Fairy Garden Moss Information Preserved moss for enchanted spaces
Preserved moss is commonly used in fairy gardens due to its everlasting quality, range of colours, availability and whimsical appearance. It doesn’t require water or soil, yet it can turn a dull space into a vibrant, lush oasis!
Preserved moss is magical stuff, but what exactly is it and where does it come from?
What is preserved moss?
Preserved moss is real, harvested moss. It undergoes a special preservation process that retains its texture, quality and colour. Our moss is ethically and sustainably sourced from moss farms.
It is maintenence-free, requiring no water or soil and perfect for enhancing the landscape of fairy gardens, terrariums and interior green projects.
Our fairy garden moss kits contain three types of preserved moss
Reindeer moss is type of lichen, a fascinating unification of two species (fungus and algae) that is native to the nordic forests.
Its natural colour is a greyish-white and grows in expansive, segmented mats up to 10cm tall.
The name Reindeer Moss comes from both its appearance and purpose. As it grows, delicate branch like tips appear that resemble reindeer horns. It also accounts for up to 90% of the winter diet for reindeer and caribou in the arctic region.
Fun fact: Reindeer moss cannot survive in polluted regions and it is used as an indicator species to assess the cleanliness and quality of the air.
Spanish moss has swirly tendrils that are silvery grey and tend to mat together.
Technically, it’s not a moss. It’s a bromeliad which goes by the fancy name of Tillandsia usneoides and is native to the Americas. Spanish moss thrives in humid, shady areas and generally lives on tree branches where it can catch the breeze.
Fun fact: Not only is it not a moss, but it’s not spanish either! Apparently, the native Americans told French explorers that it was called “itla-okla” meaning tree hair. The French likened it to the Spanish conquistadors’ long beards, calling it Barbe Espagnol, and the Spanish took exception to this so the fired back by calling itCabello Francés, or “French Hair.” The French won this epic battle and it’s now commonly known as Spanish Moss.
Sheet moss has a consistant, flat appearance, dense texture. It’s a low-growing type of carpet moss and has a natural green marbled colour.
It grows all around the world, thriving in shaded areas with damp soil and its fancy name is Hypnum Cupresiforme.
Fun fact: Long ago, sheet moss was used as a mattress filling and pillow covering. The hypnum part of its fancy name is a play on the Greek work hypno, meaning sleep. In the middle ages, people covered stone slabs with moss upon which they slept with fires and bedclothes for warmth. Birds line their nests with it and animals hibernate under it so its name is particularly apt!
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of garden is preserved moss best suited to?
You'll achieve magical results with indoor gardens, especially if you prefer low/no maintence gardening or changing the landscape often. Preserved moss works especially well in gardens where artificial plants are used. You can also use it in outdoor gardens by following the tips below.
Should I water it and will it grow?
Preserved reindeer moss is not alive and does not require water. Watering preserved moss will shorten its lifespan and potentially cause mould to appear. It could also cause colours to run or transfer. Preserved moss will not grow.
Can I use it in a garden with live plants?
Sheet moss can be used in the same garden as live plants. Real plants require water and the sheet moss will help retain moisture in the soil, so it is important that you pair it with plants that thrive in this type of environment. (i.e. don't pair it with plants that enjoy dry, well drained soil)
Reindeer and spanish moss are ok for use with live plants, however they should be removed when watering, then replaced.
What is the difference between preserved and dried moss?
Preserved moss had undergone a process to retain its qualities and enhance its colour, giving it everlasting properties. Dried moss is dormant and will begin to grow again when rehydrated. We only stock preserved moss.
What is the difference between standard and wet use sheet moss?
Standard Preserved Sheet Moss works well as a pot topper in flat areas. Wet Use Preserved Sheet Moss is denser than standard preserved sheet moss. Dunk it in cold water and squeeze out the excess. Wet sheets can be moulded to line hanging baskets, contoured over hobbit-style fairy houses and other non-flat surfaces that you wish to enhance. Where sheet moss is included in a kit/bundle on our website, it will be standard type. Wet use moss is available for purchase in individual packs only.
Is preserved moss safe to use?
Preserved moss is recognised as safe for normal usage. Moss is thorougly cleaned and the preserving and colouring treatments are non-toxic. Mosses are fumigated upon entry to Australia.
How is moss preserved?
The preserving process begins with cleaning the moss of debris. It is then dyed and subjected to heat which allows proper dye absorption. It is cooled and put through another heat treatment before being packed.