Sheet moss (Hypnum) is often wrapped around the roots of terrarium plants to help retain moisture and/or soil, Colletti says. It's also attractive. This cloche design features a Staghorn fern (Platycerium grande) wrapped Kokedama-style; Kokedama means “moss ball.”
Cut your sheet moss to fit your teacup or coffee mug. Place your sheet moss in a bowl of water and allow the moss to get completely wet. After filling your container with potting soil, leave about 1/8 inch from the top of your container for the sheet moss.
Colletti says the common names of moss species often vary. All mosses, she explains, are either Acrocarpous or Pleurocarpous, terms that describe the plants' growth patterns. Acrocarpous types grow upright, like this Dicranum mood moss, while Pleurocarpous types have a prostrate habit, like sheet moss (Hypnum). Dicranum moss is also known as mood moss or rock cap moss.
Colletti says growing moss in a terrarium can be a challenge, because there's a lot of moisture and little air circulation. She prefers open-topped containers. Climacium americanum (commonly called lobe-leaved tree moss) and Hedwigia ciliata (fringed hoar-moss) work well in any kind of container, she says. Leucobryum glaucum (pincushion moss) and Cladonia rangiferina (reindeer moss, actually a lichen) are best used in open containers. In this image, sheet moss surrounds other small plants.
To create a teacup garden, you'll need some basics: potting soil, river rock to act as a drain for excess water build-up and sheet moss. Leave about 1/8 inch from the top of your cup for the sheet moss. You can use decorative tinted or natural deer moss, as shown here, to add a layer of whimsy to your garden.
If your group is a lot larger than your dining room, even more reason to take your entertaining outdoors. An outdoor dining table is a great solution to accommodate extra guests! This low-key place setting is festive and casual. And sheet moss brings instant woodland sophistication to any setting.
Colletti designed this open glass container for use on a coffee table. The moss on the left is Irish moss (Sagina subulata), a lush-looking groundcover with a fuzzy texture. The red center plant, Hypoestes, works as a focal point. Colletti loves baby tears (Helxine soleirolii, in the lower right corner of the container). It's growing next to a creeping fig (Ficus pumila) in the lower right corner. Sheet moss was used in the upper right corner. “The plants are the stars,” Colletti says, “so the top dressing is minimal; clean lines accent a home décor display.”
Use lanterns (with their glass panels removed) and hanging candleholders to show off vining plants, suggests floral designer Angela Darrah. This 'Neon Pothos' Epipremnum aureum thrives in low light conditions and pops against the red accent wall. When hanging plants, weight is a concern, so Darrah suggests using a decorative moss sheet to disguise a plain plastic container.