Live Moss Centerpiece DIY

A better title for this should be something like:
The Secret Life of Moss

Moss is one of those strange and wonderful plants that we often see on a hike 
in a dark woodlands area

It also may be growing on the side of an old shed or an old tree stump.
It is not a fungus and is actually beneficial to most gardens 
so if you have some enjoy it!

It is a plant in the simplest of forms lacking roots and leaves
It reproduces by sending out spores from little stem like blades that grow on top of the clumps.
In my never ending search for interesting plants
 moss is currently at the top of the list!

It is usually associated with terrariums but personally I love it unadorned and out in the open 
where you can brush your hand along the top.

So for this project I started with a simple large wood vessel 
and 3 one gallon bags of live moss

I had this shipped from a grower but most floral supply stores carry this and occasionally you can find it at the nursery.
As you can see it was harvested right from the forest floor.
Moss is sort of like living compost 

Many of the tutorials that I looked at recommended gravel as the base for your moss garden but I tried to mimic the actual material the moss would have been found on: 
a combination of pine needles, small sticks and leaves and a mix of decomposing soil .

To support the soil and keep things tidy 
I started by gathering some large plastic trash bags and forming them into a nice mound.

Staple your plastic or use heavy duty duck tape

I soaked my rich soil well, played a layer over the top of the plastic and then carefully unfolded and stretched the moss 
along the top and down into the edges of the bowl

This is my first attempt and it looks rather one dimensional
but even simple projects are a learning curve!
 The arrangement above is wonderful and my next bowl will contain more varieties and shapes
Here is Martha with her moss gardens in beautiful antique Faux Bois bowls she uses throughout her home at Skylands
I added a few little ceramic mushrooms...just for fun

The only real requirement to keep your moss alive is an occasional spritz of water 
and somewhat low light
So even for those that are convinced they have 
a brown thumb 
 you can do this!

Hope you give this a try...
it's a really an easy and  relaxing one hour project...
and the perfect way to start your early fall decorating!


  1. Great. Now I have to start growing moss in a rustic container. ;) Kelley, you have the best ideas! I just love the simplicity of this.

  2. Ha Ha! Well I'm not sure you will actually grow moss but you can put it in a rusty "anything" and it will probably look really awesome! Just a simple project that lets the mind go quiet for a few minutes, something we all need more of!
    Oh and I was rather excited to get moss in the mail : )))) xo

  3. I LOVE this. Living in the PNW, our yard is shaded with tall pines and I have moss growing in my lawn, I love the moss/ grass combo and use it for the base of my living arrangements all of the time, it is so lush and I love the texture. Love your idea of combining moss and Martha, placing a fern in it. These are so serene and pleasant, I adore your mushroom additions. Beautiful inspiration. ~ebh

  4. Must you keep the container, once the moss is planted, outdoors, or in?
    I love moss when I've seen it anywhere and try to keep it going in the few spots in our yard where it appears.
    I love the added touch of the small ceramic mushrooms.

    1. I'm keeping mine inside but I suppose you could do this outside just as easily, especially if you have a really nice shady patio area. I t would be really pretty in a big pot too!

  5. Oh my I didn't know you could bring it back to life. I am going to have to try this! I have done the same thing without water. Genius!!

  6. I'm going to have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading your blog, btw. :)

  7. I'm going to have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading your blog, btw. :)

  8. Its a wonderful post and very helpful, thanks for all this information. You are including better information regarding this topic in an effective way. Thank you so much

  9. Ha Ha! Well I'm not sure you will actually grow moss but you can put it in a rusty "anything" and it will probably look really awesome!


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