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sagina subulata (Irish Moss) invasive?

June 6, 2004

I am wondering if planting Irish Moss or Scotch Moss (sagina subulata aurea) is likely to be a problem in terms of it spreading to areas in which it is unwanted.

I have a strip of soil bordered on one side by concrete and the other side by a wooden fence next to the neighbours yard. Will it creep under the fence and be difficult to control? My yard is located in central Saskatchewan.



Comments (6)

  • glen3a

    Not sure if it will creep under the fence or not, but I can tell you that I tried it a few years ago. In our zone, I didn't find it invasive at all. I planted a few very small clumps of it that I started from seed. some of the clumps winter killed, some survived. I can't remember if they eventually died out, or just got dug out when I redesigned the corner that they were planted in. I believe some sources say it's hardy to zone 4, so it may be marginally hardy, depending on factors like snowcover, etc.

  • ingami

    You know- as Glen says, I had some too and had about the same experience. A couple of places it just died out, and there are a couple of small spots where I think it might still be handing around. I find it, obviously, not invasive- I noticed early, early this spring it was up and green, I think some of it was killed later when the very cold weather returned for awhile, as I know it wasn't mulched for the winter. But I do like it and would get it again-- but this time, I wouldn't treat it so shabbily!

  • abgardeneer

    You'll be lucky to keep it alive, unless you water daily, and then even luckier to winter it... no, not invasive, in other words.

  • zone29

    I have a small lawn of sagina subulata, the light green scotch moss (same thing different colour) It grows into a 10-12 inch diameter round, and looks wonderful. Iam in Montreal which is Z5, so it over winters well. I usually pile some leaves over it. Its beautiful to look at and soft to walk on, and isn't invasive. i have had it for four years now.

  • davidko

    Hi Kris,

    A lot depends on you zone. Here, in Rochester, NY we put in 2 small plants and in 3 years it is all over the back yard filling in the walkway cracks (rah!).

    Of course you are actually planting Scottish Moss (s s a), which is greatly different from Irish Moss: "Chondrus crispus, Irish Moss, Pearl Moss, or Carragheen is a red alga or seaweed plant of the Gigartinaceae/Rhodophyta order." Many people think they are the same and that the shade of green determins which is which. Not ture, Irish would be that green shade that looks red. Do a search on the Latin name above, there are some great pictures.


  • apasionada

    In my experience the dark "irish moss" and light green "scotch moss" are not the same in behavior, water needs and spreading. Though neither is invasive by stolen, I find scotch moss has a higher water requirement, and does not freely self seed. We have been pulling irish moss seedlings out of our beds for years.

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