While many see moss as a nuisance due to its ability to overtake other plants and sometimes entire gardens, no one can deny its incredibly beautiful. It can make a stunning addition to your garden, particularly if you want to grow moss in between pavers or flagstone.
Growing Moss In Between Pavers or Flagstone
Using moss to surround carefully placed pavers is a great way to add depth and interest to your garden. If you want to enhance your garden’s appeal, I think this is an easy and affordable way to make it feel more complete.
Some homeowners and gardeners choose to use grass or turf between pavers. This is another easy solution but it lacks the rustic charm moss delivers. I also find moss is a great choice if you live on a property that does not support much grass growth.
How To Encourage Moss Growth
Encouraging your moss to grow is essential to the success of this project. Once you have acquired your moss and transplanted it, you’ll want to encourage it to grow. This is an easy process that only takes a few steps:
1. Keep the Moss Moist
If you want moss to thrive in your garden, I’ve learned that it’s important to keep it moist and hydrated. This means watering it any time it dries out. Depending on your climate, this could be every day or weekly. The moss needs to remain hydrated for its whole life for it to remain green and healthy.
2. Pull Any Weeds
To encourage moss growth, you’ll want to pull any weeds that appear in or around the moss after you’ve planted it. Hopefully, this won’t be an issue, especially if you pulled weeds before transplanting the moss.
3. Add More Moss if Necessary
If the moss you transplanted isn’t thriving, it may be necessary to add more healthy moss to improve the overall look of your pavers. This can be done in the same way you transplanted the original moss, or you might choose to use another technique — mixing the moss with water.
By creating a 1:1 ratio of moss to water and blending it for around two minutes, you’ll have an easy-to-add slurry that will fill in all the cracks and open spaces around your pavers. As before, you’ll want to ensure the moss you’ve added stays wet but not too wet!
Transplanting moss may seem overwhelming initially. With a few simple steps, however, you’ll have it moved and installed exactly where you want it.
The first step is to use a shovel or trowel to collect as much moss as you think you need for your garden. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place before placing it around your pavers. It’s also important to keep it damp during this process, or you may find that all your hard-earned moss has dried out. While this doesn’t mean it is dead, rehydrating it will take some time.
Before transplanting the moss, make sure to pull all the weeds out from between the pavers. Their presence will make it harder for the moss to establish and fully cover your chosen area. Once clear of weeds, pack the moss between the flagstones or pavers with your hands.
Press down on it, ensuring that any air pockets release. Don’t worry about harming the plant. It is strong and will benefit from being firmly planted in your garden.
To ensure your moss remains healthy, it’s important to water it regularly, particularly if you live in a dry climate.
Where To Find Moss
One of the most important steps to growing moss between pavers or flagstone is to acquire the right moss in the correct amounts. Finding a nursery or shop that sells moss may be difficult, meaning it will take extra effort on your part to search for it.
The most common way to find moss is to search for it in wooded areas, in gardens, and around your own lawn. I found a great deal in my local neighborhood. Although it may not seem like it initially, moss is incredibly common, and there may be more around you than you initially thought.
It often grows between rotten pieces of wood and fallen trees. Searching in the darker areas around tree stumps and on the forest floor will likely lead to success.
Types of Moss
There are many different types of moss that you can use for your garden. While you may not know the exact name of every variety you find while searching for moss in the woods, some of those I’ve listed below are likely living near you.
There are around 12,000 different species of moss distributed around the world. Here are a few of the most common:
American Tree Moss
Climacium americanum is a perennial evergreen moss that is usually seen growing on trees. It grows to be between two to four inches high. The older leaves are olive green, while the newer leaves are lighter or even whitish green. This moss variety prefers dappled light or shade throughout the day in wet to mesic conditions.
Common Haircap Moss
Common haircap moss, or Polytrichum commune, is a species of moss found in areas with high humidity. It grows up to 12 inches tall, an unusually tall height for moss varieties, but is usually closer to 5 to 10 inches. It is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, Mexico, New Zealand, and more.
Spoon-leaved moss, Bryoandersonia illecebra, is a shiny, green, and yellow-colored moss that forms deep patches or mats. It is one of the larger species of moss and grows in soil in low-lying areas. Its commonly found under trees or shrubs. It prefers wetter climates, such as marshes and meadows.
Springy Turf Moss
Springy turf moss, or Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, is often found in lawns and other man-made areas. The moss can grow up to around six inches in height and is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, including in British Columbia, Oregon, Newfoundland, and Greenland.
Heath Star Moss
Heath star moss, or Syntrichia ruralis, is common worldwide. It grows in many different climates, including in deserts, tundras, grasslands, and coniferous forests. The wet leaves are a standard light green color. When the moss dries, it turns a reddish brown.
Conditions Required To Grow Moss
Moss is a fairly hardy plant but you can support its growth by providing it with a few easy-to-come-by requirements. Moss thrives in moist and shaded areas. While it doesn’t need dirt to grow, you may find that it’s easier to cultivate in your garden rather than on rocks or another hard material that doesn’t hold water.
It’s important to remember that just because moss likes water doesn’t mean you should oversaturate it. I quickly discovered that too much water creates a swampy environment that will impede growth as much as a lack of water.
Moss Between Pavers As A Trip Hazard
When considering whether or not to plant moss around your garden flagstones, you may want to consider the possibility of the plants becoming a tripping hazard. The moss fills in holes between the stone pavers. But, it also creates an uneven surface, one that could result in guests, or members of your family, losing their balance. This is particularly true if your moss coverage is incomplete, leaving surprising holes between the stone pavers.
To decrease the possibility that someone trips in your garden, make sure all guests know the pavers and moss arrangement. It’s also important to care for your moss regularly and fill in any holes that might appear due to sections of dying or less successful moss growth.
Additionally, if sections of moss are growing up and onto the pavers, trimming the plant down may reduce the possibility of someone tripping while enjoying your garden.
FAQs Moss In Pavers
Verdict: Growing Moss In Between Pavers
Adding moss to a garden is a great, affordable way to make your landscape more interesting and varied. While it may initially seem difficult, growing moss between pavers and flagstones is relatively simple. The most important things to remember are that moss needs to stay moist throughout its life and its overall durability. When planting, remove all the air pockets so your moss can thrive.