Anyone who has happened upon a velveteened log in the woods or glimpsed emerald-draped statuary is likely to be seduced by moss’ color-saturated sumptuousness. But it is essential for those hoping to lay a carpet in their own backyards or coax the spread of an existing patch to understand the quirks of this ancient plant.
Left: Rock cap moss (Dicranum) will prosper in deep shade. Transplant it when leaves are already on the trees, as sun can quickly inflict harm. This plant will grow on top of rocks and boulders. Adopt it as a ground cover instead of grass for shady areas.