Ask a Question forum: producing lichen?

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Name: Bob
Clayton, NC (Zone 7b)
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DigginDirt
Jul 28, 2016 6:28 PM CST
I understand growing lichen is a multi-step process of various organisms? Does anyone know how to make it? And is it possible to transplant it?
I know it takes a long time for lichen to establish. I have a retaining wall as well as some small rocks I've placed in gardens and I would like to have lichen as well as moss grow on them - it makes them look like they have been there forever. The moss is easy enough to grow, it just takes time & patience; I have several locations where both "sunny" & "shady" mosses are establishing nicely so I can transplant it, but have no idea how to do lichen on purpose.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jul 28, 2016 8:21 PM CST
Yours is an interesting question; I am looking forward to hearing the replies.
Porkpal
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jul 28, 2016 8:24 PM CST
Hi Bob. Here are some links from Lichen lovers org. Hope these help.

http://lichenlovers.org/lichen_growth_formula.phtml

http://lichenlovers.org/

and a couple others

http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about839.html

http://www.gardeningtipsnideas.com/2007/02/growing_lichens_o...
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 28, 2016 8:48 PM CST
I have no idea how to grow it on purpose, but... most of the lichen here seems to grow on trees or the trellises in my garden. Which is not to say you can't grow it on your rocks, I HAVE seen that too.
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Name: Bob
Clayton, NC (Zone 7b)
Ferns Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: North Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder
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DigginDirt
Jul 29, 2016 1:48 PM CST
Thanks Jean - great starting points! It sounds like the medium is similar to what is used to grow moss. The Irish site has some very interesting pictures of lichens,

Yes, Sandy, I see more of it from branches that drop out of trees, but there are several colonies on rocks around my yard. I even have some growing on the side of my pickup near the rear view mirrors on a rough surface (plastic?). The truck sits under the same tree that has lichen on fallen branches.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Jul 29, 2016 9:56 PM CST
You are most welcome, Bob. Yes, it is very much like aging containers with moss. I had no idea until I started looking around. I liked that site also...pretty basic info, but great pictures. Smiling

Hmm. if you are so inclined, you could use treating your wall with lichens as a gardening idea /how to article. Thumbs up
Name: Bob
Clayton, NC (Zone 7b)
Ferns Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: North Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder
Dragonflies Ponds
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DigginDirt
Jul 30, 2016 6:35 AM CST
I might do that, Jean... I need to successfully do it first though I think, since someone might ask how I did it.

Now that I've looked at the sites I'm not only more excited about trying this, but I would like to be able to grow many different kinds; it could be a special "garden" in its own right. I am encouraging several varieties of mosses; they make a nice conversation piece if nothing else. We walk past mosses very day and don't stop to realize how many varieties are around us - I often use that fact to get kids to look at something besides just their silly cellphones! I can add lichen to that.

If I can get existing lichen to colonize my next dream is to see if I can learn how to "breed" them from different algae & fungi.

I know... you're thinking I should get a hobby... Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Jul 30, 2016 11:42 AM CST
That is the documentation point. As you mix and paint with lichen starter and treat it to grow, along with your mosses, you take a few pictures and notes. Those can go from a Garden tip/idea into a full blown article. Thumbs up

Gee Bob, I thought this WAS your hobby. Big Grin

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