The Q&A Archives: Moss

Question: How can I grow moss on rocks? I have tried mixing moss and buttermilk and spreading it on a rock. That didn't work.

Answer: Sometimes you can collect moss from another area and make it grow and spread by treating the area with buttermilk or a (cheaper) yeast and water mixture. Your rock should have a rough texture so the moss can find little crevices to anchor itself in. (Bricks are wonderful for this; flat, smooth stones are not.) Just mix regular yeast with some water, and pour or brush it on adjoining surfaces. The moss will reach out to these nutrient-rich areas and begin growing there. Try to keep the area damp and cool, and the moss should eventually take over the area. If moss is not already growing in the spot you've chosen, it may take some care to establish it. It generally grows where there's little or no competition from "higher" plants, on sites that are too acidic or alkaline, compacted, or steep. If you are transplanting it, please first be sure that it is not a protected species - state environmental or forestry departments should be able to help with this info. Good luck!

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