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Moss on top of pot soil - should I keep it?

Javi.xeneizeJavi.xeneize Posts: 149
Hi

i have some trees in big pots, as for example an apple tree. There is moss on the surface of the soil and I’m not sure if this is good or bad for tree. Can somebody advise if I should keep it or remove it?

thanks 
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Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    Moss likes shady damp conditions, which is why it's there - common over winter too.
    If you scrape it off and replace with some fresh soil/compost, it will benefit the tree.
    The soil level is very low in the pot too. It's important when planting anything, to make sure the level it's planted at is around an inch from the top of the pot. Soil will always drop over time, and the nutrients also get used up, so they need topping up regularly.
    Anything in a pot needs more attention than in the ground.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 997
    It will be competing with your plant for nutrients and water so I'd remove it.  I think your plant could do with repotting with a free draining soil based compost such as John Innes No 3, raising the level to just two inches below the top of the pot.  Also make sure your pot is raised off the ground so that it can drain properly - moss is a sign of poor draining.
  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 223
    I don't think the moss itself will do any harm to the tree, it just shows that the soil is shaded and damp. It's up to you whether or not you like the moss aesthetically and whether you want to keep it or not, but I don't think the moss will cause damage or is a sign of anything ominous.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,320
    edited 19 March
    Moss can also indicate that the soil is a bit 'sour' because it's not draining properly ... I would take the tree out,  scrape away the mossy soil at the top and ensure that the rootball isn't congested, and repot it in some JI No 3 with a few handfuls of horticultural grit mixed in...  as @Fairygirl says the soil level should be up to within an inch of the top of the container. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    It's also sitting on the grass, which isn't ideal. For the pot or the grass  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,320
    Fairygirl said:
    It's also sitting on the grass, which isn't ideal. For the pot or the grass  :)
    It may explain why the pot isn't draining properly and is becoming waterlogged ...
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 223
    @Dovefromabove I didn't know it was an indicator of the soil being "sour", interesting to learn! @Javi.xeneize, listen to the others, I clearly don't know as much as I thought I did! :smiley:
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 997
    It's a bit like having moss in lawn @WillowBark, a sign of poor draining and competition for nutrients and light!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    It also depends on location. Moss grows everywhere here, regardless of aspect.  :)
    Damp and shade are the main reasons though.
    It's never a good idea to let the soil in containers get stale anyway. It's why you need to be very vigilant with them, and soil needs refreshed and topped up every year at least, with food added depending on the plant.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Javi.xeneizeJavi.xeneize Posts: 149
    That’s quite interesting. Thanks

    Adding soil to the pot wouldn’t help right? I need to repot it. I don’t know if it will harm the tree or stress it, as it’s quite young

    I have bulbs in another pot with the same issue. What about this? Should i remove the bulbs, ad soil and then put the bulbs again?
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