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Turn a dull part of your landscape from snore to snazzy with Scotch Moss. This striking groundcover is only a couple inches tall, but it really packs a punch. Its fine-textured, neon yellow leaves glow so brightly, you’ll have to keep your bedroom curtains closed at night so you can get some sleep! Plant it under shrubs or trees as a living mulch, or use it between stepping stones as a bold accent. No worries if you miss a step—it can handle light foot traffic. Actually, you’ll want to go barefoot around it, because Scotch Moss feels so cushiony soft!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Scotch Moss is a variant of Irish Moss, a bright green Spirit that also makes a wonderful groundcover. This evergreen beauty does indeed grow wild in Ireland, contributing to the lushness of the Emerald Isle. Irish Moss is native from Iceland to Romania, growing in moist but well-drained soil. It bears a resemblance to the mosses you find growing in the woods and gives a similar feel to the landscape. It softens hard edges and evokes a peaceful, contemplative mood. When this chartreuse-yellow version was discovered, it added a whole new dimension to this special Spirit. It became known as Scotch Moss.
Brilliant yellow foliage is reason enough to plant Scotch Moss, but in late spring, there’s another treat. This charming Spirit reveals itself to be not a true moss but a member of the Carnation family when it opens its tiny flowers. The dainty white blossoms settle on the mossy foliage like snowflakes and make a lovely show.
How to Grow
It takes some careful siting to get this one right. Scotch Moss needs bright light to bring out the best foliage color, but too much hot sun can cause scorching. Also, regular moisture is a requirement, but water must drain freely—the ground shouldn’t remain soggy. Taking the time to find the right location and preparing the soil will bring rewards. Another thing you may notice is that plants may mound up in the center, causing the roots to lose contact with the soil and brown spots to appear. Periodically step down lightly on plants that have raised themselves up to prevent this.
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