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How Long Does Preserved Moss Last? And How To Keep It Fresh!

Y’all, I love using natural elements in my decor, and today I’m going to answer the question “How Long Does Preserved Moss Last?” and share “How to Keep It Looking New with an easy solution.”

I’m starting to pull out my stored Spring and Summer decor, and some of my preserved moss pieces need a little refresh. See how easy it is to make them look brand new.

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What is Preserved Moss, and is it real?

First, preserved moss is real. It’s harvested from forests, where it grows naturally around trees and on the ground.

The moss is put through a preservation process to retain its softness and natural color.

Preserved Moss is real and found in forest floors

Preserved vs. Dried Moss

If you prefer a natural-looking green moss, you always want to choose preserved vs. dried moss.

Dried moss, as the name suggests, has been dehydrated and will quickly turn brown and will not last as long as preserved moss.

How do you use Preserved Moss?

One of the most common uses for preserved moss is around floral and greenery arrangements. I like to keep a supply of this moss on hand for my many projects.

It’s perfect for covering over the styrofoam or other elements that are holding the arrangement together. It looks great without requiring any special care.

You can see two different ways to use on these diy topiaries and these boxwood topiaries.

Preserved Moss used to fill pots around plants for DIY Topiary Projects

Indoors, the natural green color of the moss will look great for years.

You can also purchase sheet moss, and that’s what I used on these Shamrock Placemats for St. Paddy’s Day!

Sheet Moss is great for DIY Projects like Shamrock Placemats for St. Patrick's Day Tablescape.

I also have several moss balls that I use in my decor, such as those that I used on my porch last year.

The large moss balls began to fade quickly when exposed to the sun, but never fear; I’m going to share how to freshen them.

Moss Balls on Front Porch are great for decorations in Spring and summer.

How Long Does Preserved Moss Last?

When used indoors, away from direct sunlight, the answer is many years. It may need a careful dusting, but it will look great for years.

I have had this moss piece for at least 20 years, and it still looks great.

How Long will Preserved Moss last - this topiary is over 20 years old and looks great.

At the time I purchased this piece, I also purchased this topiary. However, it’s been exposed to sunlight on my screened porch.

faded preserved moss topiary can be revived with food coloring.

If you like the brown moss, it’s still great to use, but if you prefer the green color, there is a solution.

How to Freshen Preserved Moss

This is such an easy solution to prolong the life of your moss pieces and keep them fresh-looking.

All you need is:

Items us prolong life of preserved moss

First, prepare a place to spray your moss or spray outdoors. The food coloring will stain if not removed immediately from surfaces.

Mix a small amount of water, approx. 1/2 cup with 4-5 drops of green food coloring and shake to mix.

If you have several projects, you can increase the quantities.

Spray the moss with the solution until the entire area is green again.

Spray preserved moss with food coloring to make it last longer

Once covered, be sure to catch any drips with paper towels.

How to Keep Preserved Moss Fresh and How long will preserved moss last

The container is covered with preserved leaves and the food coloring method worked great for this as well.

Almost New Preserved Moss

The moss may not look as fresh as it did 20 years ago, however it looks so much better.

Topiary looks new after reviving with green food coloring.

These moss balls were also refreshed with the green food coloring.

Moss ball are no longer faded after adding green food coloring to revive them.

I love using preserved moss in my decor. This book club table centerpiece is filled with balls of moss that I’ve refreshed with this technique.

I wish I had a link to the moss stems, but they were purchased several years ago at Pier 1 Imports, and they no longer sell floral stems.

Book Club Brunch Tablescape filled with preserve moss balls and vintage cheese board with old books & brass birds.

Here, I used the preserved moss balls on the front porch sitting area for Spring. However, I will bring them indoors after when I don’t have guests, to prolong their lovely green color.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can this technique be used on other preserved greenery, such as boxwood? Yes, however, boxwood isn’t as absorbent as the moss and may require multiple applications to achieve the same result.
  2. Can I use paint mixed with water instead of food coloring? Paint will dry hard compared to the food coloring and will not look as natural. The wrong mixture could damage the moss and make it look fake.
  3. Can I use gel food coloring? The gel food coloring works best mixed with solids and may not mix as well with water; therefore, your safe bet is the liquid.


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Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you found this helpful.

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How to Refresh Preserved Moss Decor.  Easy and inexpensive idea for keep moss looking fresh.
Easy and inexpensive DIY to preserve moss decor.
How to freshen preserved moss and update tired looking moss decor.

Kathy M

Wednesday 21st of February 2024

Thankyou so much for this info on how to refresh dried boxwood. I have 2 small wreaths that have turned tarnish after sun exposure. Can't wait to try the food coloring spray on these as well as some moss orbs I have had for many years.


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Kathy, Thanks for your sweet comments. I'm so glad this was helpful for you.


Wednesday 21st of February 2024

This is awesome! I definitely need to do this. I'm sharing it on my newsletter this week.


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Renae, Thank you for sharing.


Sunday 5th of February 2023

Rachel, another 'trick' I've used with large sheets of fading moss is to make solution of 'green food coloring/water' in a small tub and soak the sheet in solution; a bit drippy when lifting out but works for larger projects


Monday 6th of February 2023

Carol, Thanks for sharing this tip. I appreciate your input.

Wendy McMonigle

Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Love this little trick.


Thursday 2nd of February 2023

Wendy, It works great.


Wednesday 1st of February 2023

I’m wondering if you couldn’t use watered down acrylic paint as an alternative if you wanted a brighter green. What do you think? It never occurred to me I could freshen up moss. I just bought new and composted the old. Now I know, thanks!


Thursday 2nd of February 2023

Susan, I'm not sure about the paint. It would be more brittle, I think. However, it's worth a try.