What is moss? | Gardening On


During the rainiest months, the trunks of the trees, the walls and even the rocks can be covered with a beautiful green carpet that is barely 1 or 2 centimeters high: it is moss, a type of plant that has the ability to give it that green touch that is sometimes missing in some landscapes … and also in some pots.

Yes, yes, it can also be placed on the surface of the substrate and it looks great. You do not believe me? Take a look at the pictures as you learn how to use moss to decorate your plants.

What is moss?

Sundew rotundifoliaDrosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia in habitat, growing on Sphagnum moss.

When we talk about moss we refer to plants called bryophytes that they are characterized by having neither conductive vessels, nor flowers, nor fruits, not even real roots. They were one of the first land plants to diversify, colonizing the humid regions of the Earth, some 289 million years ago.

They are characterized by having “stems”better called caulidia, since they do not have a true stem, and »leaves» (filidios) that are very reminiscent of gems. Its height does not exceed 10cm; however, they can cover quite a large area, such as a rock or even a wall over time. And is that they grow in any humid place protected from direct sun. During the dry season they wither almost completely, but once the rains return they turn green.

Reproduction can be sexualtaking place in your reproductive system that is known as archegonium; or asexual through the fragmentation of the gametophyte (which would become the moss specimen).

What function do they have?

Moss play a fundamental role in ecosystems. They retain moisture and prevent its degradation. But besides that constitute an important refuge for small invertebrate animals. The fact that it is collected indiscriminately is seriously damaging our landscapes, which is why only those who have the necessary permits can do it.

Is it a good idea to use it to decorate the plants?

Moss in Azalea bonsaiMoss on Azalea bonsai

Image – mayto sam

If we want to use moss, I recommend purchasing spaghnum moss. in any nursery, garden store or online stores specialized in carnivorous plants. As we have commented, moss that we can find in the field should not be collected, because we could endanger the balance that keeps it alive.

Once this is taken into account, moss is a non-parasitic plant type, which means that it will not do any harm to the plant we are growing. In addition, placing a little on the surface of the substrate enhances the beauty of the bonsai or those plant beings that we have in the pot, not to mention that it helps to maintain humidity.

However, it has a drawback that must be taken into account: to survive, it needs to be watered frequentlywhich means that we cannot apply it to all the plants we want, but only to those whose water requirements are high, such as aquatic or semi-aquatic, kokedamas, and some bonsai (Taxodium, Rhododendron, Ficus, Picea). It can also be used as a sole substrate for carnivores, especially Sarracenia, since these plants need high humidity to be able to get ahead.

Ideas for decorating moss

To finish, we leave you with some photos of plants decorated with this curious vegetable carpet:


Put moss in your terrarium to make it look spectacular

Put moss in your terrarium to make it look spectacular

Have an empty bottle, box or aquarium? Give it a new life by turning it into a terrarium. A little peat, a layer of moss, some strategically placed stones, and you will only have to water often to remind you of a mountain landscapein miniature yes, but just as beautiful .


Make moss kokedamas

Make kokedamas with moss

The kokedamas are plants whose roots are wrapped with moss. They are used as pendants, and the truth is that they look very good, as you can see in the image above. Go ahead and make your own. Here you have information on how to get it.

Bonsai and accent plants

Ferns on rock with mossferns on rock with moss

Image – Cactusmaria.blogspot.com

Moss is usually put moss on bonsai, especially if they are to be exposed. But also can be used for accompanying plantsaccent plants, such as ferns.

What did you think of this article about mosses?

What is moss? | Gardening On

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