Irish Moss Indoors - Knowledgebase Question

Cohoes, NY
Avatar for sympel
Question by sympel
November 21, 1999
How do I take care of my Irish moss? I bought one a couple of weekes ago and been watering it by putting it in a small bowl of water but it is getting dry and weak.

Answer from NGA
November 21, 1999
Photo by gardengus
Irish moss (Sagina subulata) is actually an outdoor plant, so it may never be happy indoors in the long term.  Sagina subulata makes a dense, compact, mosslike mass of slender leaves on slender stems and spreads slowly by creeping. Although it looks like moss, it won't grow well under the conditions that suit true mosses. 

Provide rich, moist but well-draining soil, full sun to part shade (outdoors, so a bright location would be needed  indoors), and occasional light feeding with a slow-acting fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can "burn" this plant fairly easily. If patches are dying, the moisture may not be wicking up into the soil mix so it is too dry or, if the soil surface is constantly wet and the soil is water logged, it may be too wet causing the roots to rot. There might also be a disease or insect problem, or it may simply be that the air indoors is too warm and dry or the light is too dim.

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