The Q&A Archives: Irish & Scotch Moss

Question: I have a Japanese garden with Irish and Scotch Moss. What do I feed it to keep it green and encourage growth? How much and what time of the year do I feed?

Answer: Irish and Scotch Moss aren't really mosses at all, but are so named because of their appearance. They're Sagina subulata and Arenaria verna, and they both make dense, compact, mosslike masses of slender leaves on slender stems. They prefer cool, moist soils, and partial shade, and can be burned if fertilized too frequently, especially if you use a strong fertilizer with a high concentration of nitrogen. You can fertilize in the springtime with a diluted liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion, or 8-8-8 houseplant fertilizer diluted as the label directs. These plants self-sow readily and will populate an area rapidly if given adequate moisture. Enjoy!

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