Also known as
Old Man's Beard, Black Moss, Florida Moss, Hanging Moss, Long Beard, Long Moss, New Orleans Moss, Southern Moss, Tree Beard, Vegetable Hair, Grey Moss, Air Plant, Airplant, Greybeard, Old man's beard
Starr 080326-3794 Tillandsia usneoides by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)
5 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
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Spanish Moss Overview
Tillandsia usneoides is also commonly known as Spanish Moss, however it has no relation to the moss family. In fact, this species lies in the Bromeliaceae family. It is a tiny epiphyte, gaining 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. Produces small, 3-petalled yellow-green flowers and narrow, linear foliage coloured silver-white.
Common problems with Spanish Moss
Red bugs (also known as harvest mites), and mealy bug might effect this plant.
Spanish Moss Companion Plants
Generally grown in solitary or on trees.
How to harvest Spanish Moss
Simply divide strands for use in arrangements.
How to propagate Spanish Moss
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.
The easiest propagation method is simply dividing the strands.
Special features of Spanish Moss
Birds use Spanish moss as nest making material. Serves as habitats for frogs, bats, snakes and spiders.
Grows well near the outside of air-condition vents, dripping fluids unto the plant.
Arrange these on a hedge to grow into a screen.
Other uses of Spanish Moss
Grown for their flowers or overall appearance.
Grown for the unusual foliage, it has become popular with floral designers.