How to grow your own Moss Graffiti

Rozie Apps
Friday, 26th April 2013

Art and creativity can be used in powerful ways. They can cause happiness and sadness, anger and joy. But best of all they can unite communities and rejuvenate old or forgotten areas of cities and towns.

Graffiti tends to have a negative impact on communities. Many people do not see it as art, but vandalism to their towns, cities and society. It can cost councils a huge amount of money to remove graffiti and this money could be much better spent.

A new style of graffiti has been spreading through the cities of the world, turning brown, white or dull brick walls into greener, brighter and more beautiful spaces for people to see. It is called Moss Graffiti. Also known as Eco-Graffiti or Green-Graffiti, it can be seen as a new style of guerrilla gardening. Instead of using harmful toxic chemicals to make art, moss can be used to make beautiful and harmless pieces of art. It is ecologically sound and can be easily removed by spraying lime juice on the design, which kills the moss spores.


If you have a wall at home you'd like to brighten up, or permission from the council to rejuvenate an area in your community, follow this recipe to create some green art.

You will need:

1 or 2 clumps (small handful) of moss

2 cups of buttermilk, or you can use yogurt (even vegan yogurt)

2 cups of water

Half a teaspoon of sugar

Corn syrup (only used if the mixture needs thickening)

Step 1

Wash the moss to remove as much soil from the roots as possible.

Step 2

Break the moss into smaller pieces and put in a blender.

Step 3

Add the buttermilk/yogurt, the water and sugar. 

Blend the mixture until it is completely smooth. 

It needs to be a paint-like texture. If it is too runny it will drip when painting your design, so use corn syrup to thicken.

Step 4

Use a paint brush to apply the moss-paint to your desired surface.

Step 5

If possible, check on your design weekly to either apply more moss-paint or to encourage growth by spraying with water. (This is more likely in a dry climate.)

Moss Zebra from: 

Moss wall from:

Rozie Apps is assistant editor at Permaculture magazine.

More resources

Using Art to Promote Permaculture Ethics - 'Common Senses' at MoMA

How to make vertical raised beds for urban green spaces

Watch: Urban permaculture: creating a rooftop food farm in New York


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coctx |
July 24, 2014 - 2:46pm

Has anyone done this using fern spores rather than moss? Not necessarily to create a tidy image like you can with moss, but for applying the ferns to a wall without planting individuals?

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