Preserved Reindeer & Spanish Moss FAQ

What is preserved moss?
Completely safe (non-toxic) and easy to use, preserved moss is the definition of moss that is no longer alive and has been chemically preserved and heat-treated to be used for decorative purposes.

We stock preserved Reindeer and Spanish moss and both are non-hazardous, non-infectious and non-toxic. Once the moss has been preserved, it lasts longer and prevents soil from discolouring (not for regrowing purposes).

What is Spanish moss?
Natural Spanish moss is actually not a moss at all. This plant has a spaghetti-like appearance and grows in large, beard-like masses. It hangs from trees by the stems and does not have roots and thus does not require soil.

Spanish moss is not Spanish either - it's mostly found in Central and South America, as well as the warmer parts of Florida and South Carolina in the US.

What is Reindeer moss?
Reindeer moss in its natural element is large and a branching bluish-grey lichen that grows up to 8cm high and covers immense areas. Whether Reindeer moss is preserved or not, it has a spongy look and feel and can hold its shape and colour under proper care.

These lichens are commonly found in the mountains of Arctic and sub-Arctic regions and is the main food source for reindeer during the winter.

What colours do you have available?
The preserved Spanish moss colours we have are basil, coffee, grass green and natural, whereas we have chartreuse, moss green, natural, forest green, mint and fuchsia in preserved Reindeer moss. 

What are the common uses for preserved Reindeer and Spanish moss?
Preserved Spanish and Reindeer moss is most commonly used as a topper for flower gardens, potted flowers and other floral inspired designs as a decorative element. They also serve to hide the mechanics of flower designs.

Easy to spread out, both preserved Reindeer and Spanish moss can be scattered to decorate event tables, draped over wedding arbours and fill out marquee letters. Reindeer moss is also popular to decorate model train tracks. The moss looks like tiny shrubs and trees when used in art projects.

How is Reindeer and Spanish moss preserved?

1. All of our imported preserved Spanish moss and Reindeer moss has been cleaned to remove debris and treated with benign chemicals (same chemicals used in most eye drop and hand soap formula)  to maintain its softness without being alive.
2. The moss is coloured with a non-toxic dye. 
3. Each moss is put through an oven at over 80 degrees Celsius to allow proper colour absorption.
4. A second process through a commercial oven is required at a temperature of 100 Celsius and above.
5. Finally, the moss is packed into transparent and clean BOPP plastic bags.

Note: All of our imported moss goes through fumigation at port of entry with Methyl Bromide for over 24 hours. It is typically accompanied by a USDS Export certificate.

How do you look after preserved Spanish moss and Reindeer moss?
Our range of preserved moss is sustainably procured and is best kept dry and used in an open environment such as terrariums and as a soil topper in potted flowers. It should be kept dry and out of direct sunlight to maintain colour, texture and shape.

What should I do if the preserved moss does get wet?
If preserved Spanish moss or Reindeer moss does get wet, the recommended use is 2 or 3 times before disposing. Keeping preserved Spanish moss in a closed environment or allowing it to become too wet can cause the moss to grow mould. Additionally, some colours might run if the moss gets too wet.

Is there a difference between dried moss and preserved moss?
Yes, dried moss is dormant and when rehydrated will return to life and start growing again. Whereas, preserved moss is no longer alive and has been chemically treated to maintain its look and feel. At Koch & Co, we only sell preserved Spanish and Reindeer moss.

Note: Bear in mind that some of the moss being sold as dried moss has in fact been preserved and cannot be bought back to life.