Beachy Desktop Moss Garden

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By EcoCraft Contributor Amy from the blog The EcoCrafter

Moss gardens are a unique and easy houseplant. Moss is such a cool plant that many of us are not too familiar with. Making a moss garden lets you connect with nature and express your creativity while designing your garden with fun extras like shells and sea glass.

Since moss does well with less light than most other plants, moss gardens are a great addition to many places that other plants could not survive. They are a great way to add a touch of green to your desk or nightside table.

Collecting Moss

Moss can be purchased but I always get it from the wild. Moss is an extremely common plant with a large variety of species available in almost every landscape including urban areas. It is fun to explore the moss available in your own neighbourhood and it gives you a stronger connection to your moss garden.

When collecting moss from the wild look at rocks, trees (dead and alive), and the ground to find a variety of species. Some even grow up on branches in the trees. To collect simply pull off a portion of the moss patch. It is best to leave behind some of the moss so that the patch will continue to grow in the wild.

Clean wild moss by soaking it in water for a while. You can also give them a quick dip in a very mild bleach solution before planting. I used about half a teaspoon of bleach in this container of water.


  • Moss
  • Sea glass
  • Shells
  • Small stones
  • Screen (a small piece of plastic window screen works well)
  • Charcoal (available at garden centers or you can use small pieces of lump charcoal. DO NOT USE BRISKET CHARCOAL)
  • Potting soil
  • Planter

Moss Planter Ideas

Moss has very shallow roots making any little dish a good choice for a planter. I used a pretty white plant saucer for my moss garden. Be creative and see if you have something around your house that will work.

If you want to make a bigger moss garden here are two planters that would work well. The larger size of these planters allows for more creativity in the designs. You can fit in more types of moss and more decorative elements.

Oasis Containers Centerpiece Tray Snow

This plastic planter measures 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches and is 2 inches deep. It is the perfect size for a centrepiece moss garden.

Oasis Containers Double Bowl Snow

This plastic tray planter measures 10 1/4 x 4 5/8 inches and 2 inch deep. The long thin shape of this planter makes it a good choice for a window sill or coffee table centrepiece.


The first step of making a moss garden is filling the planter. So get your small rocks, screen and scissors, charcoal, and potting soil.

Cover the bottom of the planter with a layer of small rocks for drainage. This will give any excess water somewhere to drain into so that the soil won’t be water-logged. Cover the rocks with a piece of screen to help keep the charcoal and soil from falling between the rocks.

Add a thin layer of charcoal on top of the screen. This acts as a filter to help prevent mould and bacteria.

Add the potting soil pressing it down to hold it in place. You can mound the potting soil above the rim of the planter if you wish. Spray with water.

It is now time to plant the planter. Get the moss and decorative elements.

To plant the moss simply place it on the soil and press it in place. You can rip the moss into smaller pieces as needed. Moss gardens usually look best when mosses of the same type are grouped together. Arrange the moss and the decorative elements in any way that looks nice to you. Play with it until you get an arrangement you like.

Water your finished garden thoroughly.

Caring For A Moss Garden

Moss gardens like to stay quite damp. Although every type of moss has slightly different needs they generally need minimal light and need to be sprayed at least two times a day with a mist of water. Care can be reduced by covering the planter with a cloche to keep it moist.


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