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Moss Wall Hangings? Answered

There are patches of that verdant velvet known as moss all around my neighborhood and I'd like to propagate some of it indoors. I was wondering if I could make some kind of wall hanging on which to grow moss. Here are some of the ideas I've brainstormed without a lot of details because I haven't got them. That's what I need you for. Please respond with your suggestions. 1. Cover a frame (I have one that I took a canvas off of) with pond liner (or waterproof roofing paper if I don't have to buy a lot of it), laying channels of organic peat or coir fiber (coconut peat) on top of it and laying a mixture of cheap driveway sealant and the same peat on top of that (with just enough sealant to hold it together, with one end of the channels exposed for watering. 2. Some kind of hypertufa wall hanging that is waterproof on the back with hollow channels inside for watering. I'm not too keen on this idea as making hypertufa seems like a long and difficult process, what with all the drying and curing. Also cement isn't very environmentally-friendly. 3. Some rocks, peat, coir, mulch or some combination thereof sandwiched between a layer of wire mesh and some kind of hard waterproof (or waterproofed) backing. I could start this out horizontally if need be so the moss would help to hold it in.


What about using one of those large acrylic box frames as a holder? You know, remove the guts of it and use it as a shallow tray type thing to hold your stuff.

I'll look out for one of these at thrift stores or Big Lots. I'd have to see the whole thing to figure out how I might use it.

You remind me of the work of a French artist(?) Patric Blanc who has a 'living wall' concept. It is fantastic. www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com has some pictures. Essentially this is a metal frame with a PVC waterproof side and a thick felt side. The plants are watered from above with a mix of water and fertilizer. It's hydroponic gardening but at 90 degress. You might try that instead of moss, as regular houseplant types are probably a good deal easier to grow.

Yes, I've seen his website. His living walls are gorgeous! He has a book coming out about how to make them. My local library will be getting it when it comes out on my request and reserving it for me. For now, however, I'm looking for something low tech, uncomplicated and inexpensive that I can just water by filling or spraying. Update: it occurred to me recently that moss might grow on weed barrier fabric with some peat moss behind it and that the fabric could be attached to something flat and waterproof at the edges. I'm going to do some tests to see how it does like this just on a plastic plate.

I get the dry clay in bulk from the health food store. Bentonite or green clay will work. Or if you live in a clayey area like I do, dig some up and use it. The clay is an adhesive for the mix to stick to the surface and holds water. I would think you could mount it on some sort of styrofoam piece to make it water proof on the back against the wall. You could use grout and make a mosaic of unglazed tiles or pottery pieces. Or just grout. Don't be afraid to make some hypertufa! It's a piece of work , no doubt, but it is so fun to work with and very light weight Moss grows right on hypertufa. I add oyster shell to mine and it is beautiful (as cement gets!) wonderful to work with! The asphalt tiles might work too. We have moss growing on ours! I also take the moss off the cordwood we get. I place the mossy bark right in around my plants in a terrarium and in a pot of their own. I LOVE moss too! I want a moss floor! Remember, moss likes to face the north. HAVE FUN!

I have some hydrated bentonite I suppose I could use, but I think I want to try the guar gum thing first. It should perform the same functions. We'll see. I have some plastic mesh bags from produce I saved. Maybe I can melt one to the edges of some plastic and adhere some pieces of porous pottery onto it and grout it. It sounds like you're a hypertufa pro! Maybe you'd like to post an instructable on it (hint, hint). I may try making a hypertufa wall hanging or use a hypertufa mortar as grout for one now that I know I don't have to use vermiculite or reinforcing fibers and I already have the ingredients. I may use the plastic and mesh idea on that too.


10 years ago

Looks like there are a bunch of useful pages out there on the interwubs on growing mosses. Google "moss recipe" for a good start.

Some of the common elements seem to be that the moss needs a fairly acidic and moist environment (which explains the beer+sugar or buttermilk recipes), and that it takes patience - up to 1-2 years to see optimal results.

Ah. So that's why beer or buttermilk. 1-2 years?! I better get started!

On the US cable TV show Trading Spaces, the interior designer covered an entire bedroom with moss. Reaction from the clients and the internet was that it was a bad mistake. Seems there is a swamp-like quality to having it indoors on a large scale. I guess you'll have to see if it works out pleasantly or not. Good luck.

Thanks for the tip. I searched the internet for a picture of this moss room of which you speak and found one here. I liked it, but maybe it looked different on the show. I saw some people's comments about that episode and you're right; a lot of them HATED it. One person called the designer a spacey hippie chick. Maybe that's why I like it. I'm a bit of a spacey hippie myself.

Get an old blender. add some moss, a little water, a spoonful of yogurt and a pinch of dry clay. Blend thoroughly and 'paint' onto pots, walls, rocks-anything you want to grow moss. The yogurt feeds the moss and the clay helps it hold onto the surface. I love moss too! I have a moss rock on my kitchen counter. Good luck! Have fun!

Thanks, though I'm thinking of using the recipe in the moss bombs instructable as it's vegan (aside from the possible use of clarifying agents that I'm not especially concerned about) and cheap. I would add guar gum to thicken it and hopefully help it to stick to surfaces better. What does the dry clay do? Where do you get it?

I'm more interested in figuring out what I can "paint" this mixture on that I could hang on an interior wall without getting the wall wet when I water it, preferably something light weight. Borrowing from your suggestion of pots and rocks, perhaps some kind of porous floor or patio tile or some rocks or stones attached to some kind of board and grouted. I would just water this with a mister. Any ideas as to what kind of tile or board and how I would waterproof the back and attach it to the wall? These would be heavy, but I could make several small ones or use more than one hook to compensate for that.

I'd still like people's thoughts on the driveway sealant and peat idea. We need to seal our driveway (probably with premium stuff). I also found some asphalt shingles in the garage. I don't know how I could incorporate them into a design, but maybe someone reading this does. I've seen moss growing vertically at the edge of a parking lot surface and on this black (asphalt?) stuff I've seen used to fill cracks in sidewalks. That's what I'm trying to imitate without it being too heavy, thick or expensive. Though perhaps it had to age or degrade quite a bit before it grew moss.