For many bonsai hobbyists, the trees they’ve carefully cultivated are some of their most valuable possessions. Bonsais bring life and immense feelings of zen inside a home. For this reason, people always want to provide the best environments in which the trees can live. One of the best things that you can do to beautify and give life to your planted treasure is to create a top dressing of moss.

 

Is Moss Good for Bonsai Trees?

Some hobbyists contend that moss does not allow water to penetrate the soil or perhaps keep it too damp. Others may say that moss saps the nutrients off of your plants. However, moss does not require a lot of resources, and bonsai fertiliser can provide the necessary nutrition just fine. In fact, using these tiny plants as a top dressing offers a range of benefits for the trees. These include:

  • Improving Water Retention: In dry climates such as most of Australia, bonsai trees are prone to drying out. Having a moss top covering in your pot can help retain moisture in the soil, especially near the surface, where it dries out the fastest. Providing this top dressing can be especially helpful for water-loving trees.
  • Providing Year-Round Insulation: Moss helps protect bonsai trees from excessive heat during the summer and the freezing temperatures in the winter. 
  • Preventing Soil Erosion: The wind and rain may erode the soil around your bonsai plants, exposing their roots. Moss helps protect the soil against erosion, which ultimately benefits the trees.
  • Creating a More Realistic Environment: There’s nothing more satisfying than looking at a full carpet of moss under a bonsai tree. It emulates the look of grass and provides a more textured and realistic growing environment for the plants. Doing so will also increase the resale value of the composition if you’re planning on selling in the future.

 

How to Collect and Grow Moss for Bonsai Trees

Moss grows in damp, shaded areas like driveways, parking lots, backyards, or nearby woodlands. Before you start gathering moss, it’s always best to check if it’s legal to do so in the area. 

You can use any scraping tool and a container to collect moss. Ideally, one should gather moss that’s low-growing, as climbing ones tend to grow on the barks of trees. You will need to spray the bark with vinegar carefully to destroy the climbing plants.

After collecting the moss, they should be dried in trays to sift out the soil and other fine particles easily. You’ll have to grind the plants against your bonsai pot mesh screens. Then, you can apply the ground plants to some fresh substrate around the tree, keeping the soil moist to encourage regrowth. It may be wise to mix the fresh moss with sphagnum moss if you have a more extensive collection.

 

Get the Best Bonsai Accessories in Australia

Bonsai trees bring so much life inside a home; they’re little wonders of nature, and they need to be treated as such. One of the best things that a hobbyist can do for their plants is to protect them and provide them with a realistic growing environment. These conditions can be achieved by collecting moss and using it as a top dressing. With the right tools and appropriate care, bonsai trees can grow and thrive more gracefully.

If you’re looking for quality bonsai tools in Australia, Bonsai Shop has all your needs covered. We offer tools, accessories, pots, and starter kits to help you begin and continue caring for these planted treasures. We also have an eBook to provide you with more information regarding the bonsai hobby. Get started, and shop with us today!