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Here is where I share all my tropical garden design, concepts, themes & experiences, secrets and tips in gardening, plant care, my plant discoveries, experiments of my trials & errors.

I'm blessed with the Hot & Wet Tropical Climate and my endeavour with Tropical Garden & Rare, Exotic Plants.

I am a Plant Enthusiast and Gardening is a major part of my life where I love to share my thoughts, experiences & life work.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tips to Grow Spanish Moss (Updated 2020)



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.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES DO FEEL FREE TO COMMENT BELOW

UPDATES (MARCH 2020)
I had uploaded a video on how it looks like - do check out the video below.

1) LIGHT
 Do not expose the plant in Direct Sunlight.
NO DIRECT HOT BURNING CRISPING SUN
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


2) POSITION / LOCATION / PLACING

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.

Note:
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)

3) WATERING

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.

BEST TO USE 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 ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH
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.

4) FEEDING

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.

5) PROPAGATION

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.

NO CLIPPING THE BOTTOM LIVING PARTS
 AND POSITIONING THEM BACK ON THE DRY BURN SPOTS:


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.

SET UP A ROLE HANGER INSTEAD OF REPLACING THEM IN THE SAME HANGER

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.

Note:
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.

BE PATIENT

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:

SPANISH MOSS - YEAR 2018


SPANISH MOSS - YEAR 2014




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.

UPDATES (MARCH 2020)
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.

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.


74 comments:

Jean Campbell said...

Best tutorial on this bromeliad I've seen.

They are native here. Curiously, Spanish Moss grows on the northern half of our farm but not on the southern half. The northern half is nearer a creek, I think the humidity has something to do with it.

Unknown said...

I do not plant this Spanish Moss otherwise your pontifications on its care would be most useful. I'll shall archive it for future reference if I do cultivate them. Your Spanish moss is really lush which negates the use of bamboo blinds.

painted princess collection said...

I have never seen spanish moss thanks for the tips and nice presentation I liked the last photo it looks like a painting with oncidium and the moss in the bkgrnd
anandhi

Jacqueline said...

Wow James... you're really a wonder man! Not only your curtain of Spanish Moss is very impressive but you've presented such a comprehensive and explicit tutorial on its growing tips.
Lovely images of your plants... they speak volumes of your gardening skills too!
Thanks for sharing. God bless.

Alistair said...

James - How fascinating the Spanish Moss looks, and your profile of the plant makes for interesting reading.

mariernrocks said...

Wow, I'm so tempted to grow them. I always see them in garden shows, they always add interest and drama to landscapes. Thanks for sharing!

James David said...

Thanks everyone for the lovely comment & encouragement.
Really appreciate your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips, I'be been growing the moss for years, currently my moss is turning a reddish colour, in the stems, any thoughts? I do use a diluted orchid fertilizer and rain water could it be too strong of a mix or I'd the reddish colouration normal?
Dan from Canada

James David said...

I suspect that it might be a different cultivar from the common species as some bromeliad do have red shade appearing on them.
Chances are they might be flowering and that is considered something very rare!
I think if they are over-fertilised and if they receive too much - they might get burned instead of turning red.
Perhaps just water them with rain water and see if they change colour back to normal.

Unknown said...

I live in Hawaii. It's hung on a dead lemon tree we once had and it has been a year since we hung this stuff. It must love Hawaii because what started off as about a 13 gallon bag full ended up to around 5 outside trash bags. (not kidding) It's growing out of control and there are very few spots that are black. I was looking on how to maintain it but i guess I just need to pull strands or more like bunches and throw them away? Are there any uses for the ones I don't need? compost? Though I did notice that when they are black they are hard to break. Maybe not such a good idea to throw them on the ground maybe just the trash?

James David said...

Wow..
You got so many that you want to throw it away?
Actually have you thought of giving it to your friends or family to start it off as gardening.

Basically - you can use it for decor or even use it for orchid medium.
Try to sell it to a nursery nearby your place - I understand they are highly sought after.

Fun Ivy said...

Thank you James. For someone who have not planted anything in her life and have just acquire a few strands from a stall, the information here is humongous. I never would have known. Thank you for helping me to a good start.
Most appreciated.
Ivy

James David said...

You are most welcome Fun Ivy.

Priya said...

Great article. Just got some Spanish moss today an I'm sure this info will come in handy.

Julia said...

Hello James! Thanks for this complete article about spanish moss! I just bought some bunches and they're dark on the top, so I'm not sure what to do.

I will try to hang them differently to make sure they are totally straight, as you recommend. I understood how you bend your wire to make the half moon hook, but how do you actually attach the plants to the hook? I need some advice on this...

Thanks again for your help!

Julia.

James David said...

First make a circle.
Then bend the circle into half - what you get?
You get a smiley - side ways - you will see 2 moons.
Attach a wire at the corners of the fold each.
Imagine - smiley face and you are putting a clip corner to corner of the smile.
Bring both wires up and you get something like a triangle.
Hook it up.

James David said...

If you still not sure.
Look me up in FB and add me.
I can chat with you from there for more accurate detail.
Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I have gotten some Spanish Moss. I didn't really know how to take care of them, thanks for your advice.
1. Some parts 30% are turning dry and brown. Should I trim them away?
2. I put them indoor near window, as it's winter now. Is the moss lacking of ventilated air?
Refuse to throw it.away, hope to revive it.

Yours sincerely,
Hazel, North carolina, USA

Anonymous said...

thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your comprehensive information on Spanish Moss.
I stumbled upon your page around a year ago when I was looking for answers as to why my own moss was failing. Again I stumbled upon your page just now and was reminded of the difficulties I was having maintaining this plant at that time. I am happy to say that my Moss is now looking amazing and has grown a lot since then. I am very proud of it after having had trouble to start with and enjoy the routine of watering, hanging and maintaining it now. It is due to your in depth information that I am able to say this. The most drastic change I made from reading on your experiences was around watering. I was told by the person at the garden centre that it would not require much water, only a misting every week or two! I know give it a soak for 5-10 minutes if it is looking a bit crispy and mist to drenching point every day or two as I keep it indoors I can not pour water over it. I have it hung off a wire across my kitchen window which adds enough privacy without it blocking out too much light.

Thank you again.!

Julia (New Zealand)

Unknown said...

great article! thanks for the tips. nothing like experience. you should make some videos on youtube :-)

Janice said...

Hi, I'm from Penang, I'm wondering where could I buy this gorgeous plant? I've saw once and falling in love with it, but it's way too expensive here, just a small bunch cost RM 10.00++

Janice said...

Hi, I'm from Penang, I'm wondering where could I buy this gorgeous plant? I've saw once and falling in love with it, but it's way too expensive here, just a small bunch cost RM 10.00++

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info on such a beautiful plant. I have been lucky enough to be given some from our public gardens here in Taranaki New Zealand where they have grown these in a tropical house environment. Having these at home is a different environment so your tips have been very helpful thank you

Corte-on-Camera said...

I love my Spanish Moss. It seems to grow quite well in my fern garden draped on tree branches and under hanging baskets. I have just moved most of it to create a natural archway, hanging it on a piece of horizontal bamboo. Now, having read your excellent information tomorrow I must check the alignment of it all. I will also pay better attention to its watering requirements as in the past it has had to survive on a fair bit of neglect. I was indeed lucky to find your blog. Thank you.
My garden is in SE Qld. Australia.

Avatar Gregoire said...

Thankful greetings for your informative and inspiring article, James!

I am trying out Spanish moss for the first time. Hung it from a tree but tied knots to secure it and it's not happy. Also tied it to a small bridge metal railing and I see it doesn't like the heat transferred there either.
What I don't understand in your article is how to combine the thin thread and the hanging wires hanging from the corners of the half-moon initial wire. Is the thread meant for stringing moss piece to moss piece, while the hanging wire is something around which you wrap the hanging moss strands? Or do you simply thread the hanging moss to the wires?

Puzzled and hopeful in KY, USA,
Greg

Potriganesh said...

do you sell these plant...i live in malaysia too.i live at ipoh.if you do want to sell. plz contact me using whatsapp 014-3409065.plz .i want some of these.thank you in advance

Unknown said...

I just bought my first bundle of Spanish moss and it is tied together at the top. Do I need to untie it or can I hang it like that?

Nurse DeAnne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nurse DeAnne said...

Hello! Can you give us an idea how fast Spanish Moss grows in its natural habitat? How many inches in what length of time? Thank you

James David said...

Soak it in rainwater for an hour.
And see if it's still silver green - it's alive.
If it's still brown and dried.
It's dead.

It needs a cool breeze time to time but not a hot air.

James David said...

Great Julia!
I'm so happy to know you have received such jot and help from my experiences.
You are so welcome

James David said...

Hahahahaaa
Perhaps but I'm a timid gardener..
I will think about and you would be first to see once I post it

James David said...

Yes..
It's getting really expensive and it's not easily available nowadays.
RM10.00 is still OK if you ask me


James David said...

You are welcome

James David said...

Hey!
Glad to help

James David said...

There are no hard and fast rules on it.
Basically the thread works better as its it easier to tie with it.
The wired piece is to support the long hanging bunch..
Please make sure that you use a wire that us fully covered - exposed metal wires can burn the moss

James David said...

Hmmm..
I actually had sold off my whole collection.
Right now - I don't have space to garden as everything is growing everywhere

James David said...

If they are doing fine then its ok.
But if they are not..
Then do what I had suggested

James David said...

I'm sorry
I'm leaving in the tropical region
This plant is not native in where I'm staying

Unknown said...

Hi James, hv added u on facebook..such lovely garden u hv..fantastic...tq for this lovely blog about spanish moss

Succulent Rookie said...

Hello. I received a small Spanish moss plant with instructions that said soak overnight in water once a month. I've since learned that that was hardly enough water. I now have long strands where the top is light brown and the bottom tips, around 2-3 inches, are green. Can the green tips be saved. If so, how should I proceed.

James David said...

OK.
When you soak it - you will find it that the living part will turn color from silver to light green.
The dead parts will brown regardless.
Snip off the brown parts and re-hang back the living green ones.
It's should be ok

James David said...

Great!

Anonymous said...

Hello! From Singapore here. I just bought a reasonably sized wire of Spanish moss. The moss hangs from a wire shaped in a circle. However I hang the moss on my window, and one face of it directly touches the window. In the day I open the windows to let the wind flow through and when I water I have to move the plant a little to soak it in a bucket of mineral(unchlorinated) water. Am I doing it wrong? I hope to know before my plant dies out! It's really expensive here.

Anonymous said...

By the way my window faces the north, so there's no direct sunlight except some reflection of the orange, 7 am sun from the window facade of the opposite tower.

Unknown said...

I used to have lots of them beautifully hung on the branches of my gardenia tree just like how they grow in the swamps of southeastern United States. It was a bliss to watch them swaying when the wind blows. Sadly (regretting a lot), I had to cut the tree to give way for some extension to my home. I picked the moss and transferred them to a hangers covered with husk ropes. They were doing fine initially, but then later on...I don't know why, the top portion in contact with the rope started drying off leaving only black thread like structure, This attracted bird to pick them up to build nests. Slowly they vanished in thin air. Now, I am left with just a handful of them and they don't seem to be growing happy and healthy like they used to and I am completely helpless. I am kind of clueless what I am doing wrong. The only thing I haven't tried is to transplant them from rope coated hanger to a plan metal hanger. Should I try this? Is the rope catching to much of moisture which leads them to rot?

Unknown said...

Thanks great summary, I am in south Louisiana where it is essentially a weed. The brown/black parts are dead but can be used to attach long strands. Here it seems to grow on dead branches or near water sources.

James David said...

Indirect sunlight is OK as long it's not heavily shaded.

James David said...

I think the rope had leached off some chemicals that had caused them to die.
Please don't use any metal hangers.
Instead find a wired coat hanger which is flexible and you can use start with that

James David said...

Great!
Basically they thrive near a humid areas especially around a water source

James David said...

placing the moss on the insulated part (never on a bare metal less it's start to rust and cause more damage to the Moss)

Do find the time to submerge the Moss every one hour after the Moss had drip off and dried.
Do this for 5-6 times
It will take a whole day but the results are really worthwhile.
Do it on a bright sunny day.
Once you do this - you will have a nice volume of the Moss and you get to enjoy back like a huge curtain.

And be cautious about using fertiliser.
Unless it's specifically stated for airplants, even then - try with a weak solution first.
Too strong and will end up loosing the whole bunch.
Good luck

James David said...

You are not doing it wrong but it's not going to be easy for you either...
Moving in and out?

Watch and see...
If nothing drying up at the top part then its OK.
If it's not..
Then do find me in Facebook and message me.
I need to see the pictures to explain what to do next.
Spanish Moss might not do so well behind a window but there are exceptions.
Good luck

Roy E Robertson said...

James, I'm going to be growing my Moss in a inside plant room. Living in Maryland, winter would surely kill it if I planted outside. Do you think think it would grow on a horizon hung chain and soaking it may be a problem too, hope misting with a sprayer will do ?

Rob said...

Hi James,

Well done on this write up. I am bookmaking this site.

I just love the look of this plant.

Just picked up some Spanish Moss and was wondering does it matter with way it hangs?

Rob, Queensland, Aus

Skitty said...

Hi James,

Recently I bought a Tillandsia Fuchsii v. Gracilis, and the seller gave me a little bit of Spanish Moss for free (not a lot, about 3 strands).

She initially rolls that 3 strands of Spanish Moss (like a overlapped O) on the wire frame that holds together both the air plants. After I came across your blog, I re-adjusted the Spanish Moss so that they are positioned straight from top to bottom. Just want to know is this correct?

And I also would like to know that could so little of Spanish Moss survives?

I would like to add you in Facebook and show you the photos of it. However I couldn't find you. Please reply if you read this. Appreciate that if you could shed some lights in helping my Spanish Moss grows.

Best regards,
Skitty from Malaysia

James David said...

Yes,you did it right by correcting it.
Nurseries and growers will do all sorts of arrangements..
They don't die but they don't grow to it's optimal either.

James David said...

It does matter.
After years of experience but again..it also depends where you are growing them.
I'm in the tropical region..so it's not natural for them to survive..
Every bid of details matters.

Skitty said...

Oic... Thank you for your reply, James 😊

MY DIMPLY THIGHS said...

Hello from Sunny South Africa.
We call Spanish Moss OLD MANS BEARD here.
Am definitely wanting to grow some.

Grace, Australia said...

Hi James
A well written comprehensive article on Spanish moss. One of the best I have seen.

I have some which is growing well enough to have given a little away. I started with a small bunch from Bunnings that cost me $10 (Australian)
I have it mostly hanging along sticks hanging horizontally. I have bunches secured along the sticks with coated florist wire under some trees.
I learned the hard way it doesn't do well if it is not hanging vertically, as I had some set aside (in a bunch but not hanging) in preparation to rehang and wasn't able to get to it for weeks... it died.

I have some hanging on a circle of plastic strip from something... it is doing very well, but as you mentioned, I found the bits in the centre browned off, I think from not getting enough water. My husband sprays it with the hose when he waters. Our tap water is not highly contaminated with chemicals so doesn't kill it... but of course rain water is better for all the garden.
You have mentioned in a few responses not to place it on exposed metal... this is good advice... I have read in a number of articles that zinc and copper are particularly toxic to Spanish moss.
I live on the far north east coast of NSW Australia (classed as sub tropical) and it seems to do well here. I am pretty certain the birds sometimes take bits for their nest as I have seen bits high in the large tree on the other side of the house from where I grow it.

James David said...

Wow...
That is a very nice of you to explain about your experience here.
Yes, even here the birds pinch of few of the strands to make their nest.
Thank you for sharing.

Martin said...

Hi James,
I came across your article from a google search and it was very useful as I love Spanish Moss and haven't had any success with it before. I think the drying out requirement has been an issue for me and also moving it around as I tried keeping some in a plastic tunnel over one of those mistmaker/atomiser things and it all went brown. Another time I would hang it on the washing line every time it rained and particularly on days with drizzle as I thought the fine mist was good for it.
I live in the UK and it tends to be very expensive here, a few strands from a piece of wire will usually cost around £12 ($16USD). I was lucky last September as a local garden centre was selling it off for just 99 pence each so I bought 4 of them - would have cost me £60 normally ($80USD)! Here the climate is probably less than ideal generally as it can go down to -12C in Winter with snow and frosts so I keep it indoors. I hang it from a curtain rail over French doors in my living room which faces South. I make sure it's to the sides so sunlight may only touch it occasionally in the morning or late afternoon. As often as I can, normally every day I spray it all over using a sprayer containing rainwater collected outside. I then leave it dripping to dry naturally.
The living room can be a dry environment generally, especially with central heating. I either take it just outside the house to spray it or upstairs into the bathroom to avoid getting everything wet in the living room.
So far it seems to have survived although it's more green at the bottom and brown at the top for the first 6 inches or so. I was unsure about removing the straggly brown strands on it to just keep the bits that seem to be alive and green or grey? Do they need to be pruned or re-bunched as such as I'm unsure whethere just to leave it growing from the bottom? It definitely seems longer than when I bought it though. Here are some pictures:
http://oi66.tinypic.com/35d54t5.jpg
http://oi64.tinypic.com/es0phl.jpg
http://oi65.tinypic.com/21j58x2.jpg

I keep worrying that it looks a bit dead, sometimes it looks a bit dried up and brown and other times it looks a bit more healthy.
I'd be interested to know your thoughts :)

James David said...

Hi Martin,
Thank you for explaining with details. I'm amazed that these are very expensive in UK.
I saw the pictures and this is what you need to do:
OK - first thing first.

You need to remove the metal wire which been tied together in a bunch
Remove all the dead debris off (you can rinse the whole thing in water and remove the living silver green from the dead dried brown ones)
The long tangle where its totally brown at top but green at bottom - you can carefully strip of the brown leaves and just leave the long string like dried string but leaving the living green part at the bottom.

Once all the clump is sorted, space out carefully as not to bunch them too tightly together as these are too sensitive and start drying out if they are not having room in between them.
You can get a cheap wire cloth hanger and space evenly in between them.
You can also tie with string and all the fallen pieces together and fastened together with the cloth hanger.

Do submerged totally in rain water in about an hour in room temperature once awhile when you have the time.
Good luck.

Stellamarina said...

Hi James.....just checking into your lovely blog after not visiting for a long time.....catching up on what I missed. Lots of useful info on Spanish moss. A while ago a lady on a gardening facebook group was talking about flowers on her Spanish Moss......I am thinking, noooooooooo but I went out and looked at my Spanish Moss very carefully and What the heck! There was a few tiny little mustard color flowers and I had never noticed them before. Something fun to show the grandkids. Aloha

SS said...

Dear James,
Thank you for your blog post. Really informative. I've recently received a Spanish moss with a couple of Tillasandia xerographica (I think!) attached to metal wire. i've hung it up where it gets bright but not direct light and pretty good airflow. We have very little humidity where I live in Zimbabwe so I mist the plant often. Some parts are now brown and dying off and I noticed that the back of the plant where it isn't facing the wind has fatter leaves. What does that mean? Also, i'm nervous to move the plant off the metal and onto something else. Please can you post some pictures of how you do that?
Thanks,
Swathi

Judy said...

I am new to growing Spanish Moss. I grew up in Florida & always loved it.. I am however 75 years old now & I had a friend who went to Florida & very kindly brought me back some.. I know you cannot put it on metal.. However, I have used E6000 to attach to some dowels & wooden branches, I wanted to hang it in my windows & was only able to find metal extension rods for windows.. If I tape them up with duct tape so not metal will touch the moss - do you think they would be ok.. It all seems to be doing pretty good.. It took a lot to separate all the dead out & save the rest.. And I surely would hate to do something stupid at this point.. I appreciate any thoughts you might have.. Love your site.. I'm addicted.. :) Judy

James David said...

Stellamarina
Thank you so much for visiting and catching up.
Spanish Moss being an airplant and therefore they too are a flowering plant though it is a rare sight.

Swasti
Thank you for dropping by.
Concerning Tillasandia xerographica airplant, these are much easier and hardier compared to Spanish Moss in terms of watering.

This is your question:
Some parts are now brown and dying off and I noticed that the back of the plant where it isn't facing the wind has fatter leaves. What does that mean? Also, i'm nervous to move the plant off the metal and onto something else. Please can you post some pictures of how you do that?

If they are turning brown and dying off - it means its not getting enough water.
Do submerge the airplant 30 min - 1 hour in water. Or totally wet your airplant and let it dry out as you mentioned it is very airy in your place.
If the drying continues - it means its very hot & dry in your place. Do keep it more in the indirect sunlight area.
IF you have more query, do email me with pictures and I will follow-up with you.
jasmissier@gmail.com or seek me out in facebook: James David and send me a message in messenger.

Judy
Hi and thank you for your comment.

If I tape them up with duct tape so not metal will touch the moss - do you think they would be ok.. It all seems to be doing pretty good.. It took a lot to separate all the dead out & save the rest.. And I surely would hate to do something stupid at this point.

Ok, I can only advise you to be vigilant and watch and see.
As long as the metal don't leech out rust or other metallic substance when it gets wet - it should be ok. It would be difficult to put a finger and say it as a "law" per say..
If it seemed to be doing pretty good then, its a good thing.

Unknown said...

Dear James,

Such a great informative blog on Usneoides.I live in Malaysia and our weather is totally not like where they came from. What I am concerned of is I hang my Usneoides in my house as I live in an apartment. And from your blog, I gather that they dislike to be moved around a lot.So is a good amount of heavy misting enough for their need as I can't spray them with hose n get my house wet all over. Is it ok if they depend on fan air movement as compared to natural wind outside? Another question is, is it ok if I hang then under the wind chime? I am still in the dark to your explanation about not hanging them together with windchime or bell.

James David said...

Hi Fellow Malaysian, good to hear from you.
There are some pointers to your questions:

1) Good amount of spraying is ok - if you can, do soak them once a week in a bucket.
If you can't get rainwater - do let the tap water sit for a day in the open for the chlorine to disperse.

2) Is it ok if they depend on fan air movement as compared to natural wind outside?
Yes it is Ok - As long as they are in the open - it is not necessary to place a fan on them as long as they in the open.

3) is it ok if I hang then under the wind chime?
IT is Ok, but if you notice any drying or burns on the Spanish Moss then I recommend to remove it and handle them just as an exclusive plant rather than having ornaments on them.

Do find my video at the end of the blog where it show how I hang and cultivate my Spanish Moss - it will show I care for them for years. Hope this helps.
Stay Safe and Enjoy Gardening.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the reply. I do follow your blog and videos in caring for the Spanish moss

Jen said...

Hi there. I'm new to growing Spanish moss. Bought a pot from the tamu last wk.... The Spanish moss is hanging down from around the pot. I hang it outside my front door under a shade where it also gets light n wind.

This morning I noticed some of the stems at the top turning brown. What am I doing wrong? Thanks

Jennifer

Jen said...

Oh I'm from Brunei. I tried seeking you out on Facebook to send you a photo b,ut there are so many James Davids...

James David said...

Hi Jen,

Sorry about being unable to find me in fb. If it's ok - do scroll down below my blog and I had placed a e-mail dialogue box. Do drop me an email and I will answer you in a day or two.

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