When to plant Irish Moss seeds in Zone 6?

janet_ann(Z6 (NJ))September 10, 2005

Hello Folks,

I want to plant Irish Moss seeds (Sagina Subulata) between stepping stones since it is similar to a weed called Pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) that does so well on my property.

Can I plant the seeds this fall and let it overwinter until spring, or should I simply wait for spring?

Also, is it difficult to start from seed and it is truly an evergreen that will stay green all winter?

Thanking you,


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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Janet,

Here's germination info for Sagina s. from the Tom Clothier Seed Germination Database. It looks like it should be quick and easy to germinate, but be sure you don't bury the seed since they need light to germinate, and be sure you keep them moist until they germinate and have a couple sets of true leaves. If you get it going, I recommend you shear it off pretty regularly to keep it looking good. Left on its own, Irish moss can kind of "mound up" in the middle and die out in spots. If it's trimmed off, it should keep producing enough new growth to stay looking good. In z6 I'd think it would be evergreen most years, but it's not a true evergreen, so it will probably vary depending on the winter.

Sagina subulata , Surface sow at 20ºC (68ºF) in light, germinates in less than two wks

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 11:32AM
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janet_ann(Z6 (NJ))

Thank you Skybird!

I have one other question  two different companies sell seeds for "Irish Moss" and each botanical name is different! Can anybody define which one is correct?

Spring Hill Nursery say:
"Arenaria verna caespitosa(syn. Minuartia verna)"

Outside pride says:
"Sagina Subulata"

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 12:03PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

That's interesting! I've never heard Arenaria referred to as Irish moss! All the ones I know of are called some kind of moneywort---Spanish moneywort, mountain or Montana moneywort, etc.

I assume what you're looking for is Sagina subulata which has very fine, mossy looking green foliage. If you want some variation, there's also one with yellow foliage, Scotch Moss, Sagina s. 'Aurea', but I don't know if you'd be able to find seed for it or not. Actually, I never realized you could get seed for the green one! But then, I've never looked for it! But it does sound pretty easy to germinate, so just be sure it doesn't dry out after you sow it and until it up. And even after it's growing well, it likes fairly moist conditions (but not constantly saturated--that's not good for many things!)

Here's a link to the Irish Moss info on Perennials.com

Good luck, I hope it works for you,

Here is a link that might be useful: Sagina subulata

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 2:53PM
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janet_ann(Z6 (NJ))

Skybird: Yes, I want the green Irish Moss (Sagina Subulata).

Well, I intend to try this both ways (from existing plant, and from seed):

I just purchased some potted Irish Moss from eBay, and intend to plant it outside to see how well it overwinters.

I also intend to purchase seed and by following the Germination Database you supplied --(*thank you*)-- I will need to sow these seeds when the the weather gets warmer.

Once again, thank you for your response(s).


P.S. I read your page and smiled because at one time I wanted to be a stewardess -- but I was too short -- only the Japanese airlines would accept me!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:57PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Wow! You must be short! I'm only 5'3"! United's going to start hiring again in December or January. Come fly with me! There's no absolute height minimum anymore--you just need to be able to reach a line that's 82" high on a wall. The pay's not very good, but if you like to fly and to travel, it's great anyway.

Good luck with both your plants and your seeds,

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 11:50PM
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I need a suggestion for a dense ground cover or moss that looks modern and uniform in its shape (graphic lines) for a border along a stone wall that surrounds concrete decking around a modern pool. Also, would this same ground cover or moss be appropriate for a larger area in front of the house in lieu of a typical grass lawn? Both areas are shady in the morning hours, but get ample sun in the afternoon. Any suggestions? I want the ground cover to be an evergreen, too -- with no colored flowers!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:36AM
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Hey, I don't have an answer for you, but I do think you would have more success getting an answer if you would copy paste this and make it into a new thread. That way people see your question on the list page, rather than notice it accidentally at the bottom of this page. :) The idea of planting irish moss as the lawn is kinda fun though if it would live.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 11:47AM
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Call the company and ask,I live in Brooklyn and have a tiny apt. I would love to grow anything inside ,since I Don't have a yard anymore - I use growlights and I miss not having what I once had. I wonder if I could grow Irish moss seeds? And where I could get them. Thank You for your time and understanding. Joanne

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:32AM
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