The Q&A Archives: Irish Moss Care

Question: We have Irish Moss (Sagina Subulata) originally planted as ground cover (18" centers) on an eastward facing slope that contains fill dirt.

What should be done to accelerate the Moss to full coverage? We also have patches that go from light green to brown as parts of clumps die, what is the problem and what can be done to correct it?

Answer: Sagina subulata makes a dense, compact, mosslike mass of slender leaves on slender stems. Although they look like moss, they won't grow well under the conditions that suit true mosses. Provide rich, well-draining soil, full sun to part shade, and occasional feeding with a slow-acting fertilizer. If patches are dying, the drainage may be poor, resulting in a fungal disease. You may want to dig the plants, amend the soil with organic matter to help expedite drainage and then replant. Sagina should creep slowly and fill in bare spots, but you can help matters along by cutting thin strips from the center of an established planting and replanting in a new area. The strip will fill in quickly and the division should quickly become established in the new area.

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