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Growing Moss on Concrete — Here’s How it’s Done

Growing Moss on Concrete — Here’s How it’s Done

The soft, dainty look of a moss-covered surface adds a fairytale aesthetic to any outdoor area.

Choosing to grow moss over ugly or bland surfaces is a fantastic and economical way to upgrade the look of your patio, terrace, or garden.

You cultivate this fuzzy green plant on concrete surfaces, and can even create striking moss wall art by shaping the direction of your moss’s growth into patterns or images. 

There are several methods for introducing moss growth to new areas, including transplanting an established patch of moss. 

However, it can be difficult to transplant moss onto concrete, and the best method, therefore, involves creating something called a “moss slurry.”

 

How to grow moss on concrete

Make a batch of slurry by combining a dairy product and shredded moss. Use a paintbrush to apply the slurry liberally to your concrete surface. Mist the slurry layer regularly, while taking care not to soak it. It may begin to mold at first, but moss growth should appear within six weeks. 

 

The tools you need to grow moss on concrete

To grow moss on concrete, you will need a patch of the moss variety you want to propagate, a dairy product such as yogurt, condensed milk or buttermilk, sugar, a blender, a mister, a thick paint brush, water, and of course a concrete surface to grow your moss on. 

 

How to make moss slurry

To create your moss slurry, add 2 cups of fresh moss to a blender. Add in two to three cups of a wet dairy product, preferably buttermilk or unsweetened yogurt. You can also use condensed milk if you prefer. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the mixture.

Blend the ingredients together. If your mixture is too thick, add in a little water until your slurry is of a spreadable consistency. If it is too thin and watery, supplement with moss. 

The slurry now needs to develop moss spores. For this, it should be left to sit for two days. 

Do not refrigerate the mixture. Your slurry will only develop moss spores if it is kept at room temperature. 

Before making your slurry, you will need to decide which moss variety you want to cultivate. You will be spoiled for choice, as there are 12,000 species of moss in the world!

Some of the most famous varieties grown in gardens and on rock and concrete surfaces include Springy Turf Moss, Spoon Leaved Moss, Pincushion Moss and American Tree Moss. 

Most garden moss varieties require very similar care, so you should be able to grow almost any variety on concrete. 

 

How to cultivate moss on concrete

Identify where you want to grow your moss, because how many batches of slurry you make depends on how much surface you need to cover. 

You can choose to grow your moss somewhere smaller, like a walled garden border, or can set out to create a whole living moss wall

Once you have allowed your slurry to sit for two days, you can spread it onto your concrete surface using a thick paintbrush. 

As soon as you have applied the slurry evenly, you will want to mist it using your misting bottle. For best results, use filtered water or collected rainwater.

Read up on the best water for houseplants to understand why it is beneficial to use filtered or distilled water rather than tap water to dampen your moss slurry. 

Be careful not to overwater your moss slurry, as giving it too much water may wash away the spores in the mixture, rendering your slurry useless.

That said, you do want to continue to mist your slurry regularly. Aim to keep it gently moist at all times. Once you begin to see moss growth, which can take up to six weeks, you can increase the amount of water you use slightly. 

Do not be alarmed if you initially see signs of mold. After all, you are fermenting a dairy product! The mold will disappear within the first six weeks after you have applied the slurry.  

 

How to care for moss growing on concrete

Once your moss is exhibiting real signs of growth, you can care for it more or less as you would a grass lawn. 

Spray it regularly with a hose and aim to keep it gently moist at all times. 

Moss does not have roots or stems, so how to keep moss alive can initially seem like something of a mystery. It is a bryophyte and therefore takes in sunlight and water through the spores on its leaves. 

Moss acts like a sponge and retains water easily. It will propagate and spread itself! This is great, because it means that you hardly need to do anything to get your moss to grow.

Seed pods grow on its miniscule leaves and cause the moss patch to expand as new moss grows up. 

Keep this in mind when deciding when to grow your moss. Do not cultivate it too close to a vegetable patch, or you may find yourself wondering how to get rid of moss in garden beds.

Moss has hardly any issues staying alive. Many people struggle to keep moss from growing on concrete, which is a great sign for anyone who is looking to encourage its growth.

Once you have moss, you can easily transplant it. One cool way to bring your garden aesthetic indoors, is to create an art-like moss terrarium!

 

Creating moss designs on concrete

Another way to use your moss to create art, is to make what is sometimes referred to as “moss graffiti” by cultivating moss to grow into words, patterns or shapes on concrete. 

The process is essentially the same as covering an entire surface in moss. You will want to make your moss slurry using the formula given above and then leave it to sit for two days. 

Once spores have begun to develop, you can then paint it into the shape, design or illustration you want your moss to grow into. Your moss will grow where the slurry was applied, and within two months, you will have your very own, personalized moss graffiti.