Alphabetical Plant Listing

Sagina subulata (Irish Moss)

Irish Moss, Scotch Moss, Heath Pearlwort, Lawn Pearlwort, Lawn Spurrey


Resembling moss, Sagina subulata (Irish Moss) is a prostrate herbaceous evergreen perennial forming a dense, compact mat of ground-hugging, emerald-green foliage. Tufts of narrow, awl-shaped leaves cover the thin, creeping stems. Tiny star-shaped flowers held above the foliage on thin stalks appear sporadically throughout the growing season. They give way to small, smooth, brown, triangular seeds in oblong capsules. Use Irish Moss where a very low, fine-textured carpet of green is desired, such as around stepping stones, between flagstones, or at the edges of a path as they tolerate light foot traffic. This plant can be used as a lawn grass substitute.

  • Grows only 1-2 in. tall (2-5 cm) and will spread indefinitely. Will readily self-sow where happy, but is easy to remove if undesired.
  • Best in full sun or part shade, in evenly moist, well-drained soils.
  • Fertilize sparingly to keep the plant compact. High nitrogen levels can induce excessive growth so the plants become mounded rather than forming a carpet.
  • Great choice for rock gardens, containers or as a groundcover.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for slugs. Susceptible to browning out with insufficient or excessive water.
  • Mow plantings before the flowers fade to reduce self-sowing.
  • Propagate from seed or division. Seeds will take 2-3 weeks to germinate.
  • Native of western and central Europe.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1" – 2" (2cm – 5cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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123rf, Antoniya Kadiyska / Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1" – 2" (2cm – 5cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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