How Fast Does Moss Grow? Detailed Guide

Moss is a plant that is often associated with being dirty and unkempt. However, moss can be a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape when used correctly. But, how fast does moss grow exactly?

Typically, moss can take up to 6 weeks to start growing! Yet, other types of moss have been known to take as long as 2 years to reach their full potential.

Moss is a slow-growing plant, but the speed at which it grows depends on several factors. All of which we will explore in this article.

Moss Growth Rate Factors

Type Of Moss

There are over 12,000 species of moss, so it’s no surprise that they can vary in growth rate. Some types of moss grow faster than others.

For example, the common Sphagnum Moss has a growth rate of 0.75 to 4.75 per year. Other types of moss, like the Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus), can grow up to twelve inches per year.

Water Availability

How much water is available to the moss also affects its growth rate. Moss grows faster in moist environments with high levels of humidity. If the environment is too dry, the moss will not grow well or may die.

Light Availability

Moss also needs light to absorb carbo­hydrates for food. However, too much light can be detrimental to moss growth! You will notice that moss grows much thicker and faster in shad­ed areas.


Temperature also plays a role in how fast moss grows. Generally, moss will grow best in cool to moderate temperatures above about 5 degrees Celsius (20 Fahrenheit).


The climate in which moss is growing will also affect its growth rate. For example, mosses that grow in cold climates will have a much different growth rate to those that grow in hotter climates.

Nearby Plants

The presence of other plants nearby can also affect the moss growth rate. Some plants can easily overgrow and as a result, slow the growth of the moss.

Sheet Moss growing on the forest floor

How Fast Do Moss Spores Grow?

Moss does not produce flowers or seeds like most other plants. Instead, it reproduces by releasing spores into the air. These spores settle on moist surfaces and then start to grow.

Given the right conditions, a spore can germinate and start growing within a few days. However, it can take weeks or even months for some mosses to fully establish themselves.

What is the Fastest Growing Moss?

Moss is categorized into two groups pleurocarpous, and acrocarpous. The fastest types of moss are pleurocarpous!

One of the fastest-growing mosses is fern moss, which can be found growing on trees and has long shoots branching from the main stem that can double in size within 6 months.

Sheet moss is another type of pleurocarpous that can grow very fast and can be found growing on forest floors and it spreads out like a sheet getting its name. Sheet moss usually starts to grow and spread within six weeks.

Acrocarpous types of mosses grow unbranched and very slowly! In fact, they don’t reach their full size for at least two years. You can find Acrocarpous types of moss growing on hard surfaces like rocks.

Pleurocarpous moss grows much faster, and can fully grow within 6 weeks! Yet, Acrocarpous is much slower only reaching its full potential after 6 months to 2 years.

Pleurocarpous Moss branching out
Acrocarpous Moss Unbranched

Can You Control The Growth Rate Of Moss?

The growth rate of moss can be controlled to a certain extent by providing the right growing conditions. If you are trying to grow moss in an area that is too dry, then you can water it regularly to encourage growth.

If there is too much light present, then you can provide shade for the moss with trees or other plants. And if the temperature is not suitable, then try moving the moss to a cooler location.

You can also control the spread of moss with fertilizers! Applying fertilizer, can give it a boost in growth and encourage moss to grow.

How long does it take to grow your own moss

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to grow your own moss? If you’ve been thinking about adding some moss to your home but aren’t sure how long the process will take?

Moss can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to start growing! And as before, it all depends on the type of moss, the climate, and other conditions.

If you only have a small moss spore keep it in a plastic container with a wet paper towel and make sure you mist it with water daily. The moss spore should start to germinate within 3 to 4 days.

Once they germinate, it will take anywhere from weeks to months for the moss to fully establish itself and start growing. So, depending on your needs, you could see results pretty quickly!

If you are using sheet moss, It will typically take a few months for the moss to fully grow and cover the desired area, but it all depends on how big of an area you are trying to cover.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! As you can see, there are many different factors that affect how fast moss grows. Some types of Moss can grow quite rapidly given the right conditions while others may take years to reach their full potential.

If you are trying to encourage Moss growth in a particular area, it is best to provide moist conditions with high humidity and moderate temperatures. You can also use fertilizer to give the Moss a boost and help it spread more quickly.

Be sure to keep these factors in mind when planning your garden or landscape. With a little care and attention, you can create a beautiful space that is perfect for Mosses of all types!

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