Selaginella, spikemoss groundcover in Central Florida?

castorpNovember 2, 2013


Have any of you grown Selaginella or "spikemoss" as a groundcover? How did it do for you? What varieties did you grow? How much care does it need?

I read about Selaginella in Monica Brandies' shade gardening book for Florida, and it sounds like just what I need for a difficult shady spot I have.



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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I grow 5 kinds but have not tried it as a GC . Mostly for underplanting in pots .. The hardiest and fastest growing is S. martinsii though uncinta does very well except during the worst of summer . The red form is slow and the squirrels love it lol. I stick to the tropical spreaders they tend to handle most of the weather better IME.
I'm goind to try it in the fern area but probably not as a GC as I find it very prone to weeds and very difficult to remove .besides my soil is pure sand lol
i have dreams of a "moss " garden ala Kyoto lol among the ferns
but have had much better luck with the selaginellas lol
Good luck gary

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 3:04AM
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Thanks for the information, Gary. I will research the types you mention. It sounds like they may be more work as a groundcover than I want, but I love the way they look.

And I love the Kyoto moss look too. Moss grows like crazy on rocks and the retaining wall in the spot I'm talking about, but not the ground. I wonder if I covered the area with some sort of crushed rock if it would make a "moss lawn" there . . .

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:20AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

good luck with the research lol selaginella is in a family between true mosses and ferns and there are a gazillion varieties that vary by growing conditions . They range from an almost irridescent blue through deep green to yellows and straw colors If I hadn't started the cuttings myself I'd swear they were different species lol
IME the true selaginellas won't grow on wood or rocks BUT the true mosses will as well as various types of ferns and lichens
Do you happen to know what kind of moss they use in the Kyoto gdns?? Probably some kind of temperate as I'm sure it gets quite cold there , even snows
I find these things grow on their own but if i take care of them they croak !! gary

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 2:40AM
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Thanks, Gary. I don't know what kind of moss they have at Kyoto. I remember watching a documentary about a famous Japanese garden (I don't remember which) and they said the mosses just grew there on their own.

I have a theory (no proof at all) that a moss lawn would grow great here in shady areas if there was some way to firm up the sand. The "sugar sand" is so loose in my garden that the moss just can't get a hold. But on a stump, a rock, and sometimes a spot of earth that packs down firm, the moss grows. Down the street for me a guy with a shady yard had the entire length of his front walk fuzzy green with moss. He scraped it all off!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:13PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

looking forward to tips on the choices of plants, media, method and MOST important how to keep the Boston ferns out of it lol
For me I'm sticking to underplanting and drip trays until my tree fern area gets established lol gary

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:51AM
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