preserved moss

Is Moss Alive?

We The #1 Most Common Question About Moss Walls

We Answer This and More

Many are looking to replicate the still, peacefulness of lush woodlands in our indoor spaces where we all spend the majority of our time. The big question is “How?” One increasingly popular but still widely unknown approach is Moss Walls. Having worked with moss for over 8 years, we are here to share what we have learned about moss walls, both live and preserved. 

Let’s start with an important fact: moss is not actually a plant, it is a species called bryophytes, which is a fancy way of saying they have no root system. Moss gets its needed moisture and nutrients directly from the air, and you can begin to understand why moss thrives in specific places around the world.

Although beautiful, the humidity or moisture necessary for moss to live and grow in is difficult to recreate indoors.
This brings us to what we feel is the best solution for the indoor world ….preserved moss. What is the difference between living moss and preserved moss? Scroll down to find out.

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Two Story Preserved Moss Wall for confidential client in Detroit, MI

Live Moss

To create conditions comfortable for humans and to prevent mold, we generally keep the humidity indoors down below what moss needs to survive. 

That being said, there are a few ways to compensate and make growing moss indoors possible. 
Using a terrarium or large jar that is mostly enclosed is one of the most common. By adding material to mimic the natural environment of moss – a plant or two, a small piece of live moss (which you can buy online) soil, and rock for it to grow on. You only need to mist it occasionally, ensure it has bright light and you will be able to see your moss slowly grow. 

This is incredibly rewarding! We all love to watch living things grow and develop and moss is no exception. The soft, green beauty of moss is universally attractive. 

moss terrarium
Terrariums are great individual projects, but maybe less so for businesses

If you are looking to grow a wall of moss indoors, this will take a quite bit more effort. Misters and supplemental light will be needed. This will add humidity to your space and, as with every water feature, there is maintenance required to prevent mineral buildup in the misters or on the surfaces. You will also need to remember to add water and prevent the system from losing power or failure. This level of maintenance is not desirable for the average person or business.

This brings us to the next best solutions….

PRESERVED MOSS

moss wall

However, there is a better and easier way: preserved moss. What’s so great about preserved moss?

  • Looks and feels like it’s living
  • Never needs to be watered
  • Doesn’t need soil or sunlight
  • Stays beautiful for years
  • Can be installed in any space
  • Acoustic benefits

Preserved moss is a wonderfully carefree alternative to live moss. How is this achieved?
The process to preserve the moss is interesting but labor-intensive. Initially, the moss or lichen is sustainably grown, then it is harvested by hand, put through the preservation process which replaces the internal “sap” with a solution that helps maintain its soft, pliable texture, and then it is dyed to replicate the natural colors of moss. The exact process is a highly protected industry secret that that very few a privy to. 

Once this is complete, the moss is stable and will last years with no need for care. It still looks and feels like soft living moss. The only things that will cause harm are UV rays, rain or excess water and mechanical damage like crushing or pulling forces.

GO Moss Live Walls Plants
We work with four types of preserved moss:
  • Pole/Bun Moss
  • Reindeer Moss
  • Flat Moss
  • Pillow Moss.
 While often categorized into the same group, Reindeer Moss is actually not a moss but a lichen. This is available in many different colors and can be used to create detailed imagery such as logos and geometric patterns, making it one of our most popular offerings.

There are no humidity requirements for preserved moss although the preserved lichen will get stiff if the relative humidity falls below 35% and will rehydrate on its own once the humidity bounces back. Its appearance does not change when dehydrated but will be significantly more brittle.

 If you live in an area with low humidity like the South Western US, we suggest leaning towards the preserved mosses, like pole moss or flat moss. If you do use the lichen (and many do) you can also occasionally mist the preserved lichen with a spray bottle if it’s important that the moss stays soft.

When dealing with preserved moss It is important to note the difference between preserved moss and dried moss, both are available. Dried moss is just as it seems and will fade and deteriorate over time. We don’t use dried moss and recommend that unless your project is for a one-time event that you avoid it as well.

GO Moss Projects2

The common reasons for these green moss walls are:

  • #1: A beautiful biophilic element
  • #2: Maintenance-free alternative to live plant walls
  • #3: No light or moisture requirements
  • #4: Incredible acoustic properties
  • #5: Make a green statement
  • #6: Lower-cost alternative to live walls
  • #7: Once installed no access is needed so these can be installed in hard to get to places

Preserved moss is now used extensively in interiors with the main use being space-beautifying moss walls, logo backdrops, etc.  A lesser known fact about moss is its extensive acoustic benefits. We have plenty of information in this section with our acoustic tiles.

By now we suspect you can see why we recommend preserved moss 99.9% of the time! We hope you have found this helpful, if we can answer any further questions please reach out – we would love to hear from you and of course, we would love to help create your beautiful next moss piece!

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