It's not really a plant, it's just a patch of green, well, moss. With a lush, velvety appearance, Irish or Scotch moss forms a luxurious carpet of green or gold, respectively. Also known as Irish moss or pearlwort, Sagina subulata is a moss-like perennial ground cover with bright green foliage. The ground cover seed must be kept moist continuously. The seeds do not need burying or covering in the soil. In the right conditions, Irish Moss self-seeds readily. Keep the soil continually moist, but not wet, until the seeds germinate in two to three weeks. Aug 11, 2013 - - Adding of sand into the soil is useful as it helps in improving the draining ability of your soil. Once planted, the Irish moss needs little care. Suitable for growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9, Sagina subulata is often planted around paving stones or in rock gardens. Your sowed Irish moss’ seeds will take one to three weeks to germinate/sprout. M.H. Or, you can spread a moss mixture onto your fence, foundation, or stones to give them an aura of forest magic. The small, star-shaped flowers of Irish moss also produce a pleasant fragrance in the spring. If the soil is sandy or clay-based, work up to 2 inches of manure, compost, or other organic matter into the soil. However, you can cover them with a thin layer of soil –if you like. If you are planting between rocks or paving stones, just set the Irish moss starter into the spaces. Irish Moss seeds can be direct sown into the garden or in-between stones. Press the tiny seeds into the soil but do not cover. The gardener at the nursery can help you find the Irish moss plants that are the best for your home garden. Along with freelancing, she also runs a small farm with her family in Central New York. Transplant into the garden 6 - 9 inches apart. Plants should be spaced about 10 cm apart unless it is a spreading variety, then they should be grown about 20 cm apart. Scotch Moss is actually a species all of its own, although it's still part of the Carnation family (Caryophyllaceae). Actually I just planted this type of moss adjacent to front yard pavers. Look for plant growth that is healthy and appears to be growing well. If you are experiencing problems handling the tiny seeds, measure out an equivalent amount of Irish moss seed in fine sand into a bowl. Transplant outdoors when all danger of frost has passed. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing. Studded with a galaxy of white flowers for a short time in mid-summer. Since Irish moss ground cover can tolerate some foot traffic, it works especially well along walkways or to fill in the spaces between stepping stones. Sprinkle the seeds out across the surface of the soil and leave them like that. Plant Sagina subulata seeds directly outdoors when all danger of frost has passed in spring. How to Grow Moss Indoors Learning how to grow moss indoors is a simple task; in fact, this can be a good project for parents and children to do together. Low growing, each verdant Irish moss plant will eventually spread to cover about 1 foot. It's sometimes also referred to as Moss Sandwort. Step by Step Guide for Growing Irish Moss from Seed Spread seeds in starter soil, pressed lightly into it Germination will take 2-3 weeks, then transplant into their respective location (garden, container, terrarium, etc.) Caring for Irish Moss When I planted I used a mix composed of inexpensive topsoil available from ACE hardware combined with quarter minus gravel (50#) from Oregon Decorative Rock or any local nursery store. To prevent self-sowing and spreading to undesirable areas, mow Irish moss mats before flowers produce viable seeds. The seeds may require irrigation daily during warm weather. A light feeder, Irish moss does not require regular fertilization. How to Grow Irish Moss: Sow Irish Moss seeds in starter flats, press the tiny seeds into soil but do not cover. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Not a true moss but a flowering plant, these evergreen ground cover plants resemble moss until their small white star-shaped flowers begin to bloom. Growing moss indoors in terrariums or large glass jars is a decorative way to create miniature forest landscapes to decorate your home. The Irish moss thrives well in zones 6 to 9. Make sure you keep the soil moist during the germination period. This can be controlled by occasionally cutting out narrow strips, then pressing or rolling lightly. Meg Schader is a freelance writer and copyeditor. Moss is ideal for yards and gardens because it helps to retain moisture and it never needs to be mowed like grass. If you live in warmer climates, you can find Irish moss at nurseries all year around. Put a large piece of cardboard over the Irish moss. Irish Moss can be used as a lawn replacement and can also help cut down on grass space and increase your garden space. How to Grow Irish Moss: Sow Irish Moss seeds in starter flats, press the tiny seeds into soil but do not cover. Perfect for planting between stepping stones, in small crevices between rocks or pool-side. To grow moss, all you need is a little bit of labor up front, and then it can take care of itself for years to come. Step 1 - Pick out Irish Moss Plants Go to a local plant nursery and pick out Irish moss plants that can be placed into the ground in your home's garden. Spread a layer of cling film over the tray. Kept at 64 - 72F, germination is in 14 - 21 days. A member of the Caryophyllaceae family, Irish moss (Sagina subulata), which is not a moss at all, is also called Corsican pearlwort or Scots moss. Cultivate the soil for Irish moss by digging down an inch or two and then mixing in sand and compost to make the soil drain well. Sprinkle Sagina subulata seeds directly on the surface of the soil. Growing Irish Moss directly from seed can take two to three weeks. When Buying Irish Moss. Sometimes it's even referred to as a cultivar of this species. Irish Moss Qty $ 3.62 /packet 100 pelleted seeds: Creeping moss-like plant with dense, tiny, emerald green, feathery leaves. You can propagate the Irish moss by dividing the rootball. It does not tolerate drought conditions well, so it may need to be watered, especially when first planted. Scatter the Irish moss seeds thinly across the surface of the seed raising mix. Sagina subulata requires little maintenance and tolerates light to moderate foot traffic. Consider planting your Irish moss in spring, when the danger of frost is passed. The seeds also need decent light for germination, so give them only a light covering of soil. Often used strategically in smaller areas where grass is hard to grow, the plants will tolerate light to medium foot traffic. With deep green leaves and small white flowers, Irish moss is a good alternative to establishing grass lawn in some places in your yard. Forms a ground-hugging, soft green carpet. Plant seeds on top of the soil one inch apart, or two inches apart for the spreading variety. 2. Planting ground covers like Irish moss can help provide habitat for pollinators and reduce climate change, notes University of Maryland Extension. If you want to skip that step, then visit a local plant nursery. The plant guy at the office brought it for the receptionist, said it was irish moss, so I took it when she said that she didn't want it. An evergreen plant, it can be started from seed indoors or direct seeded into prepared soil, growing into a 1 to 2 inch green carpet in about eight weeks, according to Seedman.com. Irish moss works well as a ground cover or tucked into tight spaces between paving stones or in a rock garden where it will remain green and lush all year round. Scotch Moss (Arenaria verna) is often confused with its close relative - Irish Moss. What is more, Irish moss stays green most of the winter season. Learn more about these plants that make a great filler between flagstones or spilling over rocks… They take some foot traffic and tend to hump up over time. - Image Courtesy: weddingbycolor.com Excellent for filling in between the cracks of flagstone paving, in the rock garden or as a lawn substitute. Mix the fertilizer to one-half the strength recommended on the label. How to Plant and Care for Irish and Scottish Moss They need good soil, good drainage, and occasional feeding with controlled-release fertilizer. Dislikes both drought and soggy wet soils. Once established, Irish moss requires very little maintenance or inputs, conserving energy and adding ecological value to your yard. Remove weeds and then spade the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. # 1 | Sow Irish Moss seeds by pressing the tiny (dust-like) seeds into soil but make sure you do not cover them. How to Grow Irish Moss from Seeds: Sow Irish Moss seeds in starter flats, press the tiny seeds into soil but do not cover. While it would be difficult to plant and establish large areas of Irish moss as a lawn, the creeping plant does well in low-growing mass plantings in full sun to partial shade. Terrariums that have too much water -- where water stands in the gravel -- should be vented for a couple hours to reduce the liquid level. Planting Irish moss as a ground cover reduces the time and labor of mowing and adds diversity and interest to your landscape. Choose Irish Moss that is growing well and looks healthy. These seeds don’t need covering or burying into the soil. Charming little white bl… Place each plant a foot apart (or closer, depending on how quickly you want the area to … This herbaceous perennial (evergreen in warmer zones) turns green as temperatures warm. Seeds germinate in two to three weeks in temperatures between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Irish Moss seeds can be direct sown into the garden or in-between stones. Tiny little white flowers begin to appear in late spring. It is a good alternative in places where it is difficult to grow grass. How to Grow a Craspedia Globosa or Drumstick Flower, How to Start Seeds Indoors With Liquid Seaweed, Texas A&M University Extension: Pearlwort, Outside Pride: Ground Cover Planting Instructions, Ohio State University Extension: Herbaceous Groundcovers for the Home Landscape, How to Germinate Calendula Pacific Beauty Mix Seeds. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Sagina subulata seeds can be planted indoors in planting trays or cells filled with seed starting mix eight to 10 weeks before the last frost. Once established, clumps of Irish moss plants can be divided in the early spring or late summer and moved to new places in your yard to create new areas of creeping Irish moss lawn. An extremely popular groundcover plant, this forms a very low moss-like carpet of bright shamrock-green foliage. Be patient when trying to grow Irish moss as a ground cover or as an alternative to lawn. She holds a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Cornell University and a Master of Professional Studies in environmental studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Use a hose with a fine spray attachment to avoid loosening the seeds. Sprinkle Sagina subulata seeds directly on the surface of the soil. Irish moss seeds are best started inside, but they can also be direct seeded outside. Press the seeds lightly into the soil, and then cover the seeds with a very thin layer of potting soil or peat moss no deeper than the width of the seeds. It does not require much fertilization, and too much nitrogen will cause the plants to form a mound instead of a mat, so do not feed Irish moss regularly. Too much or too little water will cause the fine-textured leaves of Irish moss to brown. The seeds will take between 7 and 28 days to germinate by which time you should notice tiny seedlings appearing. Irish moss (Sagina subulata) is a perennial ground cover hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4a to 8a, according to North Carolina State Extension. Irish moss plants perform in a manner similar to moss, however. Grow Irish moss from seed or plant plugs in full sun to partial shade, in well-drained, moderately fertile soil. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. Irish or Scotch moss, also known as sagina subulata, is a beautiful ground cover that grows well in moist climates. Kept at 64 - 72F, germination is in 14 - 21 days. Step 1: Choose the right Irish Moss Plant. Irish Moss seeds can be direct sown into the garden or in-between stones. Do not allow the soil to dry out and water the time to time, using a watering can. Feed the plants a diluted fertilizer such as a general-purpose liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion in early spring, and again after the plants stop blooming in midsummer. Sagina subulata doesn't do well in full sunlight or complete shade. Transplant into the garden 6 - 9 inches apart. A versatile and lush ground cover, Irish moss works well between flagstones or pavers, along pathways, in rock gardens, along garden edges, in wall pockets, between stepping stones or in containers indoors or outside. Sprinkle the tiny seeds sparsely, as a packet of 5,000 seeds is enough to plant 100 square feet of ground. A clean, used Parmesan cheese shaker is an effective way to sprinkle tiny seeds. - Make sure that the soil is wet but not soggy at all. Tiny white flowers appear in late spring, and often bloom for a second time in late summer. If sowing seeds directly outside it is best to sow Arenaria species such as Irish Moss and Sandwort seeds on the surface in the early spring, when there is still a possibility of a late spring frost; alternatively the seeds can be sowed out in the Autumn. Cover the seeds with a light coating of sand, making sure you can't see the seeds. Create a shallow hole with a trowel or with your fingers, and plant the Irish moss in the hole, with each starter about 12 inches apart. The ground cover seed must be kept moist continuously. Pour the Irish moss seeds into the bowl and mix the seed with the sand. Irish moss seeds are best started inside, but they can also be direct seeded outside. Breaking the plant up into smaller "plugs" should help the spread. Kept your Irish Moss seeds at 64 - ... # 2 | Pay extra attention to soil moisture when planting Irish Moss seeds. Once sown lightly cover the seed. Plant them around 12 inches apart to prevent overcrowding. A native of South America, Irish moss is not affected by many pests or diseases when grown in North America – just watch for slugs. Kept at 64 - 72F, germination is in 14 - 21 days. Once mature, plants will spread by self-sowing seeds, so there is some potential for Irish moss to become a weed, but the plants are easy to remove when caught early. Its tiny, bright green leaves and small white flowers are the perfect scale and texture for a fairy garden lawn. Now leave it for some time. Prepare the soil in a spot exposed to partial or filtered sunlight. It also tolerates foot traffic. Thereafter, provide approximately 1 inch of water every five to seven days when it doesn't rain, or enough to moisten the root zone to a depth of about 4 to 6 inches. 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