How to Kill Moss in Your Yard

Discover why moss forms in your yard.

What Is Moss?

Mosses are classified as Bryophyta, making them different from most other plants in your yard. They develop spores rather than seed and do not have true roots. They absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. There are several types of moss that grow in lawns. They are usually coarse, green or yellowish-green clumps scattered throughout the lawn, but they can also form large, densely matted clumps.

Moss will not overtake or kill of the lawn. Instead, it will move into the bare spots where the lawn is not growing. Moss in the lawn is usually an indication that there is a deeper problem, such as compacted soil, poor drainage, low soil pH, or lack of sunlight. The best time to control moss is in the fall or spring when it is actively growing; however, unless the underlying cause is corrected, the moss will eventually return.

But don't worry—it's not hard to kill moss and keep it from coming back. Here's how.

How to Control Moss: Helpful Tips

  • To control moss, you have to do more than just kill off the existing moss in the lawn. Good lawn care practices will help your lawn grow thick and be able to better outcompete moss so it won't grow back.
  • To kill moss on hardscapes like patios and driveways and in landscape beds, apply Ortho® GroundClear® Weed & Grass Killer. You'll start to see results in as little as 15 minutes. OMRI listed and rainproof in just 2 hours, this product also kills all types of green, growing weeds. Be sure to follow label directions whenever you use it.
  • Trim tree limbs to let in more light and reduce the amount of shade on the lawn. If the area gets at least 3-4 hours of sunlight, plant a shade-tolerant grass that will be able to better compete with the moss.
  • Aerate compacted soils and incorporate organic matter to help improve drainage. Only water the lawn when needed (1" of water per week is all that your lawn needs).