Irish moss ground cover invasive

Irish Moss Ground Cover Plants & Seed

Groundcover Specifications

Season: Perennial

USDA Zones: 4 – 10

Height: 1 – 2 inches

Width: 6 – 12 inches

Bloom Season: Spring and summer

Bloom Color: White

Growth Rate: Moderate

Environment: Full sun to partial shade

Foot Traffic: Moderate

Deer Resistant: Yes

Planting Directions

Temperature: 64 – 72F

Average Germ Time: 14 – 21 days

Light Required: Yes

Depth: Surface sow seed, do not cover

Soil Type: Moisture retentive, gritty, well-drained soil, pH 5.5 – 7.0

Sowing Rate: 3 – 5 seeds per cell or approximately 5000 seeds covers 100 square feet

Moisture: Keep soil slightly moist, but not wet until germination

Plant Spacing: 6 – 9 inches

Note: For detailed directions for indoor and outdoor planting, please

Care & Maintenance: Irish Moss

Irish Moss (Sagina Subulata) – Now offering the first ever pelleted Irish Moss seed! If you have ever tried to plant Irish Moss seed before, you know the seed is like dust and very difficult to plant. If you do not keep the seed moist outside, it can literally blow away. Not any more! Outsidepride is selling the first ever pelleted Irish Moss seed to make planting easier and to help the seed hold moisture while germinating.
Some of the images above are Irish Moss started from seed. Flowering occured approximately 3 months later, but this is quite variable. In just eight weeks, the Irish moss was thick and full. Grow this luxurious, evergreen ground cover plant from Irish Moss seed. Mossy foliage grows just 1 – 2 inches tall, for lovely color between flagstones or spilling over rocks. Dense tufts of slender stems grow together to form a lush carpet of green. Small, star-shaped, white flowers cover this flowering ground cover plant from late spring until mid-summer.

The very tiny Irish Moss seeds create a moss-like, emerald-green foliage that forms a compact 1 – 2 inch tall carpet. Sagina Subulata ground cover is excellent for planting between flagstones. Grown as a lawn substitute, it creates the effect of a moss-covered meadow. Irish Moss is very soft to walk on barefoot, and it has a slightly spongy feel to it.

How to Grow Irish Moss from Seeds: Sow Irish Moss seeds in starter flats, press the tiny seeds into soil but do not cover. Kept at 64 – 72F, germination is in 14 – 21 days. Transplant into the garden 6 – 9 inches apart. Irish Moss seeds can be direct sown into the garden or in-between stones. The ground cover seed must be kept moist continuously. It will be adaptable to mostly sunny locations in cooler climates or partial shade in warmer climates. Irish Moss ground cover needs moisture retentive, gritty, well-drained soil. The plants are hardy above -30F degrees.

Shake ‘n Seed – We are now offering shaker bottles filled with our seed starting matrix: rich soil, gardening sand, water absorbing crystals, and starter fertilizer. This not only helps dispense your seed, but it gets it off to a great start! Simply remove lid from shaker bottle, add seed from packet, put back on lid, shake the bottle vigorously for 15 seconds, and then shake your way to beautiful new plants! Use Shake ‘n Seed over good quality soil, and then gently water to keep seed moist until it sprouts. Great for ground covers or mass planting flower seeds.

Irish Moss Plants – Growing Irish Moss In the Garden

Irish moss plants are versatile little plants that can add a touch of elegance to your landscape. Growing Irish moss fills a range of garden needs. It is simple to learn how to grow Irish moss. You’ll find growing Irish moss can put the finishing touch on many areas of the garden and beyond. Keep reading to learn more about the care of Irish moss in your garden.

Irish Moss Growing Zones and Info

A member of the Caryophyllaceae family, Irish moss (Sagina subulata), which is not a moss at all, is also called Corsican pearlwort or Scot’s moss. Irish moss plants perform in a manner similar to moss, however. They do need some light to maintain the most amazing of emerald green colors found in its foliage. This herbaceous perennial (evergreen in warmer zones) turns green as temperatures warm. Charming little white blooms appear sporadically throughout the growing season. For a similar plant with a more yellow tint, try Scotch moss, Sagina subulata Aurea.

Irish moss growing zones include USDA plant hardiness zones 4-10, depending on the variety you choose. Most areas of the United States can use Irish moss plants in some manner. Not a heat loving specimen, use Irish moss plants in a sunny to partially shaded area. In warmer Irish moss growing zones, plant where it is protected from the scorching sun. Irish moss may turn brown during summer’s hottest days, but greens up again as temperatures fall in autumn.

How to Grow Irish Moss

Plant Irish moss in spring, when danger of frost is passed. Space plants 12 inches apart when first planting.

Soil should be fertile and have good drainage. Irish moss plants need regular watering, but should not have soggy roots.

Care for Irish moss is simple and includes cutting out browning patches in older mats. Growing Irish moss reaches only 1 to 2 inches in height and when used as a lawn replacement, does not need mowing. If you don’t wish for such a drastic makeover, consider the possibilities of growing Irish moss as a ground cover.

Use the grass-like mats to spread around pavers or to edge a rock garden. Growing Irish moss is also attractive in containers. Uses of Irish moss are limited only by your imagination.

Scotch moss has gold to chartreuse foliage (L) while Irish moss is dark green. (R)

Irish and Scotch moss are prostrate herbaceous evergreen perennials in the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae) that superficially resemble moss. They are, however, flowering plants that thrive in full sun to partial shade rather than the moist, shady conditions where true mosses are found (mosses are primitive, non-flowering plants). The common name Irish moss generally refers to plants with emerald-green leaves, while Scotch moss is generally used for cultivars with gold to chartreuse foliage. The species most commonly offered commercially is Sagina subulata, a native of western and central Europe that is hardy in zones 4-8. It is also sometimes referred to as heath pearlwort. Arenaria verna, also called moss sandwort, is also from Europe and hardy in zones 4-7. The two are virtually indistinguishable when not in bloom (the flowers of S. subulata are solitary while those of A. verna are borne in small clusters) and both have golden forms, and the names are often applied incorrectly in the horticultural trade.

Both species make dense, compact mats of ground-hugging foliage spreading to a foot or more wide and just 1-2 inches tall. Tufts of slender, subulate (awl-shaped) leaves cover thin, creeping stems.

The dense mats of foliage (L) have thin, creeping stems (C) covered with narrow leaves (R).

Tiny star-shaped flowers are produced beginning in late spring and appear sporadically throughout the growing season. Rounded green buds on skinny stalks open to expose the 5 rounded white petals the same length as the pointed green sepals and ten white stamens. The flowers are sprinkled individually across the mat of leaves in S. subulata, but occur in clusters on A. verna. These are followed by tiny smooth, brown, triangular seeds in oblong capsules. Under good conditions they will readily self-sow, but is easy to remove where unwanted.

The small flowers (RC) are held above the foliage (L) on thin stalks (LC). The flowers are followed by brown fruits (capsules) that contain many smooth brown seeds (R).

Use Irish and Scotch moss where a very low, fine-textured carpet of green or gold is desired, such as around stepping stones, between flagstones, or at the edges of a path as they tolerate light foot traffic. In areas where there is heavy foot traffic, creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is a tougher alternative that will stand up to being walked on more frequently. These plants can be a good groundcover near the edges of water features or in rock gardens. Use Irish or Scotch moss for contrast in smaller containers or to simulate a lawn in miniature or fairy gardens. The bright chartreuse-yellow color of Scotch moss provides a brilliant contrast with plants with darker green foliage. Green or golden forms can be used as a ground cover around smaller spring flowering bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops (Galanthus), or small fritillarias (such as Fritillaria michailovskyi or F. meleagris). Trying to create a patchwork or checkerboard of the green and gold types is a real challenge as they readily grow together to dilute the effect.

Irish or Scotch moss growing around rocks in a garden (L), as an accent in a mixed container (C) and as “grass” in a miniature garden (R).

Irish or Scotch moss is susceptible to browning out with too much or too little water.

Irish and Scotch moss grow best in full sun in the Midwest with regular water and excellent drainage. They will grow in partial shade, but will not be as compact here; in more southern areas they may need some afternoon shade. Fertilize sparingly to keep plants compact; high nitrogen levels can induce excessive foliar growth so the plants become mounded rather than forming a carpet. Water if necessary to keep evenly moist, but not wet. These plants have few pests, but slugs can damage the plants. The plants may be short-lived and clumps are susceptible to browning out with insufficient or excessive water.

Irish and Scotch moss are easily propagated from seed or division.

These plants can be propagated from seed or division. Cut narrow strips from established plantings or dig whole clumps and separate into pieces (being sure all have roots) for replanting. Plants grow at a moderate rate and make take several years to completely fill an area. Use many closely-spaced small transplants to cover large areas more quickly. Seeds can be started indoors several weeks before the average date of last frost, or direct sown in the garden in spring. Keep continuously moist as seeds will take 2-3 weeks to germinate.

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison


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Grow this luxurious, evergreen ground cover plant from seeds to ground cover in only 8 weeks. Mossy foliage grows just 1 to 2 inches tall, for lovely color between flagstones or spilling over rocks. Dense tufts of slender stems grow together to form a lush carpet of green. Small, star-shaped, white flowers cover this flowering ground cover plant from late spring until mid-summer.
The very tiny Irish Moss seeds create a moss-like, emerald-green foliage that forms a compact 1 to 2 inch tall carpet. This ground cover is excellent for planting between flagstones. Grown as a lawn substitute, it creates the effect of a moss-covered meadow. Irish Moss is very soft to walk on barefoot, and it has a slightly spongy feel to it. Hardy for zones 4-10.
Important Note: These are very tiny seeds, even smaller than tobacco or petunia seeds. They are easily germinated by following instructions above, but they must be started inside and transplanted outside as “plugs”. These will not germinate well outside, except in some instances where they are sowed between flagstones.

Irish Moss

Irish Moss-Sagina Subulata For Sale Affordable, Grower Direct Prices Tennessee Wholesale Nursery

Irish moss requires USDA plant hardiness zones 4-10 for best growth. This plant prefers to grow in an area with moderate sunlight and doesn’t do well in places that are entirely shaded. Ample amounts of both sun and shade are recommended. Mature Height: This easy to care for plant grows to less than 2 inches in height. Soil Conditions: This plant requires normal soil conditions but would do well in soil that is either sandy or clay based as well. It needs moderate rainfall and does not respond well to drought or extremely wet conditions. Irish moss should frequently be watered without overwatering. Overwatered plants will rot, and under-watered plants will brown and die. Growing Speed: Irish moss reaches it’s mature height at a moderate pace and can take years to cover larger areas when planted by seed entirely. Transplanted patches will spread at an average rate. Characteristics: It forms tiny white blooms during Late Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer, and Late Summer. This plant is considered evergreen and is deer resistant.\Uses In Landscaping: Irish moss can be used as a ground cover that doesn’t require mowing in areas of moderate foot traffic. It is suitable for edging, filling in spaces between concrete and rocks, and in decorative planters.

Buy Fast Growing Irish moss

It is dark green and grows in dense patches. From early Spring to late Summer, Irish moss forms small white flowers that cover most of the plant. The flowers are entirely white and feature five petals around a light green center. The plant is composed of clumps of close-packed blades that grow up to 2 inches in height and completely cover the ground. Irish Moss is also known as Scot’s moss and is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family. This plant is not a pure moss and is either a herbaceous perennial or evergreen, depending on where it is growing. This plant produces lush emerald green foliage and is dotted with tiny white blooms. For best results, plant it in the late spring when the potential for frost has passed. To provide ample room for the spread, it is best to space these plants 12 inches apart. Irish moss needs moist soil to thrive, avoid soggy soil or over-watering to prevent root rot. It tolerates foot traffic well and has a moderate growth rate. Home gardeners who are looking for an attractive ground cover would do well to consider this herbaceous perennial for their landscape setting.

Affordable Irish Moss For Every Landscape Design

It is also lovely when grown as a container plant and placed around porches or decks. Because this hardy plant is deer and wildlife resistant, this evergreen looks well kept and neat as a ground cover. It has a relatively low heat tolerance, making it best suited to areas of partial shade. Moss has many different uses in and around the home landscape setting. It is relatively easy to maintain and does not require mowing in most growing areas. Home gardeners often find moss plants a good way to add a pop of deep, emerald green to their garden while filling in flower beds. Because it is easy to maintain, gardeners can sit back and enjoy this nice addition to their yard or home garden.

Irish Moss

SOUND GARDENER: Irish Moss can become a weed when out of control

Sun | Home & Garden

Chris Smith — May 22nd, 1999

Some of the hardest weeds to control are “good” plants gone “bad.” Usually people acquire these plants deliberately, expecting them to stay where they’ve been planted. The plants have a different agenda. Like Huck Finn, they have no intention of staying put; they “light out for the Territory.” Likely territory includes lawns, flower beds, shrubberies and vegetable gardens.

Ivy can go bad. So can bamboo. And remember, Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom began life in the Northwest as good plants. Now a local man, simply trying to enjoy his lawn as a community of grasses, wonders whether the Irish Moss turning up in his turf is a plant gone bad. I’ll use his e-mail note to me for a dialogue on his question.

Writer: I have a growing infestation of what I think is Irish Moss, a very fine fronded, bright green moss that competes with my grass. It must be considered a desirable plant by some, because I see it on sale at the Port Orchard Farmer’s Market (that’s also where I got the name Irish Moss). It’s invulnerable to the moss killer I use on the more common variety of moss, which turns black and dies almost immediately.

Sound Gardener: Assuming you and the farmers’ market vendor properly identified your plants, what’s in your lawn isn’t a true moss. That explains why moss killer doesn’t touch the stuff. Irish Moss (Sagina subulata) is actually a small broad leafed plant. Considered desirable as a low growing ground cover and filler of space between paving stones, it can escape to other areas and become a problem.

W: It’s not a bad looking plant, compared to ordinary moss, but I prefer grass. It must spread in the wind, since I’ve also been getting it between the paving stones in my sidewalk. I dig it out of there and assemble it as a ground cover in a planter, which makes a nice display. But I can’t dig it out of the lawn in worthwhile intact clumps. Is it a weed I need to eradicate? If so, how?

SG: Irish Moss seeds itself in our area. That’s how it comes to be growing in the cracks of your sidewalk. You’ve figured out good use for it as a ground cover. Its fate in your lawn, though, depends on the strength of your preference for grass. Let me outline a few possibilities for your consideration:

1. Re-evaluate whether you want a monoculture of grass in your lawn. Tolerance for, even appreciation of other plants in lawns is growing. Clover, English lawn daisies, Roman Chamomile, Baby Blue Eyes and Yarrow are even turning up in lawn seed mixes. You could look at a diversity of color and texture in your lawn as a plus instead of a problem.

2. Limit further spread of the plant with a pre-emergent herbicide. I’d recommend you use the new corn gluten meal herbicide available at some area nurseries. CONCERN Weed Prevention Plus is the brand I’ve seen, though others may be here as well. Like pre-emergent products in general, it prevents the development of new plants without harming established plants. Unlike other herbicides, it degrades into a 10 percent nitrogen fertilizer and is harmless to people, pets, wildlife and fish. Of course you’ll still be stuck with the established Irish Moss, and if there’s more of it than you want to dig, you may want to consider additional options.

3. If less than half the lawn is infested, you could apply a broadleaf lawn herbicide containing Trimec, a mix of three materials: 2, 4-D, Banvel and MCPP, one or more of which will probably do in the established “moss.” Though of a low order of toxicity, the herbicides in Trimec can leach or run off a target area and damage desirable plants. Use it carefully and according to label directions.

4. If over half the lawn is infested with “moss” and you simply can’t abide the stuff, dig up or kill the grass with Roundup and re-seed or re-sod. Incidentally, Roundup doesn’t leach or run off. Don’t get it on non target plants though; it’s non selective and will injure or kill most plants it contacts.

5. Whatever you decide to do about your Irish Moss, combine it with good lawn care. Grass out-competes most plants when it gets sufficient water and nutrients. Re-seed bare spots too; they’re an invitation to opportunistic weeds, including the “good” plants that escape their bounds.

Chris Smith is a longtime Kitsap County gardener. He cannot answer individual questions but will answer questions of general interest in his column.

There is something plain old irresistible about Irish moss. I don’t know if it’s the colour, texture or elegant simplicity that everyone loves.
Sagina subulata is one of the best low growing ground covers that is both decorative and low maintenance. Hardy to about -15°C (5°F), it spreads slowly to surround paths and stones with a dense, evergreen, emerald green carpet of tiny, soft feathery leaves that are studded with a galaxy of white flowers for a short time in mid-summer.
Irish moss is most often used as a ground cover, softening paths and stepping-stones. It gives a lush accent to rock garden and terraces. It can be used as an under-planting beneath taller plants or to cover bare soil beneath potted topiaries or other plants in containers. It is also popular for Japanese-style landscaping and can be grown under trees.
Irish Moss can be used as a lawn replacement and can also help cut down on grass space and increase your garden space. Often used strategically in smaller areas where grass is hard to grow, the plants will tolerate light to medium foot traffic. For a luxurious carpet of green, few plants can match Irish moss.

Coverage:
If you are looking to cover a large area, start by growing in pots or trays and make your own “plug plants” by cutting the plants into squares. To give you an idea of coverage, look at the last picture attached, the sign says “One box will cover three square metres”
Irish moss will grow and spread over time. As the plants grow they create undulations and “hump up”, these humps can also be cut and transplanted to other areas.

Sowing: Sow in late winter to spring or in late summer to autumn.
Sow February to March for planting out from June onwards. Sow mid July to the end of August for planting out the following year. Sowing to plug plant stage is around 5 to 6 weeks, to green pots is 8 to 10 weeks
Fill cells or small pots with good quality, free draining seed compost (John Innes or similar) stand the containers in water to moisten thoroughly, and then drain. Sow the seeds very thinly onto the surface of the compost. Do not cover the seed as they require light for germination. Avoid direct sunlight by shading seeds after sowing.
Use a propagator or seal in a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 5 to 8 days at 18 to 22°C (65 to 68°F). Cold temperatures will increase the cultivation time. Keep the soil slightly moist but not wet, watering from the base of the tray, never on top of the seeds.
Remove the polythene bag once the first seedlings appear and move to a cooler area, ideally around 15 to 18°C (59 to 65°F). When they are large enough to handle transplant the plug of tiny seedlings to 7 to 10cm (3 to 4in) pots to grow on.
Seed can also be sow into flats. Once the seedlings are growing strongly, cut the flats into 5 to 10cm (2 to 4in) squares, pot on or plant outdoors as required.
Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Space 15cm (6in) apart.

Cultivation:
Moss needs regular watering and occasional feeding. Feed in spring and summer with fish emulsion or a dilute solution of other fertiliser. Pull out weeds early before they take over. But don’t use herbicides as they tend to damage this ground cover. Clumps may be divided in late summer or early spring.
Irish moss does well in full sun but in hotter parts of the world may suffer in the heat of summer. Add plenty of organic matter to soil and keep plants well watered.
Be sure to step them into the ground occasionally. As Irish moss matures, it tends to create an uneven, undulating surface. Many gardeners like this natural look, but if plants become too lumpy, slice out wedges to remove humps. If needed, add a fine layer of topsoil to create an even surface; remaining plants will quickly cover bare spots.

Plant Uses:
Rockeries, Ground Cover, Borders, Edging, Paths, Walls & Containers, Lawn replacement.
Low Maintenance, Evergreen.

Origin:
Sagina subulata is not a true moss; Sagina is a genus of 20 to 30 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae (The carnation family). These are flowering plants native to temperate regions of Europe

Nomenclature:
Name by Matthias Lobelius, 1576. Sagina is from the Latin meaning ‘food for cows’ referring to its grass like appearance.
Subulata is taken from the Latin ‘subula’ meaning ‘an awl or small weapon’, (An awl is a pointed tool for making holes, usually in wood or leather.) and refers to the shape of the leaves.
The common name Pearlwort refers to the resemblance of the small spherical flowers to pearls. The common name Irish moss is also used for Chondrus crispus, a red seaweed found off the coastlines of Ireland and the common name Pearlwort is also used for Colobanthus, a flowering plant found in the Antarctic region.
The Irish name for Sagina subulata is Mongán móna.

To Clarify:
Sagina subulata (Irish Moss) is deep, green. Sagina subulata Aurea (Scotch Moss) is brighter, having a golden tint to the foliage. Scotch moss favours clay soil, Irish Moss is less particular about the soil it’s grown in. Both dislike drought and the other extreme, wet feet. Both are evergreen and are covered in tiny, star-shaped white flowers in spring.

Sagina Subulata 100 Seeds

Small white flowers on low growing perennial.

Sagina are mat growing hardy perennials mosses that reach about 10 cm in height.

Sagina have lime green lance shaped leaves, and bloom in the summer carrying tiny white flowers.

Their size makes them a great plant for using in rock gardens, as ground cover, and for the gaps in dry stone walls.

These seeds have been tested and obtained an 94% Germination Rate.

Garden Height: 10cm
Ideal for: Bedding, Rockeries & Ground Cover

How to grow Irish Moss and Other Sagina

The seeds of Irish Moss and other Sagina species can be sown outdoors either in autumn or the beginning of spring. Once sown lightly cover the seed. Plants should be spaced about 10 cm apart unless it is a spreading variety, then they should be grown about 20 cm apart. Irish Moss likes to be grown in sunny areas that have afternoon shade, and thrives in a moist, light, and sandy soil.

If starting off indoors then do so about 7 or 8 weeks before the last frost of spring. It should take two or three weeks for the seeds to germinate at 12 degrees centigrade. Transplant them out after the last frost of spring.

Caring for Sagina

It is easy to care for Sagina plants. They like moist soil so water them frequently; also give them a regular feed. It may be necessary to grow Irish Moss near plants that attract ladybirds as aphids love to feed on them.

Quick Sagina Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Pearlwort, Irish moss.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Some annuals.
  • Height: Two to six inches (5—15 cm). Often prostrate.
  • Native: Northern hemisphere, Equatorial Africa.
  • Flowers: Summer.
  • Flower Details: White. Tiny. Solitary, or as small determinate simple inflorescences (cymes).
  • Foliage: Herbaceous. Green, lime. Opposite. Lance-shaped. Whorled clusters.
  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Start of spring – before the last frost, or towards the end of autumn.
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: two to four weeks. Temperature: 55°F (13°C). Seven or eight weeks before the expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost. Space at 2 to 8 inches (5—20 cm).
  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial afternoon shade in hotter areas. Moist, sandy soil. Light soil, poor soil. Short-lasting perennial plant, replace regularly for best results. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas. Protect from aphids.
  • Miscellaneous: Due to its small size Sagina subulata cv. Aurea (Scotch/Irish moss) makes a great plant to grown between cracks in paving stones.

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