Dried moss is a popular handicraft material that is often bought. It doesn’t have to be. Because moss can also easily be dried in the oven. You can find out how this works and which varieties are best suited here.
At Easter, in autumn and at Christmas – Moos is an all-round talent when it comes to creative handicrafts. Wreaths, nests and flower arrangements are decorated with moss to form a contrast to coloured figures or flowers.
You can buy ready-dried moss in stores, but that’s not necessary, because it can also be dried comfortably at home in your own oven. Especially garden owners, who are plagued by moss, have some possible uses. To ensure that the drying process does not go wrong, you should follow the following tips.
Drying moss – How it works in the oven
Those who dry moss in the oven can do this particularly quickly. Compared to drying in the air or on the heating system, considerably less time is lost during drying. At the same time, however, this is not the most environmentally friendly method. After all, the oven consumes electricity, while drying on the heating or in the air is much more sustainable and also cheaper. Drying moss in the oven, however, is a good option for eliminating possible pests that may live in the moss, thanks to the temperatures prevailing there.
When drying moss, it is not only important that the excess moisture is removed from the moss. In order to preserve the moss, it must also be freed from living pests. This can be done reliably in the oven. The following precautions are recommended before the moss is even put into the oven:
❶ Rinse the moss best with water (boiling, from the kettle or saucepan) in order to combat pests from the very beginning.
❷ Let the moss drip off sufficiently afterwards.
❸ Now line a baking tray with plenty of kitchen paper (several layers would be best)
❹ Put the moss on the baking tray
❺ Please do not apply double layers of moss to the baking tray, as the drying process then takes longer.
Since the moss should only be placed in the oven at the lowest circulating air level, it is not absolutely necessary to let the oven heat up first. After ten minutes at the latest, however, the moss should be turned over to ensure even drying. In order to achieve the best possible results, it makes sense if the oven door is not completely closed, but remains minimally open instead. When turning the moss pieces, sure instinct is required. This is the only way to ensure that the moss pieces do not break apart into smaller individual parts.
Further alternatives to dry moss
As already mentioned, moss can dry not only in the oven, but also on the heater, as well as in the air. While air drying is suitable in the warmer season, moss drying on the heater is only possible in colder weather periods. In the oven, however, moss can be dried all year round within a shorter period of time. This is particularly advantageous when the time factor is important. In the oven, the drying process is simply quicker.
Moreover, this method is preferred by many people because they consider drying in the oven to be a more effective protection against pests. Although moss should be poured with boiling water for every drying method, higher temperatures prevail in the oven than on the heating or during air drying. This gives more security in case some persistent pests survive the hot water bath after all.
But there are also people who would never want to dry moss in their oven. This has a simple reason. If pests can be found in the moss, they can also get into the domestic oven. There they cannot survive anyway because of the high temperatures, but the mere thought is already a horror for some people.
Optimum moss for further processing
If you don’t want to be bothered with broken pieces of moss in the oven, you shouldn’t take any moss. The following moss species have proved to be the best:
Moss is preferably found in shady places. If you want to collect moss in the wild, you should not take more than half of the thick cushions. This is extremely important so that the moss plant has the chance to regenerate afterwards. If this is not desired, because the moss in the garden is perceived as disturbing, the complete moss can be removed.
Drying moss in the air
When drying in the air, the following tips should be heeded in addition to killing pests with boiling water:
- Place the moss in a sieve to pour over with water.
- Then let the moss drip off sufficiently well and for a long time.
- Then put the moss on paper towel (the paper towel should be as absorbent as possible, i.e. as high-quality as possible).
As an alternative to baking oven drying, a dark and sufficiently airy place is ideal for air drying moss in your own home. This process usually takes a few days. With a triple layer of kitchen paper, which should be particularly absorbent, the moss can also be placed directly on the heater to dry.
Since higher temperatures prevail there than in the pure room air, it is important to turn the moss once a day. After the moss has dried completely, it should be removed from the heater as soon as possible. The radiator must also not be too hot, as it is better for the moss to dry out slowly and evenly.
Drying moss – how to keep its green colour
If you want to use moss for handicrafts or decorating, you want to make sure that it keeps its original colour, namely green. However, this can be lost during drying. To prevent this from happening, you should proceed as follows:
❶ mix 2 parts glycerine with 1 part denatured alcohol
❷ Soak the moss with this mixture
❸ Let the mixture soak in for a good 10 minutes.
❹ Then let the moss dry first
❺ Thus the moss is conserved in the long run and shines nevertheless in a particularly beautiful green tone
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.