Reindeer moss is a slow-growing type of lichen with branches and bushy fronds. It is easily identifiable by its color. In colder climates, it takes on light whitish grey color. In warmer climates, like Florida and Texas, it takes on a delicate lime green color at its base and begins to turn snowy white as it ages. Certain other species' colors range from deep green to chartreuse. Cladonia Rangiferina is its horticultural name.
It is resistant to extreme cold, does not grow roots and is ideal for gardeners who want a low maintenance type of shrubbery. This type of moss makes great container plants indoors or outdoors on a lanai, patio or outdoor deck.
Add this species to capture attention or for a focal point in your landscape. Since it is a slow growing plant, choose the location where it will receive sufficient sunlight, has good drainage and equivalent amounts of moisture.
Also, choose a location that allows for room to grow. This type of moss wants plenty of freedom from entanglements with other plants and plant roots.
To begin planting, the soil needs to be rich and damp for the plant to acclimate itself to a new location. Keep it dampened slightly until new growth begins to appear. Once new growth occurs, you will be assured of a healthy plant that will make a showy presentation among your other plants.
This moss is the rock star among mosses. To plant it in a container, place gravel in the bottom of the pot and fill with potting soil. This is also a good plant for rock gardens and indoor terrariums.
Swedes are known for making this species into an alcoholic beverage called Aquavit. Most gardeners love the exciting look it adds to their landscape.