How to Garden Irish Moss


Irish moss, also called Scotch moss, is a low growing ground cover. Irish moss is sturdy and can handle foot traffic when planted between stepping stones. The plant grows in clumps that reach 2 to 4 inches in height and produces small white flowers that blossom during the spring through early summer. Irish moss grows quickly and can become invasive in flower beds when not controlled.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that has a sandy loam soil that drains well and receives full sunlight. Lightly work the soil to break it up and smooth the surface.

Step 2

Plant Irish moss seeds in early spring or autumn by sowing them directly on the ground and lightly covering them with sand. Sow each seed approximately 10 centimeters apart or 20 centimeters if sowing the spreading variety.

Step 3

Water the seeds lightly after sowing. Continue to water the plants once a week during the first year of growth so the soil remains moist. Water the plants more frequently during the hot summer months.

Step 4

Apply a general purpose fertilizer after the plant has become established and has produced flowers. Fertilizing prior to flowering will produce green growth but inhibit blossom production.

Step 5

Propagate Irish moss by collecting seeds that form on the plant after flowering or through cuttings taken during the summer months while the plant is actively growing.

Things You'll Need

  • Irish moss seeds
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • General purpose fertilizer
  • Seed starting soil
  • Tray
  • Plastic cover


  • Kwintessential: Growing Irish Moss
  • Washington State University: Irish Moss
  • How to Grow Arenaria
Keywords: growing Irish moss, Scotch moss, ground cover plants

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.