A Moss Milkshake
Did you know that you can cultivate moss with a blender and some yogurt or beer? Here's our tips for how to make a milkshake of moss "paint" to plant in your garden.
Learn about about the moss in Japanese gardens in A World Apart article and the basics of growing moss in our Moss Guide.
Habitat is key to moss cultivation. “Where we are, if you stand still too long, moss will grow on you,” says Richie Steffen, curator for the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, where the climate’s high moisture content makes for an ideal environment. If you have such conditions—or are willing to simulate them with constant spraying or misting—here’s one way to propagate moss in the shady areas of your own garden.
1 Get a heaping handful of moss from a friend or garden center. Having more than one variety will increase your chances of success, in case one or more types don’t like the conditions.
2 Crumble the moss into a blender with two cups of yogurt, buttermilk, or beer, and enough water to keep the mix spreadable. A bit of compost will help fuel growth, but it isn’t a must.
3 Using a paintbrush, spread the shake across rocks, soil that has been cleared of debris, or any other surface where moss is desired. Keep in mind that moss prefers shade.
4 Mist daily and keep the area free of leaves and debris, which will smother and kill the moss. Oh, and have patience: Moss can take as long as two growing seasons to establish itself.