Moss Graffiti: Guerrilla Marketing at Its Greenest

A moss graffiti tree

A moss graffiti tree with wallpaper birds. Photo by Jill Fehrenbacher.

You’ve heard time and time again that being different gets you noticed. But is it even possible to come up with some kind of amazingly unique marketing plan for your small business without spending a ton of money? It sure is and there’s a name for it: guerrilla marketing!

Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional form of marketing that relies heavily on imagination, rather than budget, to get the widespread attention you want. A great example of guerrilla marketing in action is moss graffiti.

After all, what’s cooler than living, breathing moss that spells out the marketing message of your choice while crawling up a surface like a building or wall? Not much if you ask us!

Who’s the Moss?

Moss graffiti, also called eco-graffiti, is a form of guerrilla marketing that replaces toxic spray paint with moss. (Green gangstas represent!)

The way it works is simple: You mix up a delightful concoction of moss, buttermilk, and a couple other ingredients and then paint it on a surface in the form of words, shapes, or whatever you like. Eventually, it’ll grow into an environmentally-friendly form of guerrilla marketing that can spark conversation in a big way.

Keep in mind that there’s no overnight satisfaction with eco-graffiti. Since you’re dealing with moss, you may need to water it on a weekly basis until it grows to your liking.

The good news is that if you find that your eco-graffiti isn’t going over well with consumers or the city you live in, the moss can be easily killed by spraying it with lime juice.

What you say with your moss is totally up to you, whether it’s a tag line, some kind of thought-provoking statement, a shape, or anything else. Just keep in mind that your goal is to get people to notice what you’ve written and tell others about it. The more creative, the better.

Mix Up Some Moss Magic

A moss graffiti bull.

A moss graffiti bull. Photo credit:

Ready to get in the kitchen and mix yourself up a nice batch of moss graffiti? Check out the recipe below!

If you still need a little inspiration before getting started, check out this gallery of 20 eco-graffiti masterpieces to get your creative juices flowing and your moss a-growing. And then get to shopping with the list below:

Your eco-graffiti shopping list:

  • One or two clumps (about a small handful) of moss
  • 2 cups of buttermilk (You can also substitute with yogurt)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Corn syrup (optional)

Step 1: Gather up as much moss as you can find or buy.

Step 2: Wash the moss to get as much soil out of the roots as possible.

Step 3: Break the moss apart into manageable pieces and place in blender.

Step 4: Add the buttermilk/yogurt, water, and sugar. Blend the mixture until completely smooth. You’ll want it to have a paint-like texture.

Step 5: If the mixture is at a consistency where you feel it will drip, add corn syrup until the consistency you desire is reached.

Step 6: Use a paintbrush to apply the moss-paint to the surface on which you wish your design to grow.

Step 7: If possible, check back weekly to either spray the design with water (to encourage moss growth, especially if you live in a dry environment) or apply more moss-paint.

But Will I Go to Moss Jail?

Using moss to spell out a message? We’re not sure any other form of guerrilla marketing could be quite so nerdy, yet still so cool at the same time. So unless your message is especially controversial or you’re placing it on private, well-regulated property, eco-graffiti probably isn’t going to land you in the slammer.

But if you do go to jail, don’t call us. We’re not in the practice of bailing out hardcore moss graffiti artists. Hey, we’ll support your creative expression, but we won’t fund it.

We’ve given this guerrilla marketing tactic a mild guerrilla rating of 2, which means it’s probably not that risky, but rest assured that it’s still a creatively awesome marketing technique that’ll make your small business stand out.

Will you be making some moss graffiti magic? Tell us below!

About the Author

Shannon Willoby

Shannon is the director of content marketing for Scott's Marketplace and has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. (Or crayon.) When she's not blogging, you can find her daydreaming that she's Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.


  1. says

    Hi Shannon,
    This is an awesome post, and thanks for providing the recipe for the moss! I’m trying for the life of me to figure where this would actually work without one having to revisit the site and water the stuff–thereby increasing one’s chances of getting caught or at least recognized. Maybe on the side of block walls in the south and humid mid-Atlantic states? Unfortunately I don’t’ think this will work in the Southwest or any dry state. In any case, it really makes you think how to “green” your marketing efforts–even the guerilla ones!
    Thanks so much for contributing this post to BizSugar, too!

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Hi Heather,

      I can’t think of anywhere you wouldn’t have to keep sneaking back to water it either! Can’t imagine it would end up growing well, or much at all, without some secret watering missions. You’re probably right about locale as well — that’s most likely the biggest determining factor of whether or not your moss will grow.

      I saw a few more tips online I thought you might want to read:

      Moss grows best on porous surfaces such as bricks or other stones.
      Apply your paint in a moist area that receives a moderate amount of sunlight.
      The best times to plant your graffiti are in the spring or fall, and keeping the moss moist will encourage its growth.
      Moss can also be grown indoors as a decorative element.

      Thank you for your comment!


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