moss boys

Moss boy is a relative of mosses; small, spore-bearing plants who have existed on this planet for hundreds of millions of years. Mirroring their plant relatives, moss boys are caring, protective, and softhearted.

As resilient as mosses are (and have to have been to keep surviving for hundreds of millions of years), many are inevitably facing habitat loss as a result of anthropogenic climate change. M

oss boys are noticing that many of their relatives are in danger as temperatures rise and their habitats dry out. Some of these relatives, such as Sphagnum mosses, play important roles both in supporting the health and livelihood of their own communities, and in

humans’ lives—meaning the decline of their populations will have significant ripple effects for all others they are connected to. Moss boys hope that people can learn from their moss relatives and create and partake in networks of care, supporting the wellbeing of both thei human and non-human communities.

A Brief Intro to Mosses

All kinds of different mosses exist around the world, supporting plants, fungi, and animals by stabilizing soil, providing a moist environment for growth, and providing shelter. Unlike most other plants we see around us, mosses are non-vascular, meaning they don’t use xylem and phloem to transport water. Instead, they absorb water from their surroundings and move it around through osmosis and diffusion. This is why we mostly find mosses in moist environments.

As you may already know, another big difference between mosses and many other plants is that they reproduce through spores rather than seeds. If you want to learn more about their life cycles and morphology, here is a wonderful public resource.

Caring for Mosses

Caring for mosses can be tricky as different mosses require different environments. Mosses are mostly cared for in terrariums, aquariums (aquatic mosses), gardens, and on the top layer of soil for bonsai or specific plants that share moist environments with moss in their native habitats.

So, here are some tips to figure out the best strategies to keep your moss friends happy:

  1. Keep them moist! Even if they’re in a terrarium, they will enjoy the occasional spray of water. 
  2. Look up the specific needs of the mosses you are caring for, ideally before you purchase them. Some mosses need cold weather to overwinter, and will not be able to live in a terrarium indoors. Know what the moss will need, and be realistic about what you are able to provide.
  3. Pay attention to how the moss is reacting to different amounts of light. While most mosses live in shady areas, some will be happier in indirect light. It is highly unlikely that your moss is going to want a ton of direct light, so make sure you don’t place them somewhere with too much sun. 
  4. Consider other organisms that the moss you’re bringing into your home typically lives with, and set up their habitats to provide that kind of familiarity for both inhabitants.
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