Growing moss between stepping stones

Dear David, a.k.a. Moss Rock,

How do I get moss to grow between the stepping stones. I have flagstone. I have shaded it from about 60% of the sun, watered it regularly and added sulfur to the soil. I get a little moss and some lichen, but I want more moss.  And what do you suggest for zone 8?


Dear Jenn,

The secret is out, growing moss takes only watering. Mosses are extremely drought tolerant, so they don’t need water to survive, but they do need water to grow. Mosses only perform photosynthesis when they are hydrated, otherwise they happily remain dormant until moisture returns.

The key to establishing moss anywhere is to water.  As to how much and when, see our blog post on watering mosses.

Look for pluerocarp mosses and transplant between the stones, then water until they fill in, that’s it! If you don’t know your pluerocarp from your acrocarp see our blog post.

Pay attention to your sunlight conditions and look for mosses growing in the same exposure to better your success, collect different species and mix them to further ensure one species will like the conditions.

A note about moss between close set stones, this tends to be an area where drying out occurs quickly, so watering techniques are most critical, so keep ’em moist, but don’t drown! Good luck and send us pics of your success!

P.S. The photo used in this post was taken at the Moss Farm and while this is the extreme when thinking of planting moss between flagstone, we used the photo to show off…I mean to show a point.  We like doing moss in a big way.  Use more moss, less flagstone.  ~Helen

Words: Helen  Yoest

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To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.




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