|Moss collected from outside with hairs etc.|
You might be thinking "why wash moss at all"? The gist of it is - rinse your moss out with some water and remove any trash or oversized pebbles, etc. By rinsing the moss you are "waking it up" a bit and getting the root parts more exposed. Also, one of the most frustrating aspects of terrarium-keeping can be the arrival of mold or the appearance of pests in your terrarium.
You can take preventative action to minimize the development of mold and insects on your moss by rinsing it off with water, removing debris and quarantining it before planting it in a terrarium arrangement. Washing is especially important if you collect moss from the wild (i.e. the forest or the city sidewalk).
Let's go over this idea in two steps. Today I will cover washing moss and my next post will cover how you can quarantine moss and other plants.
1. Gather your materials for washing moss:
- harvested moss
- a bowl or tub of water
- a tray or plate with paper towels on which you can lay the rinsed moss out to drain and dry
2. Break the moss into manageable pieces and gently press on the moss with your fingers to identify and remove any foreign objects (i.e. gravel, insects, hairs, bits of trash or plastic).
|Rinsing off moss|
|Washed moss drying off|
4. Place your moss chunk on a tray or paper towel to allow it to drip-drain a bit.
5. Repeat process for all your moss pieces. If your bowl of water gets very muddy replace it with fresh water.
6. Once the moss pieces have sufficiently dried off (30 minutes or so) quarantine the moss for a few days or longer before you plant it in your terrarium. (See instructions on how to quarantine moss and plants here.) If you are feeling loose and fast you can plant the moss in your terrarium once it is dry enough to manage.