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Spanish moss

Tillandsia usneoides

Old man's beard, Gray moss, Black moss, Florida moss, Hanging moss, Long beard, Long moss, ,New Orleans moss, Southern moss, Tree beard, Vegetable hair, Grey moss

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“Spanish Moss” has no relation to the moss family, in fact, Spanish moss is a bromeliad. It is a tiny epiphyte gulping moisture from the surrounding air. This flowering "air" plant grows in the upper reaches of tall trees or other structures and uses the scales on the leaves and its curving structure to anchor itself.

Planning

Difficulty
Advanced
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Simply divide strands for use in arrangements.

Propagation

Seed
The plant in nature self-seeds. It is tricky to propagate from seed and it is easier to take a part of the plant and attach it to a piece of bark. Spray with a mister for humidity.
Division
The easiest propagation method is simply dividing the strands.

Special features

Attracts birds
Birds use Spanish moss as nest making material. Serves as habitats for frogs, bats, snakes and spiders.
Wet sites
Grows well near the outside of air-condition vents, dripping fluids unto the plant.
Hedge plant
Arrange these on a hedge to grow into a screen.

Geography

Origin
South Eastern United States, Mexico, Bermuda, West Indies, Central America
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Air
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Ornamental
Grown for the unusual foliage, it has become popular with floral designers.

Personality

Family
Bromeliaceae
Flower colour
Yellow/green, Green, Yellow, Blue
Scent
Mild

Problems

Red bugs (also known as harvest mites), and mealy bug might effect this plant.

Companion plants

Generally grown in solitary or on trees.

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