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- Carpet Moss Carpet Moss-Mnium hornum Hardy Planting Zones- N.America Sun or Shade – Full Shade Mature Height - 1"-2" Mature Width- groundcover Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner
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Carpet moss is one of the most sought-after ground covers.
Both its vibrant green color and its soft texture (hence the name "carpet") make it a stand-out. A well-established bed of carpet moss is one of the closest things you will ever find to a natural picnic blanket: soft and comfortable to lie on, and resilient enough to take it. But they also form a beautiful counterpoint to rock gardens or tree groves. There is a long tradition of using carpet mosses in, for instance, Zen gardens: their smoothness and stillness impart a sort of tranquility which rustling grasses do not.
Descended from aquatic plants, mosses have no roots, and this allows them to grow over terrain that other plants cannot (such as solid rock faces).
In the wild, carpet moss tends to increase on stream beds, around trees, and among rocks. It prefers a relatively well-shaded and moist environment, though once established, carpet moss can tolerate a broader range of conditions. In particular, Hypnum species are not picky about their soil substrate: they can grow on a solid block of granite.
As a ground cover, carpet moss is often grown from "plugs" that are spaced out across the area intended to be covered. It is essential to thoroughly weed the field before the moss bed is fully established, and if possible to avoid disturbing it. While being established, carpet moss should be kept moist.
Carpet moss has some uses beyond the ground cover.
Historically, dried carpet mosses were once used as down, to stuff mattresses and pillows. More recently, carpet moss is used as a framing element in many flower arrangements. Still, more recently, tufts of carpet moss have been used as decorative elements in their right, formed into balls or set in bowls, bringing a little piece of Zen gardening inside your home.