How to Build a Moss Wall: Tips and Tricks

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Modern living room with green vertical gardens, neutral furniture, vibrant plants, and a striking moss wall.

If you’ve ever been to a fashionable office or trendy restaurant, then it’s likely that you’ve encountered moss wall art. What’s more, if you saw that biophilic piece of art and wondered how feasible it would be to have one of your own, you’re not alone!

Moss walls exhibit color and texture that represent a connection to the natural world and can provide a colorful, soothing contrast to the muted hues that exist within most modern interiors. Aside from its prevalent aesthetic appeal, moss walls are also easy to make and can be incredibly low maintenance. In other words, your dreams of having your own moss wall are closer than you may have initially thought!

In this article, we’ll reveal how to build a moss wall using either preserved moss or living moss. We’ll address the differences between preserved moss and living moss and reveal what type of moss you should use for your moss wall. By the time you’ve finished reading our handy guide, you’ll know precisely how to turn an arrangement of moss into a stunning masterpiece.

What is a Moss Wall?

The first step to building a beautiful moss wall is to know what a moss wall actually is.

Moss walls, or moss panels, are forms of naturalistic wall decor that consist of bundles of preserved moss or living moss. Typically, you’d mount the bundles of moss onto steel panels, backing boards or a wooden frame.

Moss walls aren’t like other living green walls. They require virtually no maintenance; preserved moss walls don’t grow, and they don’t require light and water. Thus, preserved moss walls are a great way to incorporate biophilic designs into environments that don’t get a lot of sunlight.

On the other hand, living moss walls help to purify the surrounding air as they remove any existing toxins and replace them with fresh, clean oxygen.Overall, moss walls are perfect for essentially any environment, regardless of what kind of moss wall you wish to build. What’s more, both would look amazing in your home or office! The only decision needed to make is whether to create a living moss wall or a preserved moss wall.

Stylish living room with plush seating, fireplace, green walls, and sleek staircase, epitomizing contemporary design with inspiration for moss wall decor.

What is the Difference Between a Living Moss Wall and a Preserved Moss Wall?

Although we touched on some of the differences between living moss walls and preserved moss walls in the previous section, there are some other key distinctions between the two moss walls that need to be taken into consideration. The obvious difference is that preserved moss walls are no longer alive, while living moss walls are. Let’s look at some of the differences between preserved and living moss walls to help you choose the best type to suit your environment.

Characteristics of Preserved Moss Walls

  • Preserved moss walls are made of stabilized dead moss.
  • Preserved moss walls don’t need an irrigation infrastructure, meaning you can save a considerable amount of money as you won’t need to manage installation and watering costs.
  • Preserved moss walls require no maintenance as they don’t need watering or consistent exposure to light.
  • Preserved moss walls can retain their beauty for decades.
  • You can install preserved moss walls in every indoor setting, including dimly lit rooms.
  • Dyes can be added to moss walls during the preservation process, enabling you to experiment with a wide variety of colors.
  • Preserved moss walls can’t repair itself or regrow.
  • Preserved moss walls are inflammable.
  • Preserved moss walls can get damaged when they are in contact with water

Characteristics of Living Moss Walls

  • Living moss walls require consistent watering, upkeep, and ample exposure to light.
  • Living moss walls are more suitable for outdoor spaces and well-lit indoor environments.
  • Living moss walls purify the surrounding air.
  • Living moss walls can release pollen.
  • Living moss walls can survive up to 25 years with proper upkeep.
  • Living moss walls can self-repair and regrow.
  • Living moss walls are more resilient against harsh winds and environmental damage.
  • You can install living moss walls near bodies of water like water fountains without worrying about water damage.
  • Living moss walls are more expensive than preserved moss walls.

The Type of Moss You Should Use For Your Moss Wall

So, you’ve decided on the moss wall you’d like to build, and you’re almost ready to get started. However, there is another decision you must make before you grab your hot glue and moss frame.

Decide what type of moss you’d like to use for your moss wall. You may be surprised to know that there are over 12,000 species of moss!  However, to make it easier to choose, we have listed six that we think are the best types to create your moss wall:

  1. Sheet Moss: Sheet moss appears as dense, soft, carpet-like mats on forest floors and can exhibit dark green or yellowish-green hues depending on the nature of their habitat.
  2. Reindeer Moss: Reindeer moss sports a greyish-green color and light, delicate branches growing in cushiony tufts. Reindeer moss is also drought-tolerant.
  3. Cushion Moss: Cushion moss grows to form a dome shape as it grows in short, dense clumps. Cushion moss also exhibits a luscious green color that evokes feelings of peace and comfort.
  4. Mood Moss: The leaves of mood moss flaunt a distinctive curvature and coarse, wool-like textures. Like sheet moss, mood moss also has a dark green or yellowish-green hue, depending on its habitat.
  5. Fern Moss: As expected, fern moss has a similar appearance to bright, small ferns. Their leaves have a triangular shape and sprout small, thread-like branches.
  6. Bun Moss: Like cushion moss, bun moss adheres to a dome-like growth habit. Cushion moss also forms dense clusters of greyish-green leaves.

As you can see, moss is an incredibly versatile material, and each species has distinct qualities that will influence the overall aesthetic of your chosen environment.

At this stage, consider which types of moss will help you bring your biophilic vision to life. Once you have made your decision, you’ll need to acquire the appropriate equipment and materials.

Moss wall evokes tranquility in cozy dusk bedroom with soft-lit bed, wooden panels, and green plants.

Your DIY Moss Wall: Materials You’ll Need

Before starting to assemble your DIY moss wall, ensure you have the following materials and equipment ready to use:

  • A frame, panel or a wall. Remember that if you use live moss, make sure your frame is in a position that will allow ample light to reach your moss.
  • A backing board for your frame.
  • Preserved or live moss.
  • A spray bottle if you’re using live moss.
  • Scissors. Floral scissors are essential for precise cutting and trimming during the assembly process.
  • Wood glue or a staple gun if you’d prefer.
  • A hot glue gun.
  • Wood stain (optional).
  • Additional accessories like spiderwood, dried twigs or sponge mushrooms.
Minimalist scene: blank frame, candle holder on clean tabletop.

How to Make a Moss Wall: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have all of the necessary materials, it’s time to start building your dream moss wall.

Below, we’ve provided a handy, step-by-step guide that explains how to make a moss wall:

1. Planning Your Moss Wall

Start by choosing where you want to site your moss wall and envisage how you want the finished project to look. Then, take into consideration the following points:

  1. How big will my moss wall be?
  2. What shape will my moss wall be?
  3. Which room will I put my moss wall in?
  4. What types, colors, and textures of moss do I want to use?

Once you’ve answered those questions, it is essential to consider the weight of your moss wall and whether the chosen site will be suitable.

Tip: Generally, one pound of moss will cover three square feet.

Take time to plan how you want to arrange the moss within the frame as once glued down, it will be difficult and messy to rearrange.

2. Preparing Your Frame

Now it’s time to prepare your frame. For a preserved moss wall, you can use plywood as a backing board to attach to your frame. For a living moss wall, you should use a soil-less garden wall kit.

Next, pour the glue onto your backing board and distribute it evenly. If you’ve chosen to use a flat panel, we suggest that you cover the border with some masking tape to avoid any spills.

Tip: If you’ve purchased wood stain, now is the time to use it to change the color of your wooden frame to your liking.

3. Arranging Your Focal Hardscape Elements

If you want to use hardscape elements like small rocks or preserved twigs, now is the time to start placing them on your backing board.

Although you can place rocks into your moss wall at any point, we recommend that if you use preserved twigs or fragments of driftwood, you add those after the moss. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to ensure the surface under the twigs is completely covered.

Tip: Use a glue spreader to ensure the glue covers the edges of any rocks or twigs so that they will stick.

4. Adding Your Moss

Now it’s time to add your moss!

We recommend that, if possible, you use an array of moss with varying sizes, textures, and colors to add some visually intriguing depth to your moss wall.

Place your largest pieces of moss in first and use your smaller pieces of moss as fillers that will add some contrast to your wall.

Then, gently nudge the base of your moss once every bunch has been glued down to ensure the glue has covered all of the backing board.

5. Incorporating Any Finishing Touches

Step back from your masterpiece and see if you can locate any gaps. They will be easy to spot as you’ll see a visible sheen of any areas of uncovered glue.

Once you’re happy with the coverage and have filled any gaps, you can now add any additional accessories like the sponge mushrooms we mentioned earlier.

6. Hanging Up Your Frame

Before you hang up your frame, be sure that the glue has been set properly. In order to be certain that your moss wall is secure, lay something flat and heavy on top of it for 24 hours.

The following day,  check your moss wall to make sure it’s secure, and then you can hang up your masterpiece, sit back, and marvel at its beauty.

A DIY Living Moss Wall: Maintenance

As we mentioned earlier, a preserved moss wall requires virtually no upkeep. However, a DIY living moss wall is a different story.

We want you to enjoy your living moss wall for as long as possible, so below, we have arranged a list of useful tips to help you maintain your moss wall.

  1. Place your living moss wall in bright but indirect sunlight.
  2. Regularly mist your living moss wall with distilled water or rainwater to ensure it can thrive in the right humidity levels. Make sure it’s dry before you spritz it again.
  3. Use fertilizer or compost tea sparingly throughout the year to enrich the moss with essential nutrients.
Lively vertical garden: assorted green mosses create lush mosaic.

How to Build a Moss Wall: Final Thoughts

Moss walls, both preserved and living, can make either a bold statement or a tranquil focal point within any environment. Whether you wish to enhance your living space with an arrangement of bun moss or create a tranquil workspace with an assortment of fern moss, moss wall art will elevate the aesthetic value of any setting.

When it comes to how to build a moss wall, our guide will help you create an endless range of gorgeous moss walls.

So, it’s time to use our guide and get creative! Embrace your inner green thumb, and, most importantly, don’t forget to tag us on social media so that we can see your stunning moss-filled masterpieces! For more tips related to gardening, feel free to check out our blogs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Our most frequently asked questions regarding moss wall art. 

1. Do moss walls attract bugs?

For preserved moss walls, you’ll never have to worry about attracting insects. Insects are attracted to the moisture and soil in plants, so you should never encounter any pests around your preserved moss wall. Living moss walls may encounter odd bugs from time to time. 

2. Can a moss wall survive winter?

Yes, your moss wall will endure even the harshest of winters. Certain plants like liverworts and moss undergo a process called Poikilohydry, which enables them to enter a dormant state when their habitat doesn’t/can’t support their growth.

3. Can you put a moss wall in a bathroom?

Yes, and what’s more, a bathroom would be the best place for a moss wall! This is an abundance of existing moisture in a bathroom, which makes it an ideal environment for live moss. 

4. Does moss wall art smell?

If you’ve just removed the packaging from your fresh moss, you may notice a strong, earthy smell. Don’t be alarmed; this smell will stick around for, at most, the first three weeks after installation. After this point, it will lose its scent as it acclimatizes to its new surroundings.

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