How to Identify Lawn Moss


Many homeowners see moss as a pest that they need to get rid of. Others enjoy the moss and the romantic look that it gives a property. Whether you like moss or not, one thing is for sure. Moss is very distinctive. It reproduces rapidly by releasing spores, or by breaking off into smaller pieces. Mowing the lawn will not get rid of the of moss, but you can remove it with a rake and a little muscle.

Step 1

Dig a patch of the suspected moss up with a garden shovel. Digging should be easy if the moss is true moss. Look at the underside of the patch. If you do not see any roots, you are likely looking at a patch of lawn moss.

Step 2

Look at the patch you dug up and see if there are any flowers or seeds. If there are, you are not looking at a patch of moss. Moss does not need a flower or seed to reproduce.

Step 3

Examine the patch for lobed or segmented leaves that have veins. Lawn moss will not have either of these. Moss will simply be the clumping together of tiny little soft green plants. Together they will form what is called a mat.

Step 4

Measure the height of the suspected moss. True lawn moss grows low to the ground and will not grow higher than 4 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shovel
  • Ruler


  • Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides: Pesticide-Free Techniques for Dealing with a Mossy Lawn
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Lawn Moss: Friend or Foe?
Keywords: lawn moss, moss identification, characteristics of moss

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.