How To Make a Japanese Moss Garden


Are you a fan of fairytales, enchantment, and wonderlands? Do you want to create a feeling of magic or garden ecstasy in your home? A Japanese moss garden can make a space feel like you have entered a different realm. Creative pots in strategic placements all over a house will bring out your artistic nature craving side without much effort.

This article is all about teaching how to make and care for a Japanese moss garden indoors.

What Is A Japanese Moss Garden?

Japanese moss garden gets its name from being an essential and common element in Japan. Moss is a symbol of age, harmony, and tradition; its presence in a garden must be celebrated and well kept, well at least that is what is to be expected in Japan.

Moss can be an overtaking plant if not maintained. It thrives in the shade of trees, rocks, hills, valleys, and around water sources. In the US or other countries, where moss is not sacred, some believe it to be a nuisance plant, killing gardens and overtaking land.

Moss gardens are of a mixture of different types of moss’; the staple mosses typically found in an authentic Japanese moss garden are Sugi-goke, Hai-goke, and Suna-goke. However, for your indoor moss garden, you can replicate the beauty of a natural Japanese moss garden with mosses like Sphagnum, Hypnaceae, Fern, Feather, Java, Star, Cushion, and Sheet moss.

What Is Moss?

Moss are spore reproducing non-vascular plants that form into small groups. The tiny plant groups that make up moss are powerhouses for absorbing nutrients, water and for harvesting sunlight and carbon dioxide. The nutrients and minerals moss absorb through their leaves can be used by applying moss to package food, insulate homes, maintain gardens, and even as fuel sources.

How To Make a Japanese Moss Garden?

Creating indoor Japanese moss gardens can be as simple as one container full of moss or as intricate as rooms full of plants draped with moss. The options for a moss garden are endless. Imagine the look of a large Bonsai tree covered in a bed of moss in a bathroom for a spa-like feel. Think about a moss wall in a sitting area, undoubtedly a conversation starter during gatherings. Or even as simple as a moss terrarium dominating a dining room centerpiece eye-catcher.

How To Care for An Indoor Japanese Moss Garden?

Moss is a simple plant. They don’t ask for much and yet, give so much in return. Moss is a no root system. It absorbs sunlight, nutrients, and water through the leaves rather than roots.

Japanese moss garden dos and don’ts checklist:

  • DO provide your moss garden with ample amounts of light.
  • DONT worry about fertilizer.
  • DO water moss regularly.
  • DO maintain high humidity levels.
  • DONT stress over soil since moss does not need it.

Moss Moisture Requirements

Japanese moss gardens have two crucial elements that will ensure they thrive indoors. One of these requirements for optimal growth is humidity and watering. Moss loves water, but overwatering is possible. The goal for watering is to keep the moss leaves, medium, or soil moist to touch yet, not overly saturated and swimming in water.

It is ideal to check moss gardens daily to see if watering is needed. If your moss grows in individual pots, check the medium daily before watering. If soil is moist to touch, do not water again; instead, mist the leaves thoroughly with a spray bottle. Misting will help keep humidity levels up without allowing your plant to become overly saturated.

Some experts prefer growing moss in enclosed clear containers. Open the containers twice monthly for roughly 30 minutes, allowing the moss to breathe and preventing mold growth. When using closed containers, only water twice weekly and mist daily with this method. Directly after misting, it is necessary to close the moss container for the best moisture absorption and keep humidity levels up.


Sunlight is the second crucial ingredient to a thriving Japanese moss garden. Moss gardens can grow in low light, but they need a minimum of two hours of bright indirect light daily. Moss prefers to receive sunlight from the early morning sun, making the windows that first touch light during the day the best homes from moss gardens. If your moss garden is too large for a window or cannot provide the few hours of sunlight required, consider adding grow lights on timers for healthy indoor Japanese moss gardens.


Soil is not crucial for moss growth. Moss can grow in water, on rocks, pebbles, wood, or in soil. Pebbles or rocks are often the media of preference among plant experts when growing moss indoors.

Terrarium Moss Gardens

Terrariums are like fish tanks, but instead of being for fish, they are for plants. They are miniature greenhouses that can be giant or countertop small. Terrariums will let you create personal forest indoors. Many gardeners like terrariums because they help stabilize moisture levels, humidity, and temperature compared to average potted plants.

Terrariums are perfect for growing many types of plants indoors; if you opt only to grow a Japanese moss garden in your terrarium, it is deemed a mossarium. A room dedicated to growing moss is called a mossaria. To create your mossarium, you will need to get a sealed or closed terrarium.

Creating A Moss Terrarium

After finding your sealed terrarium with a removable lid and picking your moss of choice, it is time to set up your terrarium.

First, lay the landscape. Moss needs something to hold on to or to grow too. Use sticks, rocks, plastics, wood, or ceramics to create a landscape. Get creative because this can be whatever you want your moss to cling onto.

Second, add your moss. Start by laying moss around the terrarium. If using different moss types, get creative with the placement.

Next, if your terrarium doesn’t come equipped with a growth light, add one above your forest-like creation.

Last, mist your terrarium consistently. Terrariums are fantastic for regulating temperatures and keeping moisture levels up but become adamant about misting your moss regularly, especially while adapting to the new environment.

Indoor Moss Garden Benefits

Moss are living organisms, and while to some, they are considered a unique standalone plant to have, they reap health benefits to gardeners. It will absorb air pollutants and filter them into carbon dioxide and water to purify the air indoors.

Moss has calming tendencies for people. It is not only beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to look at, but it is proven to boost moods and create a sense of peace for those nearby.

Wrapping Up

Indoor Japanese moss gardens are additions every gardener should have, cherish, and enjoy reaping decor and health benefits.


Moss is an excellent additive to other plants. Moss does not absorb nutrients through its roots, which means it will not fight with other plants for nutrient absorption. Many gardeners add moss to plants to help retain moisture and nutrients for the other foliage. You can create a terrarium that has moss and other plants, creating a private forest. Moss may grow up or overgrow some plant types, so monitoring it and trimming may be necessary, but aside from that, moss will not harm other plant life rather be a beneficial additive.

The aesthetics of moss is a significant reason why many people decide to add it to their indoor gardens. There are other benefits, though; adding moss indoors is a great way to have natural air purification. Moss will remove air pollutants and filter them into water, removing them from the air you breathe.

In Japan, where moss gardens thrive in their natural environment, they are formed from Sugi-goke, Hai-goke, and Suna-goke moss. To replicate a moss garden indoors, you can use Sphagnum, Hypnaceae, Fern, Feather, Java, Star, Cushion, and Sheet moss.

There is no best way to grow moss indoors. If you provide it with the essential elements it needs to thrive, you will successfully have a moss garden. The way you choose to grow a moss garden is a personal preference. You can create a moss wall, add moss to existing plants, have an indoor mossarium, or have a sea of individual moss pots.

Not at all. Japanese moss gardens can be simple or intricate decor designs, but the care is relatively simple no matter the growth placement. Moss gardens do not care about their soil or fertilizer, and they are not testy plants. However, moss needs two to three hours daily of bright indirect sunlight and needs plenty of water and moisture. If provided the sunlight it needs, if the soil or media is allowed to remain moist, and if humidity levels are kept high, a moss garden will flourish indoors.


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