Important note: Do not collect wild moss, as this degrades natural habitats. Instead, we encourage you to try the easy propagation methods below for two common spreading moss varieties.
Dicranum scoparium, Rock Cap Moss, is readily visible in the woods, quite literally capping the tops and sides of rocks or logs and stumps. You might also find it colonizing thin, infertile and somewhat dry soil. This moss has a vivid emerald green color during winter and spring. It’s a natural spreader, too. You can encourage this moss to spread if you have it already growing on a rock outcropping by use of an electric leaf blower on low speed to remove leaves and other detritus. Then sprinkle little bits of the moss on the exposed rock to encourage colonization. Any weeds or small weed trees can be hand removed.
Polytrichum commune, Haircap Moss, grows around the world in acidic soils in either full sun or light shade. Individual stems resemble small conifers when examined closely. This gently spreading moss is appealing and easy, as its shallow rhizoids help knit individual clumps together and block out most weeds. Blades of grass can be the most frequent invader that may be best removed using tweezers! Or hand weed following rain when the moss has dried out a bit. If you disturb too much of the moss when weeding, simply scatter pieces of it into nearby areas that you want to colonize, as it will quickly fill in gaps.