The plant species known as the bryophytes includes over 12,000 species of moss. It’s an ancient, primitive species that has been on our planet for millions of years. Some gardeners see moss as a hindrance to their property; it may spoil the aesthetic or cause a slip hazard in wet conditions. Others quite like the woodland effect it can bestow upon a garden packed with trees and other plants and, in some cases, moss can be an effective alternative to grass.
No matter what your stance is on moss, it’s good to have an understanding of the non-vascular plant and how it grows. Before we can find out if moss dies in the summer.
Does moss grow in hot weather?
Moss can grow and survive in a vast range of climates, from arctic tundras to tropical rainforests. However, it generally thrives best in damp, shaded conditions. You’ll tend to notice it growing in your garden in areas that are mainly shaded and prone to capturing moisture, either from rainfall or when you water your plants.
Just because moss thrives in moist conditions, it doesn’t automatically mean that if it’s exposed to warm temperatures, it dies. No. Moss is a much more resilient plant than that. It might not flourish in the heat. In fact, it will go dormant and lose some of its green colouring. But it won’t die; it will wait for a summer shower or the welcome moisture from a sprinkle of your garden hose to restore its greenery. Given these facts it is simple to conclude that moss will not die in summer.
Moss can grow and survive in a vast range of climates
Does sunlight kill moss?
Like all plant species, moss needs sun light in order to photosynthesise and convert the light into energy. That being said, mosses don’t need as much sunlight to photosynthesise compared to the majority of the plant kingdom. The optimal level it needs to survive is much lower than the norm.
If moss becomes exposed to too much sunlight, say during a heatwave in the summer, its filaments can dry up. The filaments are outgrowths known as rhizoids which helps the moss conduct water and anchor itself. That being said, moss possesses great resilience, and even a small amount of water or moisture can encourage its regrowth despite desiccation.
You’ll know if moss is struggling in the hot summer months as it’ll lose its verdant green hue and become an ugly brown mat. But when it's in this state, it essentially goes into a form of hibernation or shutdown mode, waiting to regenerate when the next drop of rain or moisture comes along to provide it with nourishment.
Does moss die in winter?
While the cold winter weather won’t kill moss, it won’t stimulate its reproduction patterns, either. That’s why a lot of gardeners tend to cull moss in the winter months, so it doesn’t get a chance of releasing spores in the spring and outgrowing the other plants in the garden.
Just to give you an example of the resilience and hardiness of moss - it can even grow on the coldest continent on the planet: icy Antarctica. Its natural low centre of gravity, which protects it from the brutal winds, coupled with its ability to survive on a low amount of sunlight means it can survive in one of the most unforgiving climates on earth. If it can grow there, it can certainly survive in your garden during the winter months.
Its hard not to be impressed by the resilience of moss. In this article we have discovered that moss won't die in summer or winter that is why it has survived for thousands of years.