People always say that moss prefers to grow in (moist) dark, dappled, shady, or otherwise low-light conditions. Strictly speaking, I don't believe that's the case. I think in a natural environment it generally tends to appear that way; mainly because constant, full sunlight will typically consist of significant amounts of UV & IR radiation, in addition to visible spectra.

Even more significant (I think) is the implied rate of water/moisture evaporation, that moss is sensitive to.

My hypothesis is that moss (if kept moist), grown indoors, under a bright LED light, isolated from harmful UV & IR radiation, should thrive.

My question is twofold: a) Do you agree; and if so: b) Will moss grow better under these conditions 24/7, or 12/7?

  • I think you've already had an answer that suggests most plants prefer a period of darkness in 24 hours - why don't you experiment and see which works,if it works at all?
    – Bamboo
    May 28 '17 at 9:07
  • Oh, do you think so? I think you're mistaken; I haven't received any answers yet. Anyway, I'm looking for facts, not suggestions. I'm currently trying a few different things myself, but this is moss growth were talking about; it's not exactly a speedy process.
    – voices
    May 28 '17 at 9:35
  • This question was well made, tj! We'll work on this...
    – stormy
    May 28 '17 at 18:36
  • This was interesting during my travels. Maybe you've already seen this...and it is from SE! Doesn't answer your questions but should be up your alley. Still working on this...
    – stormy
    May 28 '17 at 18:39
  • Looks like my site did not get pasted correctly, grrrr. I am an airhead half the time. Check these sites out as well; quora.com/… mossandstonegardens.com/blog/how-to-grow-moss
    – stormy
    May 28 '17 at 19:07

Moss is one of the most adaptable organisms as far as amount of light, moisture, soil type and location.

They are found from the Arctic to the Antarctic and survive extended days of total darkness and almost total light. However the key word is survive.

I cannot find any research proving that they need a period of darkness but it has been proven with their vascular cousins that some plants need a daily period of darkness to initiate flowering. As moss does not flower they might do well with 24 hours of light. See this extended discussion here for the technicalities of photosynthesis. For a more accessible article on moss this one is more amusing and concise.

Moss will grow fine in full sunlight if adequate moisture is supplied. I can take a piece of moss from the north facing dry part of my garden and put in the sunny moist area. It doubles in size and will even grow into the water and float on top.

When growing inside it is not enough to have it moist and bright. You need air circulation as well.

Moss picture from my gardenmoss from my water garden


Plants need certain light spectra, typically some from each the red and blue ranges. An incandescent puts out a full range ( typically) , but fluorescent and LED put out specific narrow ranges. One place you can find this information is lighting for aquarium plants. I have moss just like your photo and it thrives on indirect natural light all day . My hunch is that it does not need a dark period and the spectra is important.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.