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The bottom portion could die due to lack of light.

I think the idea is to maximize the amount of moss getting light/nutrients so it will attach and spread faster. Which is why a light covering of moss is better than a big clump.
 

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To get a really good start I would put down a thin layer so there is no bottom to rot then tie that down tight.

I have had big success doing it this way. Seems to grow in more uniform and tidy too...
 

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I made the mistake of attaching a dense mass of Christmas moss and while there was some browning on the underside of the moss, the biggest pain in the neck was trying to trim it! I would definitely do a thin layer next time just to make trimming easier.
 
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