How to Grow Hypnum Moss (Hypnum cupressiforme)

Hypnum cupressiforme is a type of Sheet Moss that grows in a dense sheet across soil and rock (and terrarium substrates).

The creeping stems form the mat structure, which are then covered in overlapping leaves – giving the appearance of a cypress tree (hence one of the nicknames).

It’s actually found naturally all over the world, so you can be confident it’s going to do just fine in a variety of terrarium environments.

Hypnum Cupressiforme (Sheet Moss/Hypnum Moss))

Where to Buy Sheet Moss

See the links below to purchase from reputable terrarium plant shops and marketplaces (may include affiliate links). 

US – See on Etsy
UK – See on Etsy

Hypnum Moss Care & Growth

Plant TypeMoss
LightingBright, indirect light
Temperature60-85°F (15-30°C)
WateringInfrequent, even moisture
HumidityHigh humidity (60-90%)
Growth1-5 inches


Ideally, Hypnum cupressiforme would be placed in a low light terrarium environment like the forests it naturally inhabits. Direct sunlight could easily burn the moss.


Unlike some other terrarium mosses, Hypnum Moss doesn’t need to be saturated with water all the time. In a closed terrarium system, it’s unlikely to need any extra misting. In fact, it’ll probably rot if overwatered.


Hypnum Moss is found growing on all kinds of natural surfaces in the wild. It should grow readily on any typical terrarium substrate. Make sure the substrate has plenty of drainage to prevent this moss rotting.

Temperature & Humidity

The fact that Hypnum cupressiforme is so prolific around the world tells us it’s able to handle a variety of conditions. It’s very common in the tropical vivarium industry, so it does well in a high temperature and humidity environment.


As the ‘Sheet Moss’ term implies, this moss is very capable of growing a healthy, thick carpet. Perfect for lining the bottom of a terrarium (or mossarium), it’ll happily grow to cover it.


Hypnum Moss will happily propagate through simple division. Isolate into patches or single stems and they should each start a new moss colony of their own.

Varieties & Similar Plants

Hypnum Moss has many notable varieties, and they come in a range of colours. Hypnum lacunosum is a thick, golden brown moss with swollen leaves.

Common Problems

Hypnum Moss needs less water than some other terrarium mosses or plants. Take care not to overwater this moss whilst hydrating your terrarium.