What is Mosses?
Mosses (a more accurate name – bryophytes) are a division of the plant kingdom that combines species in the reproduction cycle of which the life stage “gametophyte” (sexual generation with a single set of unpaired chromosomes) prevails over the stage “sporophyte” (asexual generation).
The scientific definition of mosses is bryophytes, hence the name of the branch of botany that studies them – bryology. The vast majority of bryophytes belong to the class of leafy mosses.
The stems of these plants, located above the surface of the earth, are dotted with small outgrowth leaves, while the underground part has many long filamentous processes, the so-called rhizoids. Representatives of this species have both similarities and significant differences from their relatives in the kingdom.
- Botanical Name: Bryophyta
- Common Name: Moss
- Plant Type: Mossy (eukaryotes)
- Size: from 1 mm to several tens of centimeters
- Bloom Time: does not bloom
- Flower Color: –
- Hardiness Zones: 2 Areal; 3 Habitat zona
- Native Area: most of Europe
- Toxicity: not toxic to humans
When we are asked: what is a plant or can you grow moss indoors? Many of us imagine a herbaceous or woody plant such as chamomile or, for example, birch. We think that all plants have roots, stems, stems, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Most of us don’t think about growing moss indoors or as plants that grow on rocks, rooftops, concrete, or any other unexpected place like a tabletop moss garden or even indoor moss garden terrarium; however, this so-called opportunist group, which chooses a variety of eclectic substrates, exists outside of our classical understanding. The leaves of indoor moss plants are mostly one cell thick, they have no true roots, stems, flowers or fruits, and instead of seeds, they have spores.
As it has already become clear “They” are mosses; moss indoors forming “green carpets” with thin, wiry, vertical stems supporting a brown capsule that appears to be wearing a hat.
Kinds of mosses
The most common representatives of bryophytes include:
How to take care of moss
Moss care has different mechanisms that they use to obtain nutrients. So how to care for moss indoors? Some mosses are capable of trapping nutrients with minimal air humidity, as they have very efficient absorbing surfaces. Among other moss plant care, such as Kukushkin flax (Polytrichum polytrichum), obtain nutrients directly from the soil or substrate on which they grow and transfer them to the growing tips.
With this in mind, we can see that the physical and chemical nature of the substrate, as well as its water holding capacity, are extremely important for the formation of moss. Further, we invite you to find out how to grow moss indoors.
Choosing a pot for mosses
If you don’t know how to grow moss in a container you can use a glass jar or glass as a florarium for potted moss.
Any container with transparent walls is suitable as a florarium, the main thing is that it has a tight-fitting lid. Instead of a cover (or simultaneously if you know how to grow moss in a jar it will be better for waterproofing), you can use cling film – this is not a very aesthetic, but quite functional solution.
How to grow moss indoors?
Indoor moss for normal growth in indoor conditions requires consistently high humidity. Moss for indoor plants do not need ventilation and do not tolerate drying out well, even those species that naturally grow in relatively dry places. Three years ago, for the sake of the experiment, I opened one of my jars of sphagnum. In this jar, the moss died very quickly, despite regular watering, and never recovered.
In a closed jar, this same species still grow with me. If you don’t know how to keep the moss alive indoors and want your moss to really live and grow, you will have to look first of all at the functionality of the florarium and neglect many popular interior solutions. Not suitable: suspended florariums with a side opening that cannot be closed, florariums – “greenhouses” with a door, any containers that have gaps between their parts.
Most mosses are light-requiring. Even those species that are naturally found in clearly shaded places, in cultural conditions, require a lot of light. Therefore, the lighter the better. Suitable conditions: sunny window, good lighting, balcony (before frost). With insufficient lighting, mosses can also survive, but they “stretch” and lose their decorative effect.
How to keep the moss alive? As it needs acidic soil, for growing a plant, the substrate is sometimes acidified with citric acid. To do this, you need only 1-2 crystals of organic acid per 2 liters of water. For planting moss, prepare a wide, low container. Pour a small layer of expanded clay on the bottom, then a layer of finely crushed coal and a layer of the substrate. Pour water over the substrate and lightly press the moss pads in the center of the container. Cover the container with plastic overnight, then remove the film. In a few days, the plant will take root and begin to grow.
How much water does moss need? At first, abundant hydration is required. This is necessary in order for it to take root safely. Sprinkle the pads with water from a spray bottle every day for 1-2 weeks. It is important not to flood the plant. Please note: if it darkens on top, reduces the intensity of watering. When the plant takes root well and begins to grow, it will need to be watered less often – once every 3-5 days.
It is better to place the container in a room with not too bright lighting. For example, in the hallway. But direct sunlight is best avoided. Will feel good near aquariums.
Shade and moisture are not the only conditions for the successful growth of moss. Experienced florists recommend that you first study the acidity of the soil. Ideally, the pH should be between 5 and 6.5 units.
Temperature and Humidity
For keeping moss alive indoors you should be placed in rooms with sufficient humidity. Air humidity of 45-70% is considered normal. Low room humidity can cause the moss to dry out and become brittle when touched (while the aesthetic properties remain unchanged).
If the moss houseplant dries up, its properties are easily restored when the moss products are placed in a room with warm humid air (80-90%) for several hours until the tactile properties of the moss are fully restored. Stabilized moss must not be watered, wiped off with a wet cloth, and sprayed with a spray bottle!
If, after drying, some areas with moss are damaged (crumbled), this can be easily eliminated. After restoring the softness of the moss, the damaged areas can be repaired by replacing them with other moss.
Propagating of mosses
Mosses spread in several ways, but unlike flowering plants, they depend on moisture to reproduce sexually. Mosses reproduce with spores, which are similar to the seeds of a flowering plant; however, moss spores are unicellular and more primitive than common seeds. The spores are located in a brown capsule located on the bristles. As the spores mature, they disperse from the capsule, and some end up in areas where there is enough moisture to grow. Young moss looks very thin, like a tangled mass of branching green hairs. Buds will appear on the green hairs, from which tiny stems and thin leaves will grow. Some mosses have cups on their tops that produce sperm, these are male plants.
The female plant has eggs between its overlapping leaves. Water is essential for fertilization: as soon as the sperm matures, its cells will have to swim to the eggs in order to fertilize them. The fertilized egg then produces a brown capsule. Moses also spread asexually, sending new shoots in the spring from plants in recent years, and fragmentation. Moss body parts can rip apart, be moved by wind or water, and start a new plant if moisture permits.
Transplanting of mosses
Carefully remove the turf along with the moss with a sharp shovel. The roots of mosses are practically absent. A few centimeters of removed soil will not damage them.
An indoor moss garden carpet will look great if you plant several species. We carefully transfer the removed into a container. For growing moss inside it is better to do this in small pieces so it will be easier to lay it on the site, alternating different types.
In addition, plants from the nearby forest are likely to quickly get used to a new place of residence if it looks like a different place of growth. Where can moss be found in its natural habitat? First of all, in the nearest coniferous forest.
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