Mosses are small plants which grow on the ground, roof, rocks and other surfaces when the humidity, weather, soil and other conditions are ideal for their growth. The moss grow from the microscopic spores which are spread by wind, birds, squirrels and other animals and get deposited on the surface.
If the conditions are ideal the spores will germinate to grow into the moss plant which will reach a maximum height of few inches depending on the species. Some of the factors which determine the growth of moss in detail are discussed below.
One of the main factors which determine when the moss will grow well is the humidity level. While other plants are absorbing water from the soil through the roots, the moss plant will absorb water from the air through the leaves. So the moss will usually flourish in damp weather conditions when the humidity levels are high.
So moss is found during spring and fall in temperate climates, when there is heavy rainfall in the area. The moss is like a sponge which absorbs the rainwater to propagate quickly forming a green carpet
Moss is a plant, so it requires sunlight to grow, convert the nutrients like the water, into food for growth and propagation.
So the moss will grow well in areas which receive at least some sunlight like the roofing, terrace, lawns, trees and other surfaces. The moss will not grow in dark areas, which do not receive any sunlight.
Soil and surface
It is observed that moss will grow well in soils which are acidic, usually having a pH of 5.5 or below. Typically most plants are growing well in alkaline or neutral soil, and infertile soil usually is acidic, making it ideal for moss growth.
Though the moss does not absorb nutrients from the soil, it still requires a surface for anchoring itself.
So it is found extensively on the asphalt shingles of the roof where the roots can easily connect to the surface. They are also found on concrete surfaces, dead and living trees, pots, lawns and gardens.
Moss can be found only if there is damp area available for the growth of moss. There are other plants especially weeds which will also flourish in hostile soil conditions .
There is usually only a limited amount of space available in a house or garden, and if other plants are growing in the soil or concrete, the moss will find it difficult to compete against the other plants.
Some people want to grow moss to form a green carpet, for their garden or for decorative purposes. In other cases, home owners want to prevent the growth of moss, since it will cause structural damage.
Hence these people should be aware that moss will only grow when the humidity levels are high, in damp areas, with some sunlight. Moss usually flourish in slightly acidic soil. Also it will require a free surface for growing, without any plants, since the roots of the plant are anchored to the surface where the moss is growing.