‘Tis the season this year meant ‘enjoy the mild weather as long as possible’. A recent escapade into the woods inspired me to do more sowing in moss. Last year I sowed Saxifraga cuneifolia and Gaultheria procumbens, just for play and it worked very well; now I need more Saxifraga seedlings.
I cannot really replicate this boulder, but if this Saxifraga likes to grow and spread on moss, it makes sense to sow it like that, right? Nature is best source of inspiration.
Of course I don’t have a big, mossy boulder, but I am creative – an old decorative clay pot looks good ornate in moss.
For sowing on moss:
Prepare a pot, mossy stone…, your moss pieces and potting mix (best to add some sand to it);
Place the moss pieces you gathered, press well, water;
Spread the seeds on top, water again;
Enclose the pot/stone in a Ziploc bag, or cover just the top;
Overwinter outside; in the spring start opening the Ziploc or remove the plastic cover.
The seedlings will be tiny (see in the images below taken last summer) and remain like that for some time, so keep it in a shaded spot and mist once in a while. A smaller pot can be kept in the Ziploc but watch it closely as the moss can overgrow the tiny seedlings (this can be rectified by trimming it). It depends on what type of moss is used.
Another Saxifraga that would enjoy this sowing/growing would be the North American Saxifraga virginica (correctly said Micranthes virginiensis).
It is a fun sowing method and in the worst case scenario you will end up with a nice, green, mossy pot! It can be used for other shade loving species, particularly those that like a bit of acidic substrate like Vaccinium, Pieris, Rhododendron…Also it is a great way to germinate and grow any species which like a permanently moist substrate like Viola macloskeyi, Cornus canadensis and probably quite a few others.