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Moss Walls: The Ultimate Guide

By Laura Bourland Rise Writer
Mar 26, 2020

Moss walls are modern works of art that you can install inside or outside to literally bring the green to you. They provide all the wonderful benefits of time in nature, a beautiful home accent, and require little to no upkeep

Have you ever noticed the change in how you feel after being outside? Green spaces have an incredible effect on the human body, helping us feel more alert and creative. Green time has also been proven to reduce stress, increase focus, and heal the body. But green time doesn't mean you have to go out on a long hike in the woods. In fact, you can get all the benefits from inside your own home by installing a moss wall.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Moss Wall?
  2. How Is a Moss Wall Different From a Living Wall?
  3. How Much Does a Moss Wall Cost?
  4. How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Moss Wall?
  5. How Do You Maintain a Moss Wall?
  6. How to Make Your Own Moss Wall
  7. What Are the Benefits of a Moss Wall?
  8. Does a Moss Wall Absorb Sound?
  9. How Long Does a Moss Wall Last?
  10. Does a Moss Wall Need Sunlight?
  11. Do Moss Walls Attract Bugs?
  12. Moss Walls: Beautiful, Beneficial, and Easy to DIY

What Is a Moss Wall?

Moss walls are decorative wall features comprised of real moss adhered to a wall. Most installations are designed using real moss that has undergone a preservation process. This process both extends the life of the moss wall and limits maintenance needs. The preserved moss also lends itself to infinite design options since the moss can be cut and dyed to fit the piece.

You've probably seen moss before. In the wild, it can often be found growing on rocks and in shaded locations. This moss provides homes for insects, food for wild animals, and natural protection for trees and plants. We certainly don't want to harvest this moss in bulk.

As moss walls grow in popularity, locations have been set up to sustainably grow and harvest moss specifically for wall art. Once harvested, the moss is cleaned and then preserved with a nontoxic natural resin such as vegetable glycerin. The moss can also be dyed to add additional colors to the wall.  

Moss walls have the power to transform dark side yards and concrete walkways into elegant green spaces. They have gained steam in a new trend called Interior Plantscaping.

To counterbalance increasing screen time, homeowners are bringing the greenery inside. You may already be familiar with indoor plants like ferns, succulents, and sansevieria, but these all require maintenance. Moss walls don't ever need watering, and they don't use any dirt either. That's because the moss is preserved, not actively growing!

Rise Living Wall
Rise Headquarters Living Wall

How Is a Moss Wall Different From a Living Wall?

Moss walls are often called green walls, but so are living walls. What's the difference? The critical difference between the two is that living walls are built from plants that are actively growing while moss walls are preserved.

Living walls require live plants, soil, and some form of water delivery system to keep the plants alive. If you're an avid gardener and don't mind the upkeep, living walls can be used to grow edible plants like peas and beans. Living walls are great, but they do require weekly care, just like any living plant. You'll need to keep the plants watered and trimmed in addition to tilling the soil and replanting plants as the season changes or the plants reach their natural end.

How Much Does a Moss Wall Cost?

Depending on the quality of construction material and the cost of plans, a moss wall, on average, costs $100-200 per square foot. Moss walls are housed in frames, and the type of frame impacts the overall cost. Frames are often made of wood or metal and can be coated, stained, or painted. Plant pricing varies greatly, and it's important to strike a balance between expensive plants and those that require a higher amount of maintenance.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Moss Wall?

The average living wall weighs 10-12 pounds per square foot and runs $3,000-$4,000 in annual maintenance and care. By comparison, a moss wall doesn't require any maintenance and is 40% cheaper to install than a living wall. Moss walls are also considerably lighter, weighing in around 3 pounds per square foot. Moss walls don't require a substrate or soil and can grow in shaded locations where most living walls can't. Moss walls thrive in shady and humid areas like the north side of your home and indoors.

How Do You Maintain a Moss Wall?

Moss walls don't require much care, but a little attention will keep them vibrant and healthy for far longer. The most important thing to pay attention to is the humidity. Since a moss wall is dependent on humidity, you'll want to keep it away from heaters and introduce a humidifier if your moss wall starts to look dry.

Besides that, we recommend you give your moss wall a once over every few months. Look for any pieces that may have come loose and give it a good dusting with a can of compressed air. You might even give it a fresh coat of nontoxic preservative once a year to further extend the life of your moss wall.

DIY Network Materials For Moss Wall
Materials For Making a Moss Wall. Photo Credit: DIY Network

How to Make Your Own Moss Wall

Moss walls are a trendy DIY home improvement project and an excellent outlet for creativity. They're especially popular for homeowners of apartments, condos, city homes, and rental properties since they can be installed without soil. Just imagine a stunning moss wall on the inside wall of your balcony or bordering a boring concrete path.

Building your own moss wall can be a fun solo activity or a family project where everyone gets to help. You might design yours in a simple geometric pattern or turn it into a full-fledged work of art with varying textures. I can have a unique shape, contrasting colors, and additions of creative lighting or fabrics. Your moss wall can be a literal wall spanning the entire length of your home, or small frame hung on a wall.

Are you ready to get those creative juices flowing? Maybe you'll incorporate faux flowers, spell out an inspirational message, design a family crest, or use the shape to tell a story.

Whatever you dream up, make sure you write it down. Whether you sketch it on paper or write a note in your phone, those plans will help you order ample materials and complete a moss wall you'll be proud to show off.

Steps to Make Your Own Moss Wall:

  1. Sketch It. Start with a rough sketch of your moss wall to guide your materials order and give you a design to work from.
  2. Order Your Materials. Use your sketch to order all the moss, adhesive, and other materials you need. Remember to shop local, when possible, and to buy only sustainably harvested moss.
  3. Lay it Out. We recommend cutting and laying your moss out before gluing it in place.
  4. Finish It. Once you're satisfied, put it all together. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your new green space!

Professional moss wall designers often mix the types of moss they use in an installation to build texture and interest. Popular mosses include Reindeer Moss, Pillow Moss, Sheet Moss, and Caribou Moss. Sheet most is the most popular as it blankets a wall smoothly. Still, Reindeer Moss offers a wider variety of greens, and Pillow Moss is speckled with shocking flecks of red.

You'll also want to consider the placement of your moss wall. Moss likes a reasonably humid environment and will fry in direct sun. They'll maintain their effortless charm best with a humidity level of 40-50%. Also, take care to install your new moss wall at a reasonable distance from heaters and air conditioners to preserve its green glory.

What Are the Benefits of a Moss Wall?

Moss walls are far more than just a beautiful decoration. They improve air quality, promote healthier minds and bodies, reduce noise pollution, and will even decrease your home's energy consumption.

Do Moss Walls Clean Air?

Moss is a wonderful plant that continues to clean the air after it has been harvested and preserved. Moss walls work hard, day and night, absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants (including VOCs) from the air. The moss then converts all that yuck into the very biomass that keeps the moss healthy. Indoor moss walls can significantly improve indoor air quality, and outdoor moss walls clean the air for nature's birds, squirrels, fish, trees, and plants.

Do Moss Walls Control Humidity?

Humidity refers to the amount of moisture floating in the air. And, while some humidity is good for healthy skin and respiration, too much can be disastrous for your home and loved ones. You see, bacteria and viruses thrive in high humidity. If moisture rises to dangerous levels, your home and family could be vulnerable. Bacteria can attach to clothing and furnishings, weaken your home's structure, grow mold, and leave your whole house smelling unpleasant.

Moss actively helps to stabilize indoor humidity by absorbing excess moisture. It can also release moisture into a room that's grown too dry, keeping your indoor humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent. If you live in a damp area or use a dehumidifier, a moss wall might be just the trick to protect your home and keep your family healthy.

Artisan Moss Framed Pieces
Framed Moss Wall Art. Photo Credit: Artisan Moss:

Sensory Stimulation

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos and recordings are a major hit with kids right now. While a video of a fan doing nothing but blowing air may seem a bit ridiculous, tons of people find them incredibly relaxing to watch. In our over-stimulated, media-centric world, people crave simple sensory experiences.

A moss wall is an excellent way to tickle the sense of sight, smell, and touch. Moss has a subtle and earthy scent, similar to standing in a grove of evergreens. A moss wall can result in a calmer, happier child when installed near a child's swing set or play area. You might even find yourself drawn to the calm of the lush green wall.

And, unlike other works of art, moss walls are open to touch and play. Exploring the soft and spongy textures like those found in the Moss Wall Art, pictured above by Artisan Moss, can provide excellent stimulation for babies, toddlers, the elderly, and those with disorders like Autism, Dementia, and Amnesia.

Consider adding a moss wall to your:

  • Office
  • Patio
  • Balcony
  • Bedroom
  • Courtyard
  • Playroom
  • Jacuzzi area
  • Dining room
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Meditation corner
Kate The Earthling Bathroom Moss Wall
Bathroom Moss Wall. Photo Credit: Kate The Earthling

Healthy Minds and Bodies

Spending time in green spaces is essential for a healthy mind and body. Moss walls can help increase productivity, creativity, and mental wellness. In fact, one study found that simply spending the day around plants can effectively reduce stress by 12%. Another study revealed that students' attention was 70% better when taught in the presence of plants.

The physical body benefits from a moss wall too. The humidity control will reduce dry skin leading to less itching and fewer wrinkles. Moss walls also reduce dust floating in the air, thereby helping people with allergies and asthma. Among the many other physical benefits, greenery can also help the human body heal faster from wounds and illness.

Does a Moss Wall Absorb Sound?

When installed strategically, a moss wall can dampen sound and help reduce noise pollution. Most plants can decrease ambient sound by about 5 decibels. Dense and spongy Reindeer Moss walls are said to be excellent sound insulators. Moss walls are particularly effective at dampening medium to high-frequency noise, making them extremely beneficial for homes built close together in cities and suburbs.

Naturally Insulates

We talk an awful lot about reducing our utility consumption by building sustainable homes, and moss is a real winner where home heating and cooling are concerned. Moss is an excellent insulator. You might install a moss wall on the west side of your home to absorb that glaring afternoon sun and keep your home cooler.

How Long Does a Moss Wall Last?

Most moss walls usually last about ten years. Life can be extended to about 25 years if you're rigorous in maintenance and give it a protective spay every so often.

Does a Moss Wall Need Sunlight?

As you start to plan your new moss wall, consider its placement. Moss does best in the shade. Any direct sun will quickly fade the moss and may even cause it to dry out or burn. So, pay close attention to the sun coming in from your windows and consider adding curtains or tinting where necessary.

Do Moss Walls Attract Bugs?

Moss walls are exceptionally safe for indoor installation because they're very different from other indoor plants. Bugs are attracted to plants because they are potted in soil. Moss walls remain bug-free because they don't use soil. After all, all moss is sealed with a preservative spray.

Planterra Kitchen Moss Wall
Kitchen Moss Wall. Photo Credit: Planterra

Moss Walls: Beautiful, Beneficial, and Easy to DIY

If you've been looking for a creative and easy home improvement project, consider a moss wall. They provide endless physical and mental health benefits, protect your home from interior humidity damage, and are an interesting and eye-catching focal point for both inside and out.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2021-06-16T03:08:12+0000
Laura Bourland

Article by:

Laura Bourland

Laura grew up in the California suburbs, far removed from environmentalism, but nature always has a way. She uprooted her life in 2015, moving to the countryside of Washington to live a more sustainable and simple life on 12 acres. She and her fiancee are learning on the job as they attempt everything from gardening and natural pest control to eco-friendly building and home improvement.