Field of Science

Growing Mosses

I have received a number of emails over the past couple of months with questions about gardening with mosses outdoors. Most of my personal moss growing experience focuses on the plants that I grow in the laboratory. I have little terrariums (culture containers) from Fisher Scientific that work great in the lab.

As for moss gardening outside here are a few resources to get you started.

- The British Bryological Society has a publication entitled "The Moss Grower's Handbook", that you can link to here. This book discusses both liverworts and mosses. It is a really nice read and goes into detail about specific growing conditions for particular species.

- Researchers at Glacier National Park have published an article about moss propagation for re-vegetation projects in the park. A link for the article and a pdf version can be found here. They illustrate a nice setup for growing mosses indoors to be planted outside after they are established.

- Schenk, G. 1997. Moss Gardening: including lichens, liverworts and other miniatures. Timber Press: Portland, Oregon.
A good reference book for landscaping/gardening with mosses that is filled with
nice color photos. It also covers growing specifics for particular species. My only critique of the book is that it could use a little more focus on issues of conservation.

- Cullina, William. 2008. Native Ferns, Moss, and Grasses: From Emerald Carpet to Amber Wave, Serene and Sensuous Plants for the Garden. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
This book has been on my wish-list for a while, but I have yet to purchase/read it. So I am not sure how helpful it is, but it does have an entire section on gardening with mosses.
If anyone has read this book and has an opinion on its utility for moss gardening, feel free to let me know.

Thanks for all the moss gardening questions and I hope that my answers were helpful. If you have any other suggestions for good moss gardening resources please drop a note in the comments section.

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