Growing Irish Moss (sagina subulata) and Corsican Mint

My wonderful mother-in-law purchased a few corsican mint plants for me. They had told her that they were the same as Irish Moss which will grow fine in my zone 5 garden. However, corsican mint, I understand, grows in zones 7-10. Any suggestions on growing this mint. I had planned to place them as a mossy bed around a Japanese maple. Should I grow them in pots and bring them inside in winter, or provide some sort of winter protection? I have also bought some true Irish Moss (sagina subulata) to go in this shady "mossy" bed. Any suggestions on growing sagina subulata. I'm relatively new to gardening and would gladly receive any suggestions.

Comments (30)

  • Rodger Whitlock - 8 (PNW maritime)
    50 years ago

    Corsican mint is quite tender. It mostly gets killed out during our relatively mild (and wet!) winters here, and I suspect it will be destroyed in zone 5. However, it seeds fairly easily and I usually find self-sown plants turning up.

  • Paul Stocksdale - Zone 5
    Original Author
    50 years ago

    Thank you for the info. I am considering planting some of my Corsican Mint in clay pots and then burying this in some shady moist ground. Then dig the pot up to bring it in for winter. I'll see how this goes. I assume the true Irish Moss (sagina subulata) that I bought will do just fine through the winter.

  • emily moorefield - 6
    50 years ago

    Geez, I just put a little bunch of corsican mint into my fledgling rock garden in New Jersey a few wks ago, and itÂs doing fine! IÂd definitely try planting some and keep some in pots

    Thanks for the word on its non-hardiness -- itÂs a great little plant and I wouldnÂt want to lose it, so IÂll take in some of mine for the winter as well.

  • Jeff
    50 years ago

    I live in zone 5, and both my corsican mint and my Irish moss have had no problem surviving the winter (they are well covered by snow, however-an average of well over 2 metres annually). There generally is some die-back, but it is quickly replaced in the spring. Also, I have had success using a small amount of fertilizer (it was for hanging baskets-14-14-14, I think) on my corsican mint. Good luck!

  • Patty - 5-6
    50 years ago

    Mulch is definately the key to keeping corsican mint in cold zones. I wouldn't depend on it for major effects, just let it find its place (by planting it in several spots. It takes more sun than other mints, for me.

  • ken smiyh
    50 years ago

    Just bought a pot this morning to try.

  • Michael Rivard - 9a/9b
    50 years ago

    Will the Irish Moss and Corsican Mint thrive in the growing conditions of my zone 9 here in Tampa Florida? I don't worry about the freezing, I'm concerned as to whether or not they can both make it in the heat and sun here in Florida.

  • Frank Cooper - 5
    50 years ago

    Corsican mint seems to be a little tender the first few years but if you you mulch it it will be more cold tolerant after it gets a dense carpet. Even it any of them freeze out it self sows enough that you always have a dense mat. I've had it for 10 years. I wouldn't expect it to survive next to the driveway.

  • Carlos - Ca 10
    50 years ago

    My Corsican has ssurvuved a frost of 27 since that is as cold as it gets hear usually it lives very well. But a frind in the mountains said it survived temps down to 20 but with heavy damage. it is too dry hear to grow irish moss sucsessfuly.

  • Maur
    50 years ago

    What are the conditions Sagina subulata need? I am getting different cultural info depending on the book. Moist soil?
    Well drained? shade or sun or partial sun? If you have info
    on the kinds of conditions it likes, please post the info. Thank you. M-

  • Laurie - 8
    50 years ago

    BLUE STAR CREEPER is a beautiful little plant proportioned like the mint and the moss. It will give you early summer flowers and surprises people to see what appears to be blue flowering moss. It took mine a year to spread well, but I put little tufts of this in among my mint and moss and at the moment my moss pathway is covered with the tiny robin egg blue flowers 1/4 of an inch across or smaller. It is very easy, and is now in nurseries. It's a stunning plant.

    My moss patch loves liquid fertilizer!!!

  • MRDan - 5
    50 years ago

    What is the botanical name for Blue Star Creeper?

  • JK - 8PNW
    50 years ago

    Laurentia fluviatilis

  • Harley Mom - 4
    50 years ago

    I have been trying to find MORE Irish Moss. I also thought it was known as Sagina subulata but in checking with a supplier on the internet, here is the reponse I got: "No, Sagina subulata is Corsican moss. Irish moss is Arenaria verna and we do not carry it."

    From reading your posts, it appears that this supplier may be wrong? I have some Irish Moss that wintered over just fine in Zone 4. I am thoroughly confused now as to what to search for.

  • Ann z5 IL
    50 years ago

    Common name confusion strikes again!

  • Mary
    50 years ago

    I'm in Ireland, so presumably the stuff that won't go away from my borders, lawn and drive is Irish Moss? It grows wherever the seed lands and I can't get rid of it. Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii) is a lovely little mat that ripples into every nook and cranny on my rockery with the strongest minty smell imaginable. I also have Pratia pedunculata, which makes a lovely lush mat on moist soil, with starry pale mauve flowers, and Pratia nummularia, slightly hairier with similar flowers. Pratia treadwellii is a much coarser plant with larger white flowers which also does well in damp shady places. I find a good ground cover for drier, sunnier places is Oxalis magellanica, with tiny clover-like leaves and solid white trumpets all summer.

    It is damp here, and I think we're in about Zone 7, but these are all hardy here.

    And I'd love some seed of Laurentia fluviatilis (or a snippet) if anyone can send me some.

  • Leslie - 7
    50 years ago

    Can someone tell me what sort of soil and light corsican mint realistically needs? Someone just recommended it to me, and it sounds delightful, but I have VERY sandy soil (live 1 block from an ocean bay in southern DE), and mixed sun/shade. Any thoughts on how it would do as a ground cover, or recommendations for other good options for someone who wants to avoid a regular grassy lawn?

    Also, how hardy is it for being walked on? And any idea how it holds up with dogs in the yard (both being walked on and urinated on).


  • Frandy
    50 years ago

    I want to grow Irish moss (quickly) in a new flagstone patio. The stuff I have growing in the old patio (full sun, stone dust base) has spread like mad in the last year, presumably from seed. Does the buttermilk or yogurt trick work with sagina subulata or only with true mosses??
    I could just transplant some to the new site, but I want it to grow quickly for a wedding in 3 weeks - any suggestions?


  • ilovegreenfingers
    17 years ago

    Hello, My understanding is that the name "Irish Moss" is a misnomer and that the real "Irish Moss" is a sea-weed. I know many plants are sold under this name but they are not mosses.

    Warning: To anyone thinking of planting "Sagina Subulata",
    this plant is so aggressive it will take over
    everything in your yard and in your neighbor's.
    It is impossible to stop. I think it is an insult
    that nurseries sell these plants without any
    warnings. The plant is pretty when green but
    needs lots of water or it dries up and turns
    yellow. So, if you would like your favorite
    plants crowded out, this little, innocent-looking
    plant will do it! Does anyone know of a way to
    stop this monster, I'd like to know!

  • SunsetBark
    17 years ago

    I have just discovered these plants and would really like to put them in the ground of our shady Brooklyn backyard as a grass substitute. The thing that worries me, is that I have a dog. she is good about not digging in the area i'd like to put them. it's just that she trots and runs through the area (but not heavily- just to get to the back of the yard). how will these plants handle foot traffic?

    and how hard is sowing the seeds? is it a lot of work, or just a sprinkling?

  • gardencrazyinwa
    17 years ago

    I have had Corsican mint for a few years and it seems to be doing well.
    In the PNW it is pretty wet. It gets part sun and shade. During the summer running the sprinklers all the time has caused some browning but I just pull it up and it spreads pretty quickly. It is growing around some pavers so it is walked on daily but it doesn't seem to mind. It definitely wouldn't grow well in Florida as it needs part shade during the day. Doesn't like to be realy soggy either.

  • botann
    17 years ago

    My corsican mint loves sunny, wet, clay next to my pond. It's pretty hard to keep it weeded there because so many other plants like those conditions also. I can't see growing it in sandy soil. I don't think it would like it.

  • hardrockkid
    16 years ago

    >>Frandy said: Does the buttermilk or yogurt trick work with sagina subulata

    My question -- What is the 'buttermilk or yogurt trick'?

    (relative newbie and thinking of sagina for flagstone walkway) (also have ordered some laurentia seeds)


  • hardrockkid
    16 years ago

    OK, I found the buttermilk/yogurt business for moss-growing (although, going back to Frandy's quesion, it doesn't sound to me like this would apply to sagina).

    I also learned that my soon-to-arrive laurentia seeds are NOT "blue star creeper", but rather Laurentia axillaries -- which is a different bird altogether! Daggone it!

  • herbalprincess
    16 years ago

    you can learn more or find seed for Sagina subulata, Which is 'Pearlwort' where I come from:

  • petsitterbarb
    16 years ago

    Thanks, Ilovegreenfingers, for the warning about this stuff being invasive. I just bought a pot of it at a local hardware store. It was labeled "Scotch Moss", but the offical nursery tag says Sagina Subulata. Having been taken over by Creeping Jenny in the past, I don't want a repeat of that! We are still using "Roundup" on little tags of that stuff. I swear, we could have done a good "comb over" on our house with it at one time!!! This new baby will be POTTED!!!!!
    Happy Spring!

  • JillK
    15 years ago

    Last year I planted Corsican Mint as a lawn substitite. We live on a slope are are hoping to get rid of the grass completely, as it is hard to mow. The Corsican mint is flourishing here in our woodlands (shady) Pac NW setting. It stayed green all winter, even through freezing temps. And it never needs to be mowed. Yeah!

    We grew the mint from seed in 4" pots and divided them into little 1" clumps, given that we needed several hundred pots (our lawn is huge), and buying all of those pots would have cost us thousands. The seed was inexpensive. We planted the clumps 12" apart and by the end of summer, most of it was filled in.

    The only problem is that weeds and grass can pop through the mint, although I think this problem will be aleviated as the mint forms that lush dense carpet, as it is doing now.

    Corsican Mint is great for foot traffic, and it smells amazing when you walk on it. The tiny scale is gorgeous, like something out of a fairy tale.

    We have lots of neighborhood cats and I thought they would be attracted to the smell and eat it up. However, we have not run into that problem.

  • maddigger
    15 years ago

    J ust bought Irish moss from home depot. The plants are beautifull dark green and the instructions say, plant in full sun or partial shade. I have read so much conflicting info on what type of soil, how much water needed etc. To add to the confusion, they also had Scotch moss which looks closer to the color the catalogs show fore Irish moss. I bought some of these yoo. Now my question is, does anyone in z67 have any experience on how fast this stuff grows. I have a checkerboard squre garden made from 16" square patio block. Will two 4" plants fill one square in in a year? I'm getting too old to wait ?, Jim. Sene me an e-mail if you can. Thanks

  • jess1055
    11 years ago

    I purchased Irish Moss (Sagina subulata) seeds to plant in a sunny rocky border of our property. The seed packets say to keep at 55-60 degrees for the first 10-25 days. I had planned on putting them directly in the ground since I hadn't read this anywhere else! Unfortunately, it's summer here in Denver, will I be killing them before they even get going? Also, should I be worried about this plant invading my neighbors yard? Thanks to all!

  • HU-653023934
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    They need a cold spell (like winter) to germinate. You can "condition" them in your fridge. Or look for seeds that have already been conditioned?