upclose of moss growing on hypertufa pot rim

How To Grow Moss On Your Hypertufa Pots!

Do you want your hypertufa to look ancient? Really fast?

I think moss growing on the sides and rims of my outdoor  hypertufa planters define what makes them look so treasured and ancient. I love that look. I have a few planters with moss on the surface and they truly are my pride and joy.

Mosses growing on stone

The moss remains all summer and throughout the winter, even when it is a dry season.  It may withdraw into the tiny pores of its texture, looking like the holes and canals in a sponge, but once it takes hold, it will remain to come again and again through the seasons.

I absolutely love how that looks, and I feel that it makes a planter appear old and weathered as if it was made by your Great Grandma and handed down through generations.

moss growing on hypertufa

 If you want moss on your hypertufa planters, you’ll have to create the right conditions. A bit of moisture and shade helps to get it started, but it will remain even in sunny areas.

At my house, the garden on the southwest side has a large maple tree partly shading it. There is also the drain outlet for the rear house gutters. Rain comes from the roof of the house and garage and goes down a gutter downspout exiting into that garden bed. Since this is still close to our foundation, we have attached a 4″ corrugated black pipe…and I  direct this pipe over and into the garden bed here.

This garden bed bordering the sidewalk and backyard is slightly slanted downhill so any runoff will go toward and into a small creek, but only after passing through my Rain Garden. My small garden full of ferns, heuchera, mulch, anemones and hypertufa troughs serves as the rain garden.

Moss makes hypertufa look ancient

Further on down into the backyard is another maple tree, a Viburnum “Snowball Bush” and some Euonymus fortunei  ‘Emerald Gaiety’  to absorb and filter the runoff as the rainwater runs toward the creek,  hopefully to be absorbed into the earth before reaching the creek.

It’s my little effort to reduce pollution in the water.  You see, if you let your runoff from the roof run through the beds of flowers and mulch and bushes, this filters out pollutants in the rainwater by first being strained and clarified as it goes through mulch and roots and all the microbes in the soil. This helps reduce pollution going into streams and rivers via my tiny drainage creek which eventually drains into Little Sugar Creek, which meets the  Little Miami River almost three miles away .

Learn more about rain gardens here.     

My shade garden area  consequently is somewhat damp  and seems to grow moss naturally on the soil surface.  But also on the rocks!   These  are really retaining wall blocks stacked two high around this bed. But when it’s rainy or wet, those rocks are wet too….and bingo, here’s my moss.

Now Here’s How to Grow Moss

Of course, a brand new hypertufa trough is begging for moss or lichens to grow.  Lichens may take years.  I do have one of my oldest troughs with lichens, but that one is the only one I have noticed lichens.  Growing moss is what I am working on for all of my hypertufa garden planters.

moss growing on stones

If you would like moss to grow on your hypertufa planters, then when your hypertufa is completely cured and fully leached,  then try this moss treatment.

In a blender ( get an old one at a garage sale because you won’t want a margarita made in this one after this goop is made in it!  Ewww! )  Use one cup of buttermilk or yogurt or beer. I’ve heard these suggestions.  Add maybe a teaspoon of sugar.

moss with overlay of blender, paintbrush, beer, buttermilk etc

Then add a handful of moss to the blender.   Blend for a few minutes until gooey but thin enough to paint on the surface. Add a little buttermilk or beer if it needs to be thinned.

Use this mixture to paint the outside of your trough or bowl. But most important! 


If it  grows on soil, it won’t be as likely to grow on the hypertufa  planter. So find moss that is growing on the medium upon which you want yours to grow.  Makes sense:  if it grows on soil or a rotting log, it won’t as likely grow on your hypertufa!   And be patient!  Don’t spray your planter , just keep it moist.  If you spray it with a hose ,  you may rinse away the tiny microscopic start of your moss.

old stone urn with succulents and lots of moss and lichens

I hope this helps you to know how to grow moss. If we have a wet spring, it will be perfect to get it started. And you will have planters in your garden that seem as if they have been there forever.

If you don’t have any access to moss, you could purchase it. And use it the same way in the blender. Here is a link if needed. It is a link to Amazon and I am an affiliate. I may make a commission if you make a purchase but this doesn’t effect the price you pay, it just helps support the expenses of this website. Thank you so much for your support.  [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BPIOKAW” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”thehypegard0d-20″ cloak=”n” localize=”y” popups=”y”]Fresh Mood Moss Perfect for Terrariums and Bonsai[/easyazon_link]










  1. I love the look of moss on just about anything. This is a great idea to help speed up the process.

    1. I agree 100%. I like to look at it closeup and see the tiny-ness of that plant. ( Is that even a word?)

  2. Interesting post, wish I had more time in my day so I could try this out.

  3. What a weird combination of ingredients! I think moss is so pretty and makes a great cover.

    1. I love moss so much. Always on the lookout to take photos of it.

  4. Those are the ingredients you use to grow moss. Who knew, not me. I love the older look and will be using this method.

    1. Thanks and I am sure you will love the results. Visited your site and saw the Linky Party info. I will be back!

  5. Oh wow, that was really interesting and inspiring post! i have to try this myself!

  6. Anonymous says:

    can I use this buttermilk, beer, moss recipe to fill in vacant spots in my already mossy lawn? And it is autumn now, but warm here in NJ?

    1. I don’t have any idea if it would work in a lawn, but may as well try it? I guess that would be up to you.

  7. I am not a gardener at all but I had no idea you could even do this! This is fascinating and would be fun to do with kids!

    1. Kim Smith says:

      My little grandson has a lot of fun “helping” me. Can’t let him get into the mixing of dry ingredients, but helps with a lot of suggestions. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. I’ve heard about this before but was always curious — thanks for the tutorial! I always love the look of moss or ivy growing on things 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Glad you came by. I love that aged look moss gives my planters.

  9. Karen Thomas says:

    I too am retired but for a long time now. I am not able to do much gardening anymore but my mind is still fully interested.
    I watched your videos on your draped Tufa & have done some. I will be sharing the idea with one of my garden clubs as a program if they turn out well. They are outside drying now. I have done several regular Tufa troughs using a variety of “recipes” & am happy with the results & experimenting. I haven’t gotten moss to grow yet though. My moss here at home is ground moss from the north side. I was able to scrape some rather dry moss from the north side of wooden poles. I will try couple of ways & she what happens. Thanks so much for sharing. I love getting excited about doing projects.

    1. Thanks for reading and watching the videos. I am trying to do better, but it is a struggle. All the snow is getting me stir crazy. Sorry you can’t garden now, but hopefully you have some indoors to putter around with. I am supposed to do a presentation in August at our community center in Bellbrook. I am SO nervous.

  10. Jennifer Anderson says:

    I will have to make the blend and paint my tufa! I know that Jacob, my 8yr old, will have fun doing this.

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