A member of the Caryophyllaceae family, the Irish moss ground cover plant is native to temperate areas of western and central Europe. Under favorable conditions, they will readily self-sow but is easy to remove in unwanted spaces. Irish moss growing zones include USDA plant hardiness zones 4-10, depending on the variety you choose. Irish moss may turn brown during summer’s hottest days, but greens up again as temperatures fall in autumn. This low growing groundcover will get tiny white blooms on it during the summer months when small, star-shaped, white flowers cover the dense tufts of slender stems from late spring until mid-summer. Sagina subulata. Sagina subulata. Learn how to care for and propagate Irish Moss (Sagina subulata) in your garden. CARE Thrives in average, well-drained soils. It is a versatile plant and can be grown in various areas, ranging from indoors to outdoors, in a planting container, or even in a terrarium. Both are perennials you can buy at most good garden centres. Use the grass-like mats to spread around pavers or to edge a rock garden. The petite, star-shaped flowers of Irish moss are known to produce a pleasant fragrance in the spring. The Irish Moss seeds can be directly sown into the garden or in-between stones. Also known as heath pearlwort, the Irish moss ground cover grows best in full sun or partial shade. A member of the Caryophyllaceae family, the Irish moss ground cover plant is native to temperate areas of western and central Europe. Irish Moss forms a lush emerald green carpet of moss-like foliage with delicate white flowers in midsummer. It is comprised of about fifty-five percent carrageenan, fifteen percent mineral matter, and 10 percent protein. Excellent for filling in between the cracks of flagstone paving, in the rock garden or as a lawn substitute. Scotch or Irish Moss (Sagina S ubulata) Scotch and Irish Moss are not really moss at all (if you want to know more about that, try our post on Marvelous Moss Gardens!) They do need some light to maintain the most amazing of emerald green colors found in its foliage. Plant 12'' apart. Irish moss is a low-growing prostrate perennial ground cover plant forming a thick, dense mat with stems less than 10 cm long, and slender awl-shaped leaves of about 1 cm long, covering thin, creeping stems. water : Regular Water. Performs best in light, moist, well-drained soils. This yellow foliage version of Irish Moss quickly grows to form a mat just 1 tall and 15 wide. To prevent self-sowing and spreading to undesirable areas, ensure you mow your Irish moss mats before flowers produce viable seeds. Growing Irish moss is also attractive in containers. Irish Moss Origin, Distribution Growing Zones, Best Pruning Blades For Reciprocating Saw, Difference Between Primary And Secondary Growth. In addition to a variety of true mosses, some mossy-looking and mossy-sounding plants also make great ground covers. Water regularly to maintain consistent moisture. Instead, it is a low-growing herbaceous perennial plant similar in the habit of growth and appearance to a moss. Photo by ‘Wiseacre Gardens‘. And stays a deep green color with fluffy foliage. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. You’ll find growing Irish moss can put the finishing touch on many areas of the garden and beyond. Irish moss plants need regular watering, but should not have soggy roots. Growing Irish moss is also super appealing in containers. Growing Irish moss reaches only 1 to 2 inches in height and does not need mowing when used as a lawn substitute. If you're tired of your high-maintenance lawn, discover a wide array of good-looking plants you can use as grass substitutes. Once established, ground cover thymes also help to keep weed seeds from sprouting. The plants are hardy above -30F degrees. When cultivated in the colder climate zones, it can tolerate brighter sun. This plant is susceptible to browning out with too much or too little water. Both deserve prominent spots in our Woodland gardens. When you do, plant Irish Moss seeds in starter flats. GROUND COVER THYMES . Irish Moss is just the ground cover you need for rock gardens and planting between stepping stones or pavers. Plant Irish moss in spring, when danger of frost is passed. IRISH MOSS SEEDS, Sagina subulata, Heath Pearlwort, Perfect In Garden, Lawn Substitue or In-B… Not a heat loving specimen, use Irish moss plants in a sunny to partially shaded area. Uses of Irish moss are limited only by your imagination. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! In practice, the plant’s seeds can be started indoors several weeks before the last frost’s average date, or direct sown in the garden in spring. Having read this article, you’d have realized that contrary to what its name implies, the Irish moss is indeed not an actual moss. If you don’t wish for such a drastic makeover, consider the possibilities of growing Irish moss as a ground cover. The plants are hardy above -30F degrees. An extremely popular groundcover plant, this forms a very low moss-like carpet of bright shamrock-green foliage. Soil should be fertile and have good drainage. Irish moss is found growing on rocks along shorelines down to the subtidal zone. Water, when necessary, to keep evenly moist, but not soggy. Irish or Scotch moss is susceptible to browning out with too much or too little water. IRISH MOSS and Scottish MOSS. This plant will thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 -10, depending on which variety you are growing. Like Scotch moss, it can be evergreen in warm climates, where it also appreciates some shade or else it becomes unattractive until fall. 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 moss plants perform in a manner similar to moss, however. Irish moss is a rich emerald green. Moss for Zone 9 thrives best in a moist and shaded area. It can soften the edges between paving stones, or it can be planted in the gaps of a rock wall. Dislikes both drought and soggy wet soils. sun exposure : Full Sun, Partial Shade. Irish Moss ground cover plant needs moisture retentive, gritty soil with good drainage. What Is the Best Fertilizer for Geraniums? This herbaceous perennial (evergreen in warmer zones) turns green as temperatures warm. The Irish moss can withstand a moderate level of foot traffic, a feature that makes for a great plant to beautify a walkway or even to be used in a lawn. Also, the plant’s clumps are susceptible to browning out with insufficient or excessive water. It is not really a moss, but it grows into a tight mound just like many types of moss. Stays green all year. Space plants 12 inches apart when first planting. In warmer zones, ensure that you sow where it is protected from the scorching sun. Once installed, the plant requires very little maintenance while adding ecological value to your environs. By far, the closest ground cover to real moss is either Irish or Scottish moss (Sagina subulata verna and aurea)(pictured above). Thankfully, it is easy to pull out, especially when caught early. The plant is an excellent alternative in places where it is difficult to grow grass. Foot traffic should be minimal on bare feet or smooth, flat treads that limit harmful tearing. It will be adaptable to mostly sunny locations in cooler climates or partial shade in warmer climates. Growing Irish moss reaches only 1 to 2 inches in height and when used as a lawn replacement, does not need mowing. It features cutting out browning patches in older mats. It is also rich in sulfur and iodine. Charming little white b… This is then followed by skinny, smooth, brown, triangular seeds in oblong capsules. Grown as a lawn replacement, it creates the effect of a moss-covered meadow. Use the Irish moss where a shallow, fine-textured carpet of green is desired, for example, between flagstones, around stepping stones, or at the edges of a path, since the plant tolerates only light foot traffic. Verbena - We offer several varieties of verbena sold in seed form. Elfin thyme – Elfin thyme is a miniature version of creeping thyme. IT’s the moss with that gorgeous lime- to yellow color in its leaves! The stems of the plant rarely exceed 10 centimeters in length. It can be used as a ground cover that will require virtually no maintenance and will never need to be mowed or weeded. Irish moss is less fussy about the type of soil. It generally grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. For a similar plant with a more yellow tint, try Scotch moss, Sagina subulata Aurea. The evergreen mossy plant foliage grows just 2 – 3 inches tall. Growth Habit. Choosing the Right Ground Cover Thyme; Preparing the Site; Planting and Maintaining Ground Cover Thyme; Ground Cover Thymes are not only beautiful and soft to walk on, they are also the perfect way to keep the ground cool and conserve moisture. But when grown in the hotter climate zones, it will require more protection from the hot afternoon sun. The Irish moss is less particular about the soil it’s grown in, as long as it is temperate. The Irish moss is a more dark green whereas the Scottish moss is golden or chartreuse. It is a good plant for rock gardens or areas that get some foot traffic. Zone 4 (-20 to -30 degrees F) Ideal for planting between paving stones or on rock walls and excellent at garden's or water's edge, or as a small-scale ground cover. Houttuynia – This is one cool groundcover! Irish Moss seeds can be direct sown into the garden or in-between stones. Most areas of the United States can use Irish moss plants in some manner. You can also use the grass-like mats to spread around pavers or to edge a rock garden. Consider planting your Irish moss in spring, when the danger of frost is passed. They do need some light to maintain the most amazing of emerald green colors found in its foliage. Irish moss can be planted a number of ways. They are actually creeping, flowering perennials related to Dianthus. Irish moss requires full sun—6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day/ partial Shade—direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours to thrive properly. Evergreen. Sign up for our newsletter. Gardeningbank.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Lush green foliage forms a dense, mosslike carpet. Difference Between Blue Star Creeper and Creeping Thyme, Best Companion Plants for Blue Star Creeper, Shovel, hoe, rototiller, or any other garden tool. Keep reading to learn more about the care of Irish moss in your garden. Mimicking moss. Cultivating Irish moss as a ground cover reduces the time and labor of mowing and adds diversity and aesthetic appeal to your landscape. Also known as Corsican pearlwort or Scotch moss, Irish moss (Sagina subulata) is a perennial ground cover notable for its tight, low growth habit, emerald green foliage and pristine white flowers, which appear in the spring. The ground cover seed must be kept moist with regular watering, but should not have soggy roots. Press the tiny seeds into the soil but do not cover. Irish and Scotch moss grow best in full sun in the Midwest with regular water and excellent drainage. Ensure that you fertilize sparingly to keep plants compact. It is ideal for rock gardens, but can be a … Irish moss plants are versatile little plants that can add a touch of elegance to your landscape. Scotch Moss loves clay soil and even needs it! According to the University of Maryland Extension, growing ground covers like Irish moss can help provide pollinators’ habitat and reduce climate change. Tiny star-shaped flowers start showing up beginning in late spring and appear sporadically throughout the growing season. By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden. It is a low growing perennial that forms a dense mat of growth, with small, white, five-petaled daisy-like flowers that protrude from skinny several centimeter-long stems. I have the ‘Chameleon’ variety and simply couldn’t resist … Set out plants 6 inches apart, if you wish to behold a faster cover. 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. It like, Irish Moss, is one of the lowest growing ground covers we offer; however, sedum is more drought tolerant then Irish Moss. The plant stretches roots from Iceland to Spain and Finland out to Romania. This ground cover is also one of the few groundcovers used as a lawn alternative or substitute. Moss For Zone 9 best to keep the moss moist, shaded, and free of debris. It has a slightly spongy feel to it and is very soft to walk on barefoot. It is a highly sought-after choice for gardeners, providing a beautiful finishing touch and fulfilling a wide array of garden visions. Trailing. The Irish moss plant has a few pests, non-threatening pests, but slugs can damage the plants. The plant grows at a moderate rate but may take several years to fill an area. Hardy enough for sunny or shady locations. And have leaves that extend from the branches, reaching between 1 and 2 centimeters long. It has traces in Scotland, the Lake District, Wales, the Southwest and South of England, and western Ireland’s coasts. Shade (1 to 3 hours morning sun) Cold Hardiness. Then, rounded green buds on lean stalks open to expose the five rounded white petals the same length as the pointed green sepals and ten white stamens. They do need some light to maintain their lush greenness, but they’re not a heat-loving specimen. Irish Moss ground cover needs moisture retentive, gritty, well-drained soil. They will grow in partial shade, but will not be as compact here; in more southern areas they may need some afternoon shade. The plant stretches roots from Iceland to Spain and Finland out to Romania. It is simple to learn how to grow Irish moss. Water channels can deposit harmful debris until the new moss establishes itself and stabilizes the soil. The stupefying green color is eye-enchanting and will maintain its lushness, year-in, year-out, under the right conditions. type : Perennials, Vines / Ground Covers. Flowers bloom on short 2-4'' stalks. Irish moss plants perform in a manner similar to moss, however. According to Seedman, the emerald-green plant can be started from seed indoors or directly seeded into prepared soil, growing into a 1 to 2-inch green mat in approximately eight weeks. Despite their name and appearance Irish and Scotch moss are not true mosses. Takes sun in cool, coastal regions; best grown in bright shade, particularly in hot southern climates. Some plants, such as the ground cover baby tears (Helxine soleirolii, USDA zones 9 & 10), are more aggressive than Irish moss and will overtake the moss's territory. The ground cover seed must be kept moist continuously. Frankly, the application of the Irish moss cover plant is limited only by your imagination. Sagina subulata is the scientific name for Irish moss ground cover plant. At this stage, please do your best to keep it continuously moist as seeds will take 2-3 weeks to germinate. This fast-growing shade ground cover is perfect for edging pathways, and planting in between stepping stones. Irish moss cover plant may turn brown during summer’s hottest days, but greenness returns as temperatures fall in autumn. Shop ground cover and a variety of lawn & garden products online at Lowes.com. Find ground cover at Lowe's today. The herbaceous perennial is evergreen in warmer zones, with charming tiny white blooms appear sporadically throughout the growing season. 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Irish Moss One of our most popular STEPABLE Creeping Perennials!Sagina subulata has dense tufts of slender stems which grow together to form a lush carpet of green moss.Small, star-shaped, white flowers cover completely in spring. The soft, cushiony, yellow mat is covered with 100's of tiny white flowers in spring. In Ireland, on Mount Brandon in County Kerry, it grows up to 700 m (2,300 ft), and even higher altitudes on Ben Lawers in Perthshire. Botanical Name. Family: Caryophyllaceae | Genus: SAGINA subulata. • Irish moss or Scotch moss (sagina subulata) is a moss-like groundcover with small white summer flowers. High nitrogen levels can induce excessive foliar growth, so the plants become mounded rather than forming a carpet. One of our favorite moss-like ground covers for the shade to part shade garden! It grows only an inch or two (4 … Other problems to avoid include Control snails and cutworms. A transplant from a nursery into the garden 6 – 9 inches apart. Moss verbena is sold by the pound and can be used for large areas where a flowering ground cover is needed. In warmer Irish moss growing zones, plant where it is protected from the scorching sun. Having such a wide variety of growing zones makes room for a multitude of gardeners to be able to enjoy this remarkable plant. In addition, Irish moss dislikes drought and soggy soil, so a watering schedule to maintain a moderate moisture level is key. Irish moss (Sagina subulata) is a moss-like ground cover that you can use to create a living carpet in your garden. The bright chartreuse-yellow color of Scotch moss provides a brilliant contrast with plants with darker green foliage. It delivers star shaped white flowers in the spring and looks great against grey stone. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Care for Irish moss is simple and includes cutting out browning patches in older mats. Irish Moss. Light Requirements. 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. Put your Irish moss plants in sunny to partially shaded areas. The work items required for the proper growth and of the Irish moss ground cover plant include: Use Irish or Scotch moss for contrast in smaller containers or simulate a lawn in miniature or fairy gardens. It can reach the ocean floor, where it is difficult for sunlight to achieve it. The plant does not require much fertilization, and too much nitrogen will cause it to form a mound instead of a mat, so do well not to feed Irish moss too frequently. Irish moss … 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). Care for this plant is relatively simple. At a 64 – 72F, germination takes place between 14 – 21 days. This herbaceous perennial (evergreen in warmer zones) turns green as temperatures warm. 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 … © 2020 Gardening Bank | All rights reserved. The flowers are sprinkled individually across the bed of leaves. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. planting zones : US (Upper South) / Zone 6, MS (Middle South) / Zone 7, LS (Lower South) / Zone 8. A low growing specimen, each unique Irish moss plant will eventually spread to cover about 1 foot. Hardiness/Zones: 4-8. It is perfect to behold between flagstones, stepping stones, or spilling over rocks. Hardy to Zone 6, this pathway plant prefers medium water, and grows just 1-3 inches tall by 6-12 inches wide. 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