sudden appearance of moss in flower garden

Asked March 14, 2019, 10:19 AM EDT

So surprised to see small patches of moss growing in flower bed. First time this has happened in 50 years. Growing in shaded spot. What is best way to deal with this? Think it best to remove patches. What is cause? Used to garden myself. Hard to do now. Mulch was put down last year. Could this be cause in addition to so much rain. Usually do not mulch my gardens. Thinking of not having it done this year. Thanks for your help.

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Moss is native and considered a beautiful groundcover. If you don't need to have mulch, you can leave it as a groundcover around beds of shrubs or other ornamental plants.

Moss moves in when other plants (typically grass) thins and dies. Moss tolerates what grass cannot: dense shade, low pH (acid soil), compacted soil, wet soil, and low fertility. If you don't want it to grow, you would have to change the underlying soil conditions. We are seeing a lot of questions about moss now due to the high amount of rainfall last year.

This is a good publication about moss from the Virginia Cooperative Extension.