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Traffic-friendly Irish moss is a great little plant for blanketing the ground around flagstones or along the edges of gravel paths where plants sometimes struggle to grow. Don’t worry about treadling lightly on Irish moss—it will bounce right back from occasional damage. Handsome, lush, deep green foliage forms a soft, cushy mat that is evergreen in many climates. Irish moss blooms in spring and has a light fragrance.
Perfect for creating a barefoot-friendly path, Irish moss is also a wonderful plant for rock gardens, where it forms a soft carpet of evergreen color among rough-and-tumble boulders. It is at home in trough (stock tank) gardens and container plantings, where it will slowly creep to cover open soil. Its delicate, ferny foliage is also a favorite for fairy gardens. Growing just about 1 inch tall and boasting pretty white flowers, Irish moss is a nearly perfect plant for petite dish gardens.
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Irish Moss Care Must-Knows
Irish moss grows well in average, well-drained soil. In cool climates, select a full-sun planting site. In hot Southern climates, plant Irish moss in bright shade. A spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is a good choice in Zones 7 and above.
Plant Irish moss in spring or early summer. Situate plants about 10 inches apart; in ideal conditions, they will grow together to form a carpet of color in a couple of seasons. Plant Irish moss closer together for faster cover. Prolonged periods of hot, humid weather are not good for Irish moss. It thrives in cool, somewhat dry environments. Don't be surprised if it dies out in the heat of summer in humid areas.
A Weed to Some
Irish moss is sometimes called pearlwort and is considered a weed by many golf course professionals, nursery growers, and greenhouse managers. Pearlwort pops up in turf grass and throughout nurseries and greenhouses, and it's sometimes tough to eradicate. In the average home lawn and landscape, it does not create a weed problem.