How to Get Moss for Your Sealed Terrarium: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Get Moss for Your Sealed Terrarium: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a sealed terrarium brings a slice of nature into your home, offering a serene and vibrant touch to your indoor space. Moss, with its lush green appearance and low maintenance, is a popular choice for terrarium enthusiasts seeking to add a natural, forest-like feel to their miniature ecosystems. However, sourcing moss for your terrarium involves more than just picking the first patch you find outdoors. 

Why Choose Moss for Your Sealed Terrarium?

Moss is an ideal candidate for sealed terrariums due to its ability to thrive in humid, low-light environments. It acts as a natural humidifier, contributing to the ecosystem's moisture balance, and provides an attractive, verdant base that complements other plants. Additionally, moss is known for its air-purifying qualities, making your terrarium not only beautiful but also beneficial for indoor air quality.

The Importance of Sourcing Moss Responsibly

While it might be tempting to gather moss from a forest or park, removing moss from its natural habitat can adversely affect local ecosystems. Moss plays a critical role in its environment, from providing habitats for small insects to helping with soil erosion control. Therefore, it's crucial to source moss in a way that doesn't harm its native surroundings.

Collecting Moss from the Outdoors

If you are unable to find a trusted moss supplier near you, gathering moss from nature can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to handpick the species and arrangements that best fit your terrarium design. However, outdoor moss must be cleaned and sterilized before introduction to your terrarium to prevent the spread of pests, diseases, or mold that could harm your miniature ecosystem. Here's how to do it:

  1. Harvesting: Carefully lift the moss from its substrate using a trowel or your fingers, ensuring to collect some of the underlying soil attached to the roots. This helps maintain the moss's health during the transition.
  2. Cleaning: Rinse the moss gently with water to remove any loose soil, debris, or insects. A soft brush can help dislodge any stubborn dirt.
  3. Sterilization: To sterilize the moss, soak it in a solution of water and vinegar for a few minutes. This step kills off any harmful bacteria or pests. After soaking, rinse the moss thoroughly in clean water to remove any vinegar residue.
  4. Drying: Before placing the moss in your terrarium, let it dry on a clean surface. This ensures that any excess moisture, which could encourage mold growth, is eliminated.

    Buying Treated Moss from Trusted Sources

    For those who prefer a hassle-free option, purchasing moss from trusted sources is an excellent alternative. Many garden centers, online plant stores, and terrarium suppliers offer a wide variety of moss species that are already cleaned, sterilized, and ready to use. Here are the benefits of going this route:

    • Convenience: Pre-treated moss saves you time and effort in cleaning and sterilizing, making the setup of your terrarium quicker and easier.
    • Safety: Moss from reliable sources is generally free from pests and diseases, reducing the risk to your terrarium's ecosystem.
    • Variety: Trusted suppliers often have a wide selection of moss types, allowing you to choose the perfect species to fit your terrarium's aesthetic and environmental needs.
    • Quality: Moss from reputable sources is usually of high quality, ensuring that your terrarium starts off with the best possible foundation.

      When selecting a supplier, look for those with positive reviews and a commitment to sustainability. It's important to choose moss harvested in an environmentally responsible manner to support conservation efforts.


      Whether you decide to harvest moss from the great outdoors or purchase it pre-treated from a trusted source, incorporating moss into your sealed terrarium is a fantastic way to create a vibrant, self-sustaining ecosystem. By following the steps for cleaning and sterilizing outdoor moss or opting for the convenience of buying treated moss, you can ensure that your terrarium remains a healthy, thriving environment. Remember, the key to a successful terrarium is not just the plants you choose but also the care and preparation you put into them before they enter their new home.

      Back to blog