How long for moss to grow from 'slurry'?

autumnAugust 26, 2006

I have been wanting to make a moss "slurry" from existing moss, buttermilk and water to spread over the rocks in my stream and pond area. How long will it take to start to look like moss? I am having a party at my home next weekend (8 days from now)...will it take longer than a week? I don't mind if it's not 100%, I just don't want it to look like a gooey mess still...

Thanks for your help

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deep_woods(z5 central IL)


Love the name! Sorry eight days is probably not enough time to grow the moss on rocks. I should have FAQS: Propagation done shortly. I need the Labor Day weekend to catch up on many things.

Moss slurries are highly variable. The moss may or may not respond that quickly and much depends on keeping the moss slurry misted. If you notice a green "algae" growing in or on the slurry this is moss in its' "embryonic state" called protonema. These algal-like strands will develop into the moss leaves and plantlets.

Sometimes the chopped moss doesn't revert to the protonema stage but just starts growing in place. Again depends on the moss and also how finely chopped up it gets in the blender.

What kind of rocks are you going to grow the moss on?


    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 8:57AM
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Thanks Rick. I don't know what kind of rocks I have...never been good at identifying rocks. Some of them do have moss starting to grow on them naturally, though, so I figured they'd be good candidates. I ended up not making the slurry and just collected some moss I found growing on rocks and placed it on my rocks. But it looks just like that...placed! Do you think it will take over and spread, or am I better off with making a slurry or chopping it up?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 9:29PM
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deep_woods(z5 central IL)


Since you found the moss growing on different rocks and have transplanted it to the rocks you have and these rocks were already growing moss..... then a couple questions.

The moss you found growing on other rocks was it adhering to them or was this moss growing in a natural depression of the rock where soil collected and then moss grew on top of the soil? Moss can grow one of two ways on rocks: A) the moss is attached physically to the rock and has no soil between it and the rock. This kind of rock moss can be hard to pull off the rock becasue the moss' tiny rhizoids are wedged into minute rock crevices. You end up scraping the moss off the rock and have little more than scraps of moss in your hand.
Or B) was there soil/dirt et al under the moss and you could lift the moss off the soil/rock? These seem like silly questions but true rock moss only grows on rock by physically attaching to the rock. True rock moss will die if you try to grow it on soil. To take true rock moss and transfer it to another rock means glueing the true rock moss to the new rock. Use elmers glue or silicone glue. True rock moss also can be picky about the rocks it will grow on. Generally true rock mosses like acidic rocks like granite and sandstone but there are some rock mosses that like shale and limestone which are rocks with a higher or "basic" pH.

If your rock moss was just growing on dirt/debris and not attached to the soil then this moss may not like being attached to rocks but instead needs to have something under it like dirt.

Simpler (and better) explanation. Mist the moss daily with rainwater or distilled water and in hot weather two to three times per day. Do this for six weeks. Fertilize rock mosses with 1/10 strength acidic fertilzer solution once every three weeks. Since you are committed to making this moss work with these rocks this daily misting will give your moss the best chance. I hope to finish Moss Propgation posting then a better description for rock mosses called Moss On the Rocks.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 4:01PM
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I am doing a science fair prodject and we live where ther is lots of rocks. me and my friend want to do a prodject on moss and buter milk. the science fair is coming up and I dont know if we have enough time to start the prodject. what do you think?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 6:16PM
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deep_woods(z5 central IL)


What is the date for the science project?


    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 8:09PM
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I just finished spreading blended moss and milk on a log and i wanted to know how long it will take to look like moss? I will spray it regulary and it is in my bedroom. When will it grow???

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 2:05PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

It probably won't grow well indoors...if at all.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 4:18PM
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Milk on a log in your Bedroom? Um, inside or out that is going to be one rancid, stenchy mold magnet!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 3:13AM
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I wanted to make a slurry to put in patches on the birch wood wedding arch I'm making. The wedding is in 5 weeks, is that enough time in general or do you know of a species that would grow in that amount of time?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:16PM
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People, I think it safe to say, that unless you have fabulous conditions, expect decent results in SEASONS...not weeks. It will be weeks before you see ANY results.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:30AM
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