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6 Best Ideas For Making Moss Garden Indoors

Moss art is becoming a popular gardening niche so much so that enthusiasts took the concept of moss garden indoors.

Unlike plants, moss is a part of nature that is often underappreciated due to its tiny size and infamous slippery feature. However, the rise of ecological features indoors opened an opportunity for moss to take the spotlight. 

In this post, we will discuss the best ideas on how you can use moss to add life and decorate your space. Who knows it might be the niche in gardening that you’ll love.

Before you head straight to the designing phase, it pays to know the growing requirements of moss and the elements needed in a moss garden.

Table Of Contents

What is a Moss Garden?

An outdoor moss garden
An outdoor moss garden

A moss garden is a landscape where moss is cultivated rather than grass. The concept of using moss in the garden has originated in Japan where they allow the moss to flourish and be the greenery in their garden. The most famous moss garden in Japan today is the Saihō-Ji Rinzai Buddhist temple in Matsuo, Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto, Japan.

Saihō-ji Rinzai Buddhist temple
Saihō-ji Rinzai Buddhist temple

The concept of having moss over grass is their unique resilience against extreme weather conditions and foot traffic. Moss is also low-maintenance which makes it a good gardening hobby for busy individuals. 

As more people took an interest in moss growing and nature, indoor moss gardens came to life. The lush green color of moss has become the focal point of greenery in areas where gardens are not available. They add life to a dull space and make it more eco-friendly. 

So, if you’re interested in having an indoor moss garden in your home, it’s worth checking the elements of a moss garden.

It may take some time for you to know about the types of moss that you can use. However, familiarizing the elements of the design can make it easier for you to assemble the materials and turn them into a masterpiece.

Elements of An Indoor Moss Garden

The elements of a moss garden are simple. It lies in the variation of moss and plants that you use and the concept of the design. Whether it’s an aged stone staircase or a mini garden design.

Here are the design functional elements that you will typically find in a moss garden:

(1) Big elements – wood, stone, or a bonsai tree: The big elements in a rock garden are usually the structures that stand out among the moss. In some cases, moss enthusiasts also allow the moss to grow on rocks or wood for an added aged effect.

Moss growing on wood
Moss growing on wood

(2) Live moss: A moss garden will not come to life without real and living moss in it. If you search about moss online, you will find two kinds of moss varieties which include the preserved moss and live moss. 

The preserved moss is dipped in chemicals to preserve its natural appearance. However, they are no longer living and can only be used for decoration purposes. Live moss has two classifications. These include:

  • Acrocarpous: A type of moss that forms in clumps
  • Pleurocarpous: A type of moss known as carpeting moss due to its horizontal growth. 

By looking at moss, you might think that they all look the same. However, there are several types of moss. If you love the variety of plants in your garden, you’ll surely appreciate the varieties of moss, such as the following:

Fissidens Nobilis

Fissidens Nobilis
Fissidens Nobilis

Hypopterygium or umbrella moss

Hypopterygium or umbrella moss
Hypopterygium or umbrella moss

Plagiomnium Vesicatum

Plagiomnium Vesicatum
Plagiomnium Vesicatum

(3) Liner/landscape fabric: The liner or landscape fabric should be placed at the bottom of the pot before you place the potting soil. It will keep the soil in the pot and allow the water to drain. Moss doesn’t have roots that absorb water, so drainage is crucial for them.

(4) Container: The container of your moss garden depends on where you want to place it in the house. Most moss enthusiasts prefer using a glass container since they can see the moss growth and design from afar, especially with lighting. In some cases, a wide-mouthed pot can be enough to showcase the beauty of the moss garden.

Different containers for the indoor moss garden
Different containers for the indoor moss garden

(5) Small plants with different textures: Plants that go well with moss are shade-loving plants like hostas and ferns. There are mini versions of these plants that will surely blend well in a moss garden.

Mini hostas
Mini hostas

(6) Small stones to keep the soil from washing away: Adding small stones on top of the moss garden will help hold the soil in place and cover dull patches in the mini garden. It is an optional element, depending on your preferences. 

Moss garden with small stones
Moss garden with small stones

(7) Potting soil: The potting soil ideal for moss gardens is an acidic potting mix. Moss loves an acidic growing environment with soil pH levels of 5.0 to 6.0. It should also be compact but well-draining. To check the acidity of the soil, you may use a soil pH tester.

(8) Gravel for drainage: Lastly, in setting up your indoor moss garden, add some gravel on top of the liner to ensure the proper drainage in the soil. The drainage of a potted moss garden will keep your garden from developing molds.

6 Best Ideas For Making a Moss Garden Indoors

Diving into a new gardening niche can be overwhelming. However, as soon as you envision how a moss garden can change your indoor ambiance, your creativity will gradually kick in.

To inspire your next moss garden project, here are some ideas for adding a moss garden to your interior design:

Mini Potted Moss Garden As Tabletop

Mini potted moss garden as tabletop
Mini potted moss garden as tabletop

Probably one of the most beginner-friendly options in creating a moss garden is a wide and shallow pot.

An empty moss garden pot is a blank canvas where you can highlight the beauty of wood, stones, or pebbles on top of a cushiony and lush green moss.

Moss Terrarium

Moss Terrariums - Source: Jhay Aqua Design
Moss Terrariums – Source: Jhay Aqua Design

A terrarium is an enclosed place where plants and small land animals like reptiles are placed. In a moss terrarium setup, the highlight is the propagation and appreciation of the beauty of moss. Most professional moss artists are taking inspiration from natural resources like mountains, waterfalls, and streams and recreate them in a small moss terrarium.

Live Moss Walls

Live moss walls
Live moss walls

Live moss walls have swept the eco-friendly architectural market in recent years. They help alleviate the ambiance of the room. They are low maintenance and grow on their own without the need for fertilizers and pesticides. 

Live moss walls can be hard to maintain indoors since they require a modified wall that will not be damaged due to moisture. Moss requires moisture and can be heavy. So, you cannot hang a moss wall on a wooden wall. Otherwise, the wood will warp or get water damage.

Live moss also needs an indirect light to survive. The ideal location to place a live moss wall is on the concrete wall on your front porch or balcony where the water can drip freely without damaging anything. 

If you are not yet confident to make a live moss wall, there are several moss art service providers that you can hire to turn your ideas into reality.

You might also like: Instagrammable Nooks: How To Grow A Moss Wall At Home?

Table Moss Garden

Table moss garden

If you want to frequently see your moss garden, why not make it the design of your center table. Instead of placing figurines and books, let your guests see the green thumb in you by showcasing your moss garden on the center table. 

Moss can grow well in any medium as long as it is well ventilated and there is enough space for water drainage. Though they look like fake plants, moss breathes and filters your indoor air like a common plant. 

To make a table moss garden, you have to find or make a modified table that has glass panels to handle the weight of moist soil and water drainage.

Table Centerpiece Moss Garden

Stone art with moss
Stone art with moss

Sometimes, moss gardens don’t come in elaborately designed cases. They can also be in a small pot where they can blend into ceramic or stone pots. The combination of stone and moss design elements is derived from Japanese garden designs. 

In the Japanese landscape, it’s not uncommon to see a rock garden where there is a profound appreciation of the beauty of different types of rocks, stones, and boulders. You can turn a stone or rock as the medium for your moss garden since moss can also attach to them, unlike plants.

Water Garden and Moss Garden Fusion

Water garden and moss garden fusion

Lastly, the moss garden is also mixed up with a water garden feature since they both require the presence of water. Instead of using terrestrial plants at the border of the water garden, you can also use moss and other shade-loving plants. The combination of the two can make an aged cottage ambiance to your container garden.

The Benefits of Having An Indoor Moss Garden

Most people hate moss because they’re slippery and just not the usual type of plant that you’ll find in most gardens. However, there are reasons why its advocates rave about it. These include:

Low maintenance

Of all its benefits, moss being a low-maintenance plant is the reason why many people are converting their grass lawns to moss lawns.

Moss doesn’t need overseeding, fertilization, mowing, and pest control. It also doesn’t go dormant during the warm or cold seasons and stays green throughout the year. 

Fits almost anywhere

Not everyone has a space to grow grass. However, anyone can have a moss garden even in a small fishbowl or a cup. For that reason, moss gardens are versatile and easier to use in making a small space more eco-friendly.

Filters the indoor air

According to a study, moss has a better air filter function than vascular plants. It has no roots and elaborate stems and only relies on air and light to survive. With that, it absorbs more pollutants in the air and turns them into biomass.

Another study also proved that moss can remove arsenic in water and makes it safe to drink again. 

Adds life to a space

Urban spaces that have no intended space for lawns and green spaces can become a refreshing place to stay with container moss gardens. Even corporate offices and commercial buildings incorporate a preserved moss wall to add life to their facilities. Don’t underestimate the power of plants because they can transform a space and make them more livable and relaxing. 

Helps lower stress and encourages relaxation

According to a study from the Texas AgriLife Extension, nature and greenery help improve the concentration and memory of individuals who are under the calming influence of nature.

It also helps shift our bodies from the sympathetic nervous system or fight or flight system to the parasympathetic system, which is the system for relaxation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a moss garden good to have in the house?

Yes, if the moss garden is placed in a location where its moisture doesn’t damage any house fixtures like wood and drywall. It helps filter the indoor air and adds life to the space.

How often should I water my indoor moss garden?

For the first 4 to 6 weeks, you should mist or spray your indoor moss garden twice a week. Once the moss becomes established, you can lessen the misting time to once a week or whenever the air is dry.

What indoor plants grow in moss?

Indoor plants that grow in and around moss are succulents and orchids. They are not a fan of wet soil and having moss as a companion plant helps them get the moisture needed without getting too wet.

Does moss clean the air?

Yes, they help absorb the pollutants, allergens, and heavy metals in the air. They only rely on air, water, and light and don’t have any roots to absorb more nutrients. In turn, they absorb more air and release more oxygen.

Does moss need direct sunlight?

They can be exposed to direct sunlight, but they will dry out faster. Moss loves a humid and shady environment like mushrooms. Indirect light is enough for these tiny plants.

Can you put moss on top of the soil?

Yes, moss can grow on top of the soil, rocks, and even wood. As long as there’s moisture, shade, and humidity, moss can grow almost anywhere.

Is it OK to touch moss?

Yes, they are safe and cushiony to touch. However, due to their tiny parts, they can also get crushed easily. It’s better to use a pair of tweezers when handling moss to maintain and preserve its structure.

Do moss walls attract bugs?

Live moss walls do not attract bugs. However, the moisture that they hold may develop molds, especially if it is placed in a location where there’s no adequate ventilation.

How do I start an indoor moss garden?

To start an indoor moss garden, you have to select a location where there is good ventilation, plenty of indirect sunlight, and an area where moisture will not damage any house fixtures.

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you can now prepare the container, potting soil, landscape fabric, stone, and moss for your first moss garden. Good luck!

Final Thoughts

We hope that this post helped you re-create a moss garden indoors with the help of a pot or a glass container. Making your moss garden is an opportunity for you to merge your skills when it comes to art and gardening. 

Though many people are not yet ready to embrace the rave about moss gardens, you’ll surely find some enthusiasts who can support you in this new niche gardening. We wish you the best on your first moss garden or moss wall. 

Share your experience with us in the comments below! Also, please share this post with your friends if it helps open your eyes to the beautiful world of moss and aquascape.

About Jeanne Keith F.

Jeanne Felipe is a content creator of anything that can make this world a better place. She is a self-improvement junkie and a nature lover at heart. She loves to help people through her writing, either finding the right tools or doing the right thing to accomplish their goals. Quotes, sprouting plants, and cute dogs make her feel ecstatic. In her free time, she loves tending her garden and cooking Chinese and Mexican dishes. Connect her on Linkedin.

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