one side.

Broom moss is quite common and occurs naturally in open areas in the woods, beside creeks and river banks, at the base of trees, on acidic rocks, and on hillsides. When growing broom moss, pick a location that gets partial sun (about four to six hours) followed by a few hours of shade. The soil should be damp and acidic.

5. Silver Moss

Silver moss (Bryum argenteum), also referred to as silvergreen bryum moss, is an attractive moss that has whitish-green tufts that grow in a dense mat. Its leaves are small, only 1 cm tall and about 2 inches in length. When the moss drys out, foliage appears more silver-gray in color. This type of moss is very common and is often seen in suburban and urban settings — like sidewalk crevices, trees and rocks, in parks, and along roadsides. You may also find it in the woods, on rocky ledges, and in moist sandy locations.

The ideal sunlight requirement for silver moss is full sun to light shade (at least six hours daily). Silver moss can handle heat and more sunlight, but moist conditions are still needed for it to flourish.
Transform Your Garden with Moss

Now that you know a few different kinds of moss to choose between, pick your favorite type based on your growing environment and aesthetic. Moss a low-maintenance addition to your garden, requiring minimal care and upkeep. It also adds a charming touch of greenery to your garden beds, around potted plants, hanging baskets, and more.

Do you have moss growing in your garden space? Leave a comment down below and share your experience with others.

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