What is moss and how can I use it to decorate?

During the rainiest months, tree trunks, walls and even rocks can be covered with a beautiful green carpet that measures just 1 or 2 centimeters in height: 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 put on the surface of the substrate and it looks great. You do not believe me? Take a look at the images as you learn how to use moss to decorate your plants.


  • 1 What is moss?
  • 2 What function do they have?
  • 3 Is it a good idea to use it to decorate plants?
  • 4 Ideas to decorate moss
    • 4.1 Terrariums
    • 4.2 Kokedama
    • 4.3 Bonsai and accent plants

What is moss?

Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia in habitat, growing on Sphagnum moss.

When we talk about moss we refer to plants called bryophytes that are characterized by not having conducting vessels, flowers, fruits, or even true roots . They were one of the first land plants to diversify, colonizing the humid regions of the Earth, about 289 million years ago.

They are characterized by having “stems” , better called caulidiums, since they do not have a true stem, and “leaves” (filidiums) 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, over time, a wall. And it is that they grow in any humid place and protected from direct sun . During the dry season they wither almost completely, but once the rains return they turn green.

Reproduction can be sexual , taking place in the reproductive system known as the archegonium; or asexual through the fragmentation of the gametophyte (what would become the moss specimen).

What function do they have?

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

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

Moss in Azalea bonsai

Image – Mayto Sam

If we want to use moss, I recommend buying spaghnum moss at any nursery, garden store or online store specializing in carnivorous plants. As we have mentioned, 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 type of non-parasitic plant, which means that it will not do any damage to the plant that we are growing . In addition, placing a little on the surface of the substrate enhances the beauty of the bonsai or of those plant beings that we have in the pot, and that is not to mention that it helps maintain humidity.

However, it has a drawback that must be taken into account: to survive, it needs to be watered frequently , which means that we cannot put it on all the plants we want, but only 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 single substrate for carnivores, especially for Sarracenia, since these plants need high humidity to be able to thrive.

Ideas for decorating moss

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


Put moss in your terrarium to make it look spectacular

Do you 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 all you have to do is water often so that it reminds you of a mountain landscape , in miniature, yes, but just as beautiful.


Make kokedamas with moss

Kokedamas are plants whose roots are wrapped in moss . They are used as pendants, and the truth is that they look very good, as you can see in the image above. Dare to make your own. 

Bonsai and accent plants

Ferns on rock with moss

Image – Cactusmaria.blogspot.com

Moss is usually put moss on bonsai, especially if they are going to be exposed. But it can also be used for companion plants, accent plants, like ferns.

What did you think of this article about mosses?

What is moss and how can I use it to decorate?

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