Can I grow moss using a buttermilk substitute?

by Deb
I have heard that moss will grow where you spray buttermilk, for example on a log or rock.

I would like to grow moss on a wood box I would like to turn into a fairy house. I don't have buttermilk, but in cooking I use milk and add vinegar as a substitute.

Does anyone know if this will work?

  4 answers
  • Charlotte Erickson Charlotte Erickson on Mar 23, 2018

    I tried the Buttermilk recipe. No luck, but I think I needed to keep it wetter than I did. Hope you have more success than I did!

  • Janet Panos Janet Panos on Mar 23, 2018

    Hello! Yes, milk enhanced with vinegar or lemon juice will start to curdle from the acidity added to the milk and is a substitute for buttermilk. However when it comes to growing moss, it will not grow with buttermilk alone or it’s substitute. Mold spores must be present. Click on the link below to read the guide on what needs to be present in order to grow moss on wood or on rock. Good luck!

  • Deb Deb on Mar 23, 2018

    Wow! Thank you all for helping. I'll try the buttermilk substitute first. There is lots of moss around the area where I plan to put the fairy house so there will be plenty of spores. Thanks for double checking, though. I appreciate it.

    If the buttermilk sub doesn't work, I'll try the milkshake suggestion. One of these HAS to work. *smile

  • Sassy Sassy on Mar 24, 2018

    Since I use vinegar as a weed killer, I would be hesitant to use it to encourage something to grow. It might be worth your while to just go buy that quart of buttermilk.

    • Deb Deb on Mar 24, 2018

      I hadn't thought of that. I was thinking along the lines of the substitute changes both the milk and vinegar into something else so it isn't just vinegar, but sour milk. The substitute can be made with lemon juice instead (as mentioned above). But you may be right. I should just buy some buttermilk. (Hmmm... now to find some around here...)