I have been fascinated with moss for years. There is something magical about their vibrant green color and soft, lush texture. Recently, I decided to try growing moss in my bathroom. After some research and experimentation, I have found several effective techniques for cultivating moss in this damp space. In this article, I will share everything I have learned about growing moss in the bathroom.
Selecting a Moss Species
The first step is choosing a type of moss that will thrive in a bathroom environment. Here are some great options:
Java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) is one of the most popular mosses in bathrooms. It grows in dense clumps and features tiny, bright green leaves. Java moss tolerates low light and high humidity, making it perfect for bathrooms.
Christmas moss (Vesicularia montagnei) is another excellent bathroom moss. It has a more ruffled appearance than Java moss. Christmas moss is tolerant of low light and moisture.
Peacock moss (Taxiphyllum sp.) has feathery green foliage. It grows horizontally across surfaces. With sufficient humidity and indirect light, peacock moss will carpet bathrooms beautifully.
Sheet moss refers to several Hypnum species that grow in flat mats. Their thin, overlapping leaves form a lush blanket. Sheet moss thrives with the moisture levels found in most bathrooms.
Choosing a Growing Surface
Moss can be grown directly on bathroom surfaces or on separate objects placed in the space. Here are some suitable growing surfaces:
Grouted tile provides an ideal moss growing surface. The grout lines give the roots something to cling to. Be sure to use smooth, porous tiles – moss may have trouble adhering to polished marble or granite.
Concrete also offers crevices for moss roots to hold onto. Concrete planters, decorative tiles, and blocks work well. Be sure to give new concrete time to cure before growing moss.
Weathered wood with some texture is excellent for moss. Old boards, carved wood, and driftwood provide natural beauty. Make sure any wooden surface has weathered and dried thoroughly indoors before adding moss.
Interesting stones, pebbles, and rocks add a lovely accent to bathroom moss gardens. Choose porous stones like limestone or sandstone. Avoid using shiny, polished stones – moss won’t stick well to slippery surfaces.
For a quick and easy growing surface, use a terracotta saucer, tile, or planter. The terracotta absorbs moisture from the air and provides the humidity moss needs. Aged, rough terracotta works best.
Getting the Lighting Right
While moss prefers shady conditions, some ambient light is required for growth. Here are lighting guidelines:
Place moss in areas of the bathroom that get indirect sun, such as beside a frosted window. A couple hours of dappled sunlight per day is ideal. Direct hot sun will dry the moss out.
For dark interior bathrooms, consider installing grow lights. Cool white LED or fluorescent bulbs positioned 8-12 inches above the moss will provide sufficient low-level light. Put lights on a timer for 12-14 hours per day.
Standard bathroom lighting is often too dim for moss. Supplement with a nearby lamp or sconce to give your moss garden more light exposure. Go for bulbs that provide bright, natural light.
Rotate your moss garden around the bathroom to give all sides a turn getting ambient and supplemental light. This will prevent just one side from getting leggy or dried out.
Providing the Right Moisture
One of the keys to growing luscious bathroom moss is providing high humidity. Here are some effective techniques:
Use a spray bottle to mist moss several times per day. You can also install an inexpensive ultrasonic cool mist humidifier nearby and aim the vapor toward your moss garden.
Place Near Water Sources
Situate moss gardens next to sources of water vapor like showers, sinks, and bathtubs. The ambient steam will give them the hydration they crave.
Use Bathroom Events
Take advantage of routine bathroom activities that release moisture, like steamy showers and baths. Open the door to allow humid air to reach nearby mosses.
Group Container Gardens
Placing moss gardens close together creates a moist microclimate. The grouped containers will trap and recirculate evaporative moisture.
Adding pebbles, marbles, or stones to moss planters helps retain moisture. Partially submerge the moss roots directly in water, then top with pebbles.
Fertilizing Your Moss
While moss can grow with no fertilizer, providing some nutrients will encourage lush, vibrant growth. Here are organic fertilizer options:
Used tea leaves from black, green or herbal tea provide an easy fertilizer. Steep leaves, then spray or drip the cooled tea onto moss twice a month.
A light misting of flat beer gives moss a nutritional boost. Spray moss with a mix of 1 part beer to 10 parts water every few weeks.
Homemade compost tea
Steep a few shovelfuls of mature compost in water for 2-3 weeks. Mist bathroom moss gardens with the strained “compost tea” once a month.
Plain, unsweetened yogurt broken down in water makes an effective moss fertilizer. Mix a few spoonfuls into a spray bottle, shake well and apply.
A diluted solution of any live plant soil amendment like Baby Bio will feed bathroom moss. Use 1/4 the recommended strength twice per month.
Long-Term Moss Garden Care
Caring for bathroom moss gardens takes just a few simple regular tasks:
Remove fallen leaves and debris so they don’t smother the moss. Gently comb through moss with tweezers to keep it tidy.
Use a soft brush or cloth to gently dust moss every few weeks. This prevents dirt buildup which can block light.
If certain sections get long, straggly or brown, prune them back with small scissors. This encourages fresh new growth.
Every few months, rotate the positioning of your moss garden to give it even light/moisture exposure. This prevents die-back on any one side.
Once your moss carpet fills out, divide it and propagate in new containers. This prevents crowding and revitalizes growth.
Enjoying Your Bathroom Moss Garden
Once established, a moss garden can provide a beautiful, soothing addition to the bathroom. Here are some ways to enjoy this unique space:
Tuck in small figurines, stones, driftwood and other natural decorative touches. This creates a serene living diorama.
Include Ornamental Plants
Interplant compatible air plants, ferns or pilea to add visual interest. Just avoid direct sun-lovers that prefer dryness.
Change Things Up
Rotate plants and accents seasonally or as mood strikes. Keep your bathroom moss garden fresh by making minor changes.
Install twinkle lights or small lanterns to create a magical moss paradise at night. Capture your green oasis in a new light.
Photograph and share pics of your charming bathroom moss garden. It’s a unique home decor feature worthy of showing off.
With a little trial and error, anyone can cultivate a thriving moss garden in their bathroom. Follow these tips and soon you’ll have your own lush, peaceful moss paradise. Let your bathroom provide a convenient environment for enjoying this low-maintenance, naturally beautiful plant.