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My Vertical Garden Wall


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tips to Grow Spanish Moss (Updated 2021)

My Garden is slowly settling to its permanent position
where I'm going to maintain what I have currently.

The best idea in keeping a successful garden
is keeping those plants that does well in your garden space.

Most friends were asking me for the tips for growing & maintaining
Spanish Moss. (Tillandsia Usneoides)

Hope this extensive & detailed information here give some success rate
for those who love them.

Tips listed here are not arranged according to their importance in the numeric order.
I think all of these factor are important.

Do go through them a bit.

I had uploaded a video on how it looks like - do check out the video below.

 Do not expose the plant in Direct Sunlight.
These are shade lovers.
In their natural environment - you will find them growing on trees with with fogs around them.
- Its not hanging out the like drying clothes, the whole plant is going to turn into crisp.

Likewise if you are having them in a hot tropical garden
 the best ideal environment for them is of a shaded place.
Semi-light / partial morning or evening sunlight is OK


The plant must be hanged in such a manner that it is
totally straight from top to bottom.
(like in a 90 deg angle)

I know it sound crazy.
I have noticed that when this plant is tangled up here & there
but not in a proportion where its aligned directly top to bottom situation
- that portion tend to wither, rot or dry up.

It must be such a way that when you water the plant
- water droplets must able to cascade gracefully as in layers without any difficultly.
The total vertical position must be in aligned in a way that when the wind blows upon it
- it must "dance" gracefully.
If possible - position the plant where it can get the best air movement.

a) Do not place it against a wall or near a column (etc.)
The heat from the nearest wall or column may get transferred to the plant making the plant to dry-up.

b) Don't share or put this plant with another.
Spanish Moss don't seemed to be receptive with another plant growing together with it.

I had placed an orchid plant together with this and later found that there was a huge dried up patch at the place where I had positioned my small orchid plant.

My point - Keep your Spanish Moss exclusive.
You can tie-up something at the way top of the plant - but make sure that nothing disturbs it -especially during watering time.

It also mean - Don't put chime or hanging shells together with them.

c) Do not move your plant around here & there.
Find a nice permanent place and keep it there.
My mom started moving this plant up & down.
She re-locate them when it rains (hanging it by the gate) and then re-locate them back to a fence but rain water doesn't get there (its original place).
For sometime the plant tolerated it but at the end it got stressed it had eventually died.

Her problem:
i) The plant was not directly positioned top to bottom
(it was tilted - some parts are up, some parts are tangled here & there)
ii) The plant suffered shock as it got moved around.
Spanish Moss are not hardy plant (not in the tropical).
They need to be stay put in a permanent location but with good air movement.
(Not to be re-positioned frequently)


The life & death of this plant is very much based on your watering regiment.
Few tips here:

a) Do not use direct tap water (chlorinated water)
This will burn your plant.
It is OK to use filtered water - The best I had found that works marvelously is rain water.

I use to collect them in a bucket and sort of bath them.
I pour the water from the top and let the water cascade down & recollected back
into the bucket and continue to do so until the plant is saturated with water.
You will know this when the colour of the Spanish Moss turns green.

Misting water from a water spray is OK but that is not enough.
A lot of people fail to water the plant strongly - they need heavy watering.
At least once during a hot and dry day.
I usually spray my water hose on them (filtered water) from top to bottom
until they whole thing is soaking - dripping wet.
It must be wet enough that the plant can last at least about 20-30 minutes of staying wet.
(That is what I mean by strong watering.)

Never - Never Water Spanish Moss when it is Still Wet.
Only water them when they are totally dry.
I water my Spanish Moss about  5 - 6 times in a day during weekend on a hot & windy day.
This I do when the Spanish Moss is totally dry after the first watering.
You will notice that the plant shines in the silver green.
The plant will start to rot & wither when you water continuously
without letting the plant dry-up.


I don't feed my Spanish Moss. I don't believe in any of those fertilizer sold.
The really good ones are expensive. If you really want to use them - use them very sparingly
- like once in a month (spray lightly) those which are used for orchids - liquid fertilizer.

I would recommend using washed rice water. I use them once a month.
Well diluted (1 portion washed rice water with 5 portion water)
- This is because I need to water my whole collection of Spanish Moss.
Some gardeners suggest of using fish washed water - I prefer not as it would attract ants.

b) Don't use strong chemical fertilizer
These comes in cheap package where you use a small portion of it & mix with water.
(the powdered type)
IF you accidentally increase the dosage - even a small portion
- the whole plant might get stressed and burned within days.


Now this is the tricky part.
You need to have more Spanish Moss if you want to have them in your garden.
Spanish Moss does not live forever.
The older plant does eventually mature & die but they give out shoots that replaces the old plant.


A lot of people I know who bought this plant makes a mistake without realizing it.
When the plant starts to dry up from the top - they clip the new plant and place it on the top.
This is a NO-NO.

The dried portion is some what contagious that in will infect the healthy ones to get matured faster and retards new growth. It will also causes shedding of the small bunches which you will find fallen off from the main clump.
Before you know it, its looks so damaged that you are not sure
what to keep and what to throw and the whole thing is so dis-proportioned.


Its best to cut and place the new fronds to a new rolled wire and propagate from there.
Leave the parent plant to produce its new fronds and continue to cut and place them separately
to its new home. Layer the new fronds in such a way that there is enough space that they are not crowded nor thinly spaced.

The spacing is such that when you water
- the water can still hold and slowly cascade gracefully.
Too lightly spaced and the water will just descend down without any retention.
To heavy and the plant will suffocate and the those which are inside will tend to dry up.

What to do with those Pieces of Fallen Spanish Moss?
You will find small bundles of Spanish Moss fallen from the hanger.
They are way to small and may not long enough for you to lay them to the wire.
What I suggest is collect as many as you can within the few weeks.
Keep them watered and dried occasionally
(I know its easier than said - they can last even for few weeks if you ignore the watering.)

Tie them up with a fine string
- you can tie them together from a leaf spike or you can tie from the center of the plant.
Tie each of them - one after another in a long string and you can put them back on the wire.
(why waste those) They will eventually grow from there.

b) Hanging Wire : Insulated Wire without the Metal Exposed (Like a Cloth Hanger Wire)

Make a circle first.
Then bend the circle into half (like a half moon, smiling face)
Fasten two wires from the corners at both tips.
You will have 2 layers - front & back to layer the new Spanish Moss fronds on it.

Later, as the plant matures (about 6 months time)
- they will intertwine into a carpet like mesh.
The good part about it is that - the plant had learn to adapt itself in retaining the water on it.
You will find new fronds coming out from this mesh and also from the bottom.

Treat this as a parent plant
- the new fronds are to be transferred to a new hanging wire.
This is your second set of Spanish Moss.
Keep your Spanish Moss together in close approximately
- they create their own micro-climate of their own together.

The older ones had dried up (they form the mesh) & you will also find small bundles of Spanish Moss springing from this mesh - some grows into new fronds & some falls off to the ground.

Hope this tips & suggestions will give you success growth with your Spanish Moss.
This is my years of experience with them.
Click below to see my humble beginnings.

Link: Spanish Moss 2009

Ask me any questions you would like to know on my comment box.
I will try my best to answer them based on my experience.


Even after you start doing this, you might not see any results - Be patient. 

The plant may had gone through a lot of shock and will take time to recover but once it recovers
- the growth rate is very fast and you are able to replace the lost one in few weeks time.

I had given so many Spanish Moss to so many people
that I can safely say that I had given 50% of my collection to others.

For those who are still struggling and not sure what to do
- Hope these tips may shed some light on what not to do
(more than often if you get this part right - the battle is half won)

Bleeding Heart Vine Blooms with Oncidium Orchid & Spanish Moss at the background.

Do check my latest Updates on Spanish Moss and my Progressive Experience and More Ideas Below:



Hope you enjoyed my 10 years of Growing Experience with Spanish Moss.
Do share me your experience in keeping them for years in your garden.

I had uploaded a video on how it looks like - do check out the video below.

How to Grow & Cultivate Spanish Moss (Video)

This is how I grow and cultivate my Spanish Moss.
Basically this is step by step method on care & maintenance on how I reset and redo my overwhelming, overgrown Spanish Moss back to life.
Here I show how I prune and reset the dying and resetting into the new set-up 
and the Ideal Watering Regime for the Spanish Moss.

I also manage to capture how the Spanish Moss handles it when it gets wet in the rain.
Hope you enjoy the video.

How to Save my Dying Spanish Moss? (Video)

Here is a quick video on the Tips of what to look out for when the Spanish Moss is appears to be dying. Do check on the these tips:

1) Air Movement
2) Indirect Bright Light
3) Adequate Watering

The Care and Maintenance is very much similar like any airplants - so if you managed to cultivate an airplant - this one is very much similar.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my Garden Video 
Do click on the Link Below for More Videos Listed Here:

 I really appreciate if you are able to 
Click Subscribe and Click Like in my Videos

Thank you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

White Flowers in My Garden ( Water Jasmine / Mexican Sword Plant / White Oncidium Orchid)

WATER JASMINE (Wrightia Religiosa) 

Wrightia Religiosa commonly known as Water Jasmine, also known as Sacred Buddhist, Wild Water Plum & Wondrous Wrightia. Its considered a sacred plant for Buddhist - as you can see even the name indicate it so (Sacred Buddhist) and (Religiosa).

Here, my Winter Jasmine had flowered graciously after their heavy pruning. I had downside all their leaves and keep them at bare minimum. I tried to age this plant doing some experiment in making it into a bonsai tree. Whether it is deemed successful or not - one thing for sure - the fragrance that floods in the evening is truly enchanting.

I had planted these from seeds. Now it is finally giving me the results. - the great reward for all the worth of waiting. I had 2 trees - One I kept (this one) and another - I passed to a friend.

He is more critical than me and had chopped off the whole branch leaving a few inches from the roots in making that an ideal bonsai - the problem is: The plant got dormant.

For more detailed information concerning Water Jasmine, please click below:

MEXICAN SWORD PLANT (Echinodorus palaefolius)

Echinodorus palaefolius commonly known as Mexican Sword-plant is truly enchanting when it gives out its spikes of flowers. Somehow there is always a new flower inflorescent at each buds everyday.

They last until late afternoon and I'm not too quick with my camera before the flower fades. This one is very much an aquatic plant, lacking of an adequate water at the base can be detrimental for this plant.


My Orchid bloomed at the shades of the Spanish Moss.
Something that I admire the most here is that they seemed to create a symbiotic environment with each other. This orchid is unique - it turns to white when it matures.
Can you see the Dancing Ladies?

About Me

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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Do put your queries on the contact form above and I will come back to you ASAP via e-mail. Also I'm open for any business / advertisement proposals / magazine articles / product sampling and sharing personal product experiences here in my blog. Also for specific plant queries where you need to send pictures for free consultation and plant help and aid.

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