Moss Dish Garden Experiment – Day 3

UPDATE:  Please see this post for more and more correct information regarding moss dishes!

For those of you curious about how the moss is doing – well, so far, it appears to be doing fine.  In fact, it does not appear all that different from how it looked about 4 hours after watering – see for yourself!

Day 1 on the left, Day 3 (today) on the right. (Click to enlarge)

The light is a bit different (today’s photos are taken a bit earlier in the afternoon but on a cloudy day), but the pot has not changed a whole lot.  It is not at all surprising as mosses are incredibly slow growers and I don’t expect sprouting like you’d see on higher plants.  I think I may keep taking a benchmark photo every few days – it would make seeing progress a lot easier.

Throughout yesterday and today, I have misted the containers a few times, and I have added water into the reservoirs as the moss was slurping it all up at a surprising rate – in the glass container, it nearly emptied the reservoir!  I heard that some mosses can hold up to 4x their weight in water but I did not actually see it before!  From what I can tell, it is happy.  It’s still too early to tell whether it’s going to survive, so I am serious about giving this a couple of weeks before pronouncing it any sort of success.

There is also something I’ve noticed about it after a closer observation, and perhaps a day or so indoors and moistened:

The moss is not just a single carpet of Hypnum.  It appears to have in it a few leaves of a larger, curlier species which is a little lighter in color (not pictured in this clip as they did not come out in focus at high magnification), and also tiny star-shaped deep green growths with reddish stems.  I had noticed the cup lichen (Cladonia) earlier, but it bears mention all the same for sheer cuteness – the largest cup is about 1.5mm across.  I really hope it survives as well!

I have a very mild concern that the water we have here, however pure it is, may be a little too harsh for the moss that is a non-vascular plant, so I have put 2 small buckets to gather rain outside should it fall, and will also age some tap water and check supermarket bottled waters for pH and mineral content listing and maybe buy a bottle of that till the spring rains come.

Also, I am really getting rather attached to the cute tiny green things!  T even teased me this morning about staring at the moss meditatively while we were having coffee, to which I replied that he should not disturb my “moss appreciation time”.

Whatever you say for it, it’s certainly incredibly relaxing, and soothing to look at – a tiny piece of forest of your own within arm’s reach.


4 thoughts on “Moss Dish Garden Experiment – Day 3

    1. Thank you! I absolutely adore it, it is an amazing idea (not original but hey, what are friends for if not giving good ideas?), and I am very much hoping they thrive and grow.

      The container is very tiny, only 10cm (4 inches) rim to rim excluding handles. There are holes about 1.5cm down from the rim where the handles are tied to, which I use for drainage/overflow (fill the container with water till it leaks from the holes, then tip it a bit to the side to get rid of excess) in order to not let the moss get too waterlogged. The moss patch in it is about 8cm across, and the glass container (there is a photo of it in the previous post) is 8.5cm across (but has moss all the way to the edges unlike the conical dish).

  1. I’m glad things are going well so far! I’m really looking forward to hearing more about what you learn from growing moss inside. It’s something I keep trying to do, but I haven’t figured out how to do it right yet.

    1. Hey there!

      I will keep you posted. I went on a hunt for a covered dish today, as I think one of the problems is the tips of the moss drying out even though I am running a humidifier in the apartment. I am looking for one of those squat apothecary jars or such, or a nice large vase I could cover with a piece of glass. Antiques shop was closed when I got to it (darnit), but there is always next week.

      I am also 1. aging some tap water in a bucket and 2. set a couple of small buckets to collect any rain that may fall (it’s been annoyingly dry). I’ll take some photos of the open-top dishes tomorrow of next week and update this – so far, the moss that is growing the best is the leftover shreds in a plastic lunch container I have on the table (which is why I am thinking a covered terrarium would be better).

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