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Gardening

Moss is the Next Plant Craze You’ll Love

Just like succulents, they are easy to care for and it can prettify the home in an instant

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Photography: courtesy of the Author

Indoor plants are all the rage these days, with more homeowners looking into displaying palms, a pot of Fiddle-leaf fig, and other houseplants in the different parts of the home. Aside from these green wonders and cute succulents, another option has been gaining attention recently—moss.


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My fascination with mosses started when I had the chance to visit the mountains of Sagada. Its lush mountains allow moss to thrive beautifully as part of the terrain. Mosses are the first plants to emerge from the ocean and conquer land. Classified under the Bryophyta division, these green beauties are nonvascular plants that receive nutrients through the leaves. There are more than 15,000 different types of moss. Many mosses grow closely together in mats or cushion on rocks or soil, while others grow on trunks and leaves of forest trees. Although mosses do not have a root system, they have rhizoids or threadlike filaments that anchor them to the ground. Mosses don’t grow dramatically overnight and it takes years for it to cover the surface of a stone. There are mosses that can only live in water like the Java moss and Christmas moss. 


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It’s fairly easy to care for mosses as they thrive on neglect and poor lighting conditions, making them suitable additions to indoor and condo gardens. It also thrives in damp environments and does not need to be fertilized as it requires little nutrition.  We’re sure you’ve seen mosses every now and then in the cracks of damp pavements and city streets. If you’re thinking of experimenting with this versatile green wonder, here are the different types of moss you need to take note of: 



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Pillow or cushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum)

It has a striking green color and grows in tight clumps resembling little hills. This type of moss prefers sandy soil, likes shade, and can tolerate partial sun. The pillow moss can grow up to three inches tall and can form large mats.

Sphagnum moss (Sphagnum spp)

Known for its high water retention potential, Sphagnum loves moist areas. You’ll most likely see it on top of or under decaying materials and elements near ponds and streams.

Sheet moss (Hypnum cupressiforme) 

Easy to manipulate and can lie very low to the ground, the Sheet moss grows up to only one half to four inches tall. These unique shade plants are ideal as a ground cover between patios and stepping stones.

Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina) 

From the Latin word Cladonia which means ‘cup lichen,’ it’s also known as reindeer lichen because it’s a major part of the reindeers’ diet during winter. This type of moss is slow growing and may take decades to return once trampled. Reindeer moss can lend an otherworldly look to open and closed terrariums.

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Mood moss (Dicranum)

This type grows up to one to four inches tall and the stems rarely stand straight, giving it that blowing in the wind look. It has a bright green color and definitely needs more shade than the other types for it to stay happy and healthy.

How can you showcase moss at home?

Framed art


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Moss makes for a great landscape that allows one to create imaginary worlds. In crafting your own mounted framed moss art, make sure to mix various types of moss. Working with different proportions, you can create crevices or dips on the mounted display. To create an undulating effect, use clumps of thicker dried moss with mood or sheet moss. Consider adding dried wood or drift wood and other floral elements as accents. The finished project has the same effect as a vertical garden, but without the needed maintenance. 

Mossariums


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For enclosed moss terrariums or mossariums, it should be placed out of direct sunlight to keep the plants’ natural color from fading. You can keep the arrangement simple and Zen-like with just a few clumps of moss to create a hill or valley landscape. Remember, you’re not going to water the mossarium so no drainage is necessary. 


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As accessories


You may also turn moss into a wearable accessory by keeping them in small glass globes. The Verdant collection from Habil Crafts has lovely and whimsical pieces you can check out.

Marvz Conti is the founder and brand owner of Habil Crafts. Follow @habilcrafts on Instagram. Marvz is also one of Real Living's Style Spotters. Click here to meet the rest of our Style Spotters.

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