Moss replanting

Asked December 14, 2016, 12:15 PM EST

Some clumsy gardeners blew away much of my cherished 15 year old moss garden with a leaf blower. I recovered many of the pieces and pressed them back onto the soil. Do you think they will survive? Is there anything more I can do to encourage survival?

Baltimore County Maryland

15 Responses

Be sure the replaced patches of moss have good contact with the soil. Walking lightly on them may be helpful. Also, be sure they have moist soil. Water before we have a freeze if you can. Moss is tough.


Would it be worthwhile to try planting some mini plugs of a similar moss?

That is certainly worth trying. But do so in early spring. Are you familiar with the following website? It may be helpful for you,
Good luck!

This is what remains after replacing the recovered bits.

Any possibility of identifying the type of moss in the photo?

How about making a slurry with moss, water and buttermilk and pouring in to fill in the bare spots?

Can you identify the type of moss in this photo?

Your camera is too far away from the moss in your yard to identify, but you'll find photos of the most common yard mosses, so you can compare and id yourself.

How about these?

And what do you think about applying s slurry of moss, water and buttermilk in the Spring?

It looks like a member of the Campylium family, a common moss in your part of the US.

There's no scientific evidence that a slurry of what you're describing will be helpful for the emergence of your moss. Buttermilk will attract things you don't want in your garden. And I'm not sure of what you would do to create a 'slurry,' but if you're using a blender, you're just killing the moss, since it's a plant and has cells you'd be destroying. Just be patient and give Mother Nature a chance!

Good luck!

The notion of making a slurry using a blender seemed a tad doubtful to me as well. I suppose I could try inserting small plugs in the bare patches in the Spring.

Can one mix moss families in the sam patch?

There are over 12,000 types of mosses in just one family (not the one I gave you!) Most of them need moisture, a cool temperature, and insects in their midst that do a variety of tasks. The problem with mixing mosses is that you may not have the environment or the available insects so their functions 'mesh.'

I'm referencing a link to a Penn State extension article on mosses in the Appalachian range (which doesn't apply to you, I know) which explains what a complex plant this group is. (I couldn't find a similar one for Maryland.) However, you might want to contact your local extension office to get information about harvesting native mosses to repopulate your yard. (Native plants always adapt better than imported ones!)

Good luck!

Actually, I though Campylium was a genus. In any case, I thought I was contacting my local extension office. I need the best advice to repopulate the moss garden slaughtered by the clumsy yard workers. It means a great deal to me and my partner.

Thank you for your question for eXtension. The Cooperative Extension office closest to you can be found at, drop in your zip code and choose the office that is most convenient for you. Perhaps they can give area specific advice, unlike the volunteer Master Gardeners from across the country who answer what questions we can.