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What Is "Moss Rock"?

By Christine McLachlan ; Updated September 21, 2017
Moss naturally covers rocks along cold water streams and waterfalls.

Moss rock is a type of sandstone or flagstone, usually with brown and red undertones, that is covered with moss. It is commonly used within garden pavers, water features and landscape walls. Rocks used to make moss rock are harvested from quarries nationwide; however, each area will produce products that vary in composition and appearance. Large harvested blocks of moss rock are chopped up in varying sizes and shapes. When purchasing moss rock, some moss will be present. Over time, more moss will develop on rocks that are properly maintained and positioned.

Landscape Use

Moss rock is a low-maintenance construction material. Elements constructed with moss rock easily blend into the outdoors. In addition, moss rock provides a visual sense of establishment and permanence to even the newest construction. It is frequently used to construct outdoor garden features, such as freestanding or retaining walls. The varying color, pattern of moss and size of the rocks provides versatility and rustic character to the landscape.

Do-It-Yourself Moss Rock

It is possible to mimic the look of moss rocks or accelerate the growth of additional moss on rocks. Start by stirring together a handful of porcelain clay with water to form a paste-like consistency. Combine this mixture with a cup of undiluted fish emulsion and fresh, shredded mulch. Carefully paint this mixture on rocks, clay pots, concrete or other hard surfaces in your garden that you wish to cover with moss.

Promoting Moss Growth

Moss thrive in cool, shady, north-facing locations. They require humid conditions. Moss will tolerate some temperature and moisture fluctuations without any permanent damage. Be aware, however, that during extended periods of time characterized by excessively hot or dry conditions, moss will go dormant and turn brown. In most cases, the return of more moderate temperature and rains will restore the color and health of moss. Mist moss periodically if or when humidity levels are low.

Alternative Options

Artificial moss rock, which replicates the natural look of moss rock, is a more viable option for indoor locations that lack humidity. Artificial moss rock can form an attractive indoor feature wall or fireplace mantle. It is also available in veneer form, which is considerably lighter-weight and less expensive than natural rock moss. It can be enhanced with a stain to match an existing surface.

 

About the Author

 

Christine McLachlan has been writing professionally since 2010. Before starting an e-commerce business, she worked as an urban planner/landscape designer for five years. Mrs. McLachlan has a Bachelor of Science in English and political science, as well as a Master of Science in urban planning, from Florida State University. In addition, she holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida.