Moss adds color contrast to the green of the lawn. It also creates a natural and organic feeling to the garden. Moss is a great example of plants for the shadier parts of your garden, as it only needs indirect light to grow.
Moss does not need much care or watering, which is why it’s often used in shadier gardens with less direct sunlight. This plant is perfect for those looking for an easy gardening challenge. Moss can also be grown indoors, making it an ideal plant if you have green thumbs but don’t have a lot of outdoor space.
Moss is perhaps one of the most widely grown plants we have around. As a matter of fact, it is found in every continent, including the largely uninhabited Antarctica. Not many people attach some importance to the plant though, notwithstanding the huge economic potential it bears. This is mainly informed by its ability to endure the harshest growing environments.
Mosses are generally small and non-vascular in stature. When they expand and grow to maturity, they form dense green mats or clamps. In many circumstances, they mainly thrive in shady or damp environments. You will see them on the walls and the pavements that are infested with moisture.
Due to its ability to diverse and uncharted territories, there are many species. There are indeed well over 12,000 such kinds of subspecies. In this article, we are going to highlight and explain the leading 21 types of mosses and how to possibly take good care of them.
- 21 Moss Types & Varieties
- #1: Feather (Hypnum imponens)
- #2: Sheet (Hypnum cupressiforme)
- #3: Rigid Beard (Didymodon rigidulus)
- #4: Dwarf Haircap (Pogonatum aloides)
- #5: Catherine’s (Atrichum undulatum)
- #6: Common Tamarisk (Thuidium tamariscinum)
- #7: Shaggy (Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus)
- #8: Juniper (Polytrichum juniperinum)
- #9: Glittering Wood (Hylocomium splendens)
- #10: Water Screw (Syntrichia latifolia)
- #11: Ribbed Bog (Aulacomnium palustre)
- #12: Plume (Ptilium crista-castrensis)
- #13: Shiny Seductive (Entodon seductrix)
- #14: Mood (Dicranum scoparium)
- #15: Pincushion (Leucobryum glaucum)
- #16: Baby Tooth (Plagiomnium cuspidatum)
- #17: Heath Star (Campylopus introflexus)
- #18: Springy Turf (Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus)
- #19: Spoon-leaved (Bryoandersonia illecebra)
- #20: Common Haircap (Polytrichum commune)
- #21: American Tree (Climacium americanum)
The following are some of the tips and strategies to care for your moss:
Mosses are able to thrive and in partial or full sun. They nonetheless prefer the shades as the strong sun does desiccate their leaves. You have to put in place a mechanism to provide the shade throughout the entire duration of the growth thereof hence. If possible, supply a natural shade source like the trees.
Just like normal plants, mosses also have to be pruned to cause them to thrive to their fullest potentials. However, the leaves of this plant are too small to use the larger pruning hooks. Thus, you have to find and ultimately make use of smaller cutting apparatus for the job.
Water and moisture
As expected, these plants require sufficient volumes of water to grow the maximum heights and dimensions. You should thus water them roughly twice a week to achieve great success. The best times to water them are early in the morning or later in the afternoon. That will minimize evaporation and conserve the water accordingly.
While watering, you are highly advised to stay away from tap water as it contains excessively high levels of chlorine. When the high chlorine content comes in close contact with the water, the end results might usually be the browning of the leaves altogether. You do not want this to happen at all.
The great thing about the moss is that it is on the whole, drought-resistant. That means you do not have to keep watering indefinitely. Rather, you are free to cease watering as soon as the plants are finally well-established. They also hardly burn or lose their green color even when they are deprived of water.
Generally, mosses have shallow roots. That makes them capable of growing just about anywhere. Nonetheless, you have to provide them with soft loam soil that is full of nutrients to enable them to exploit their maximum growth potential. This soil has to contain plenty of humus as well.
They are prone to the infestations of the mold as is the norm with many other plants. You also have to create some room and put in place measures that are designed to mitigate the growth of the mold, therefore. Perhaps the best way to combat the mold is by moderating the watering undertaking.
Much like the case with any other plant, they too require plenty of good air to thrive wholly as they are aerobic. You must hence make it a point to supply this fresh air, and in the largest volumes manageable. Place the pots out in the open to enable the plants to tap into these huge volumes.
Mosses do not require any fertilizers at all. Never mind or worry about supplying the fertilizers to the plants on account of this. If anything, the fertilizers may only serve to worsen the states of the mosses altogether. Fertilizers do have the ability to burn and desiccate the plants.
21 Moss Types & Varieties
#1: Feather (Hypnum imponens)
This has lime green leaves that may nonetheless vary between yellow and green. It is widely found in Canada, northern Europe, and the United States of America. To add to that, it also bears a shaggy and stringy appearance. For it to thrive to its full potential, you have to plant it in acidic soil and shaded areas.
#2: Sheet (Hypnum cupressiforme)
With a brown to dark green color, this variety does well in all continents apart from Antarctica. This is due to its ability to adapt to and do well across numerous climatic conditions. Wherever it grows, it develops in a soft tuft of foliage that completely engulfs the region.
#3: Rigid Beard (Didymodon rigidulus)
“Rigid Beard” is by far the most commonly occurring Didymodon subspecies. Due to its small and compact stature, it patches conveniently in all open spaces like the old walls, bricks, rocks, paving slabs, and concrete. In totality, it comprises tiny leaves which lump themselves up together to form dense and soft mats.
#4: Dwarf Haircap (Pogonatum aloides)
Judging by its name, this variety is comparatively smaller and subsequently demanding of the limited amount of space. Nonetheless, it does exhibit some succulent fleshy appearance. Its stems are red whereas its foliage is triangular in shape. You may hence consider it to spruce up your yards.
#5: Catherine’s (Atrichum undulatum)
Also called the “big star moss,” this subspecies has lance-shaped leaves that spread out from the stems. The leaves do create some wider star shapes when beheld from a vertical vantage point. They are also bright green in color and bear some stiff textures, overall. This subspecies does prefer shaded areas.
#6: Common Tamarisk (Thuidium tamariscinum)
“Common Tamarisk” has bright yellow-green foliage that pretty much resembles a fern plant. Its stems are however darker and stand in sharp contrast to the leaves. This variety prefers acidic soils. The high acid content may be derived from the rotting logs, damp grounds, and the woodland trusts, to name but a few!
#7: Shaggy (Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus)
This variant of the moss is so-called because it exhibits some unkempt and messy appearances on the whole. The foliage, other than being shaggy, comes about in brown colors when the same get older. In the initial stages of growth, however, the foliage assumes some bright green appearances.
#8: Juniper (Polytrichum juniperinum)
As explained earlier, the moss can grow in just about any location. This one particularly does well in areas that are dry and devoid of tangible quantities of moisture contents. As such, it is widely occurring in the dry grasslands, quarries, gravel, and forest footpaths. The plant is largely attractive with sky foliage- creating gorgeous green roofs.
#9: Glittering Wood (Hylocomium splendens)
If you reside in cooler areas, the Glittering Wood might be one to add to your garden. This is given that it is heavily capable of working well in cold climatic areas. Examples of these are Canada, Scotland, and Russia. It does get to around 8 inches long when it is fully grown.
#10: Water Screw (Syntrichia latifolia)
For the matters of décor and aesthetics, the water screw might be the choice. But why? Its exterior appearance is somewhat spectacular to behold. It bears a set of small broad leaves that are packed in circular batches. To add to this, the variety does well in shaded places that are hidden from direct sunlight.
#11: Ribbed Bog (Aulacomnium palustre)
Popular called the “bog groove moss,” this kind is a collection of tufts that jointly form a dense later of matted carpet. It on the whole does well in boggy environments the world over. These include the wetland ecosystems. The moss has orange-brown stalks and yellowish-green fine foliage. Need we add that it performs well in colder climates?
#12: Plume (Ptilium crista-castrensis)
Widely scattered around northern Europe and Canada, this variant is also commonly called the ‘ostrich-plume feather moss.’ For all practical purposes, it is mainly great for matters of beauty as it does have a really breathtaking appearance. If left to its own devices, the variant can spread out indefinitely.
#13: Shiny Seductive (Entodon seductrix)
“Shiny Seductive” grows rapidly and spreads out in all four corners. Its texture is as fine as that of a feather and is widely available in the North American region. You will find it in huge quantities in the felled trees, old logs, fence posts, and rotten wooded areas.
#14: Mood (Dicranum scoparium)
Invariable called “broom-fork moss,” this variety is endemic to the North American region. The subspecies do thrive in clumps that may get to around 5 inches high. Its leaves form mounds that comprise cushion-like patches. The stems however develop into slender and upright statures that in turn are covered in leaves that are spear-shaped.
#15: Pincushion (Leucobryum glaucum)
The pincushion is a perennial moss that generates a large dome-shaped mound that may get to 5 inches high and roughly 2 inches wide. Each constituent cushion contains a spread of leaves that in turn attach to the lance-shaped gray-green leaves. This variety is by and large capable of doing tolerating drought conditions.
#16: Baby Tooth (Plagiomnium cuspidatum)
“Baby Tooth” is yet another perennial moss variety. It does have a short lifespan and is largely available in Asia and North America. Its stem s a tall dark stalk that is easily identifiable by third parties. As for the foliage, it is medium green in color whose margins are heavily toothed.
#17: Heath Star (Campylopus introflexus)
Native to South America, the Heath Star was introduced to the United Kingdom in the 1940s. The subspecies prefer rotting wood and dilapidated wooden materials like logs and old fence posts. Its foliage is bright green whereas its stem is dark to red-brown in color.
#18: Springy Turf (Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus)
“Springy Turf” is a widespread moss that is scattered far and wide in lawns and grasslands. Each stem that forms part of this variant can get to around 5 inches long. Further to this, it also contains tiny pale-green foliage that is sparkling to the eyes. The lamina of the foliage has a thick hair-like quality surface.
#19: Spoon-leaved (Bryoandersonia illecebra)
“Spoon-leaved” subspecies grow to form a dense blanket of foliage that is cushioned. Its stem thrives to the 1.5-inch mark and is completely concealed by a set of tightly packed leaves. Its fresh new leaves are bright green whereas the older ones are brownish. You will find it abundantly in Canada and the northern United States.
#20: Common Haircap (Polytrichum commune)
A set of long shoots and wiry-spiked foliage characterize the “Common Haircap.” These attach to a red-brown stem and produces leaves that are bright green. The leaves are neatly arranged in a series of clusters of small stars that are spectacular to behold from above. All factors considered, the moss is prevalent in the western hemisphere.
#21: American Tree (Climacium americanum)
Largely endemic to the North American region, this “American Tree” may found in large numbers in Canada and the eastern United States. Its stems are primarily brown and give out the effects of the tiny Christmas trees. If you are prepping for Christmas, you know where to set your eyes on.
Moss is a great plant that may be used as a substitute for grass. It also brings about the added benefit of being more tolerant to drought conditions while still retaining its distinctively green color. What are we saying? You may have to choose and make use of it to spruce up your areas and yards.