Spanish Moss

almasgarden(7aNY)March 4, 2005

Can someone tell me if live spanish moss throws out tiny specks that look like poppy seed? Or is it insect droppings. I have it hanging on my vanda orchids and there always seems to be little dots on the sills.

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bihai(zone 9)

If the moss has touched the ground, it is likely infested with a variety of insect pests, most commonly "chigger mites". You do NOT want "dirty moss" in your home...its only a matter of time before you start to itch. Think SCABIES. Its THAT BAD. I speak from experience.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 8:39PM
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almasgarden(7aNY)

I picked the spanish moss myself as it was hanging on the tree branches. These tiny specks are greenish. I keep the vanda orchids hanging on the shower rack. I see these specks on the tub floor. I sprayed with ced-o-flor. Its scary to think these are bug droppings. What do the seeds look like?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 8:29AM
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gonzer_gw

Green droppings might be an indicator of small caterpillars. Ordinarily, SM isn't prone to the normal array of well known pests like aphid or scale. Chiggers, mites, and the occasional wolverine ;-) do indeed hide out in the masses.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 9:55AM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

The Tillandsia seeds are like dandelion seeds, with the seed part itself being very small and usually a tan color. Don't worry about the wolverines, they don;t come that far south. The tree alligators are another matter, of course.

I wonder if the specks are from the Spanish Moss at all. Could anything be dropping sap on the Vandas?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 10:25PM
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almasgarden(7aNY)

I think the problem is solved. I called a tropical florist and they told me that it's probably coming from the wooden baskets the vandas are in. I sprayed ced o flor and hope that does it. they recommended Sevin, but I hesitate to do that to the vandas. Can it hurt their roots?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 8:05AM
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barbarat(5)

I've grown spanish moss along with my other bromeliads for years. It's inside in winter and goes outside for summer. Before I bring it back in I fill a tub with water add a splash of dish washing liquid and leave the moss in the solution for a few minutes and then rinse it in clear water. Never a bug is brought in. And it blooms in spring with tiny green scented flowers. You can smell them before you see them.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 6:46PM
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evilchicken(so CA coast z10)

Can the chigger mites ride indoors on clothing or anything else? I bought some Spanish Moss about a month back and had it draped over my leg on the ride home... I've been kinda itchy the last few weeks but I thought that it was dry winter skin.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 4:23PM
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almasgarden(7aNY)

Good news!! The little green droppings are gone, so it must have been the vandas. I sprayed with Ced-O-Flora (great stuff). I too was itchy and thought it was the spanish moss, but actually it was dry skin and allergy to the sun. It seems to be alive and still green when I spray it, so hopefully when spring and summer finally arrive in NY, I will see flowers..

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 4:55PM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

Does anyone know how you can tell "Tillandsia usneoides" moss from the parasitic type?

Thanks

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 1:51AM
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hotdiggetydam

parasitic type? I was unaware that any spanish moss is a parasite

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 6:25AM
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treehaus(4)

Are people growing Spanish Moss primarily outdoors, indoors, or in greenhouses? Does anyone here know how SM compares with other Tils in terms of its humidity/moisture requirements?

On a side note, I once visited the site that marks the northmost latitude at which SM can be found in the wild - in the state of Virginia, at First Landing State Park. The only portion of the habitat there that seemed to support the growth of Spanish Moss was the cypress swamp, where the SM dangled from the Bald Cypresses above standing water. Stray a short way from the standing water and the Spanish Moss would just disappear.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 10:10AM
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almasgarden(7aNY)

Well, I brought home a sack of spanish moss from the NY Botanical Garden (they had too much) and it is still alive and green. I put some outside on the butterfly bush and it seems to be doing well. Although the robin took some for her nest, there is still more and it is growing. Will put it in greenhouse during winter if it still is living. No parasites on it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 10:29AM
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bob740(zone 6 ,NY)

RE: the Span.moss...I always brought bunches back home from my Florida visits,just picked it off the tree branches,and perhaps I was lucky,but never had a bug problem. Kept it indoors during winter,with my other broms,and most of it survived,kept warm and humid,some even had those fragrant tiny green flowers. Outdoors in the summer,it grew well,but gradually diminished as birds helped themselves to build their nests. Well,I got it for free,so easy come,easy go ;)
There's a Botanical Garden on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls,that has the most perfect collection and display of S.M,completly covering all the branches of a leaf-less tree,about 12 feet tall,indoors,in a bright sunny spot. A real eye pleaser. If I get there again this year,I'll take a photo.
Bob

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 3:02PM
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treehaus(4)

I have heard that the flowers of Spanish Moss are rare in cultivation - you must have been doing a good job keeping it happy.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 3:19PM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

I am not sure either.... I had read a post here somewhere that said one kind was, but it was limited to southern Florida... said that it feeds off of the trees, unlike the other type.

RE:Posted by hotdiggetydam (My Page) on Wed, Jun 6, 07 at 6:25

parasitic type? I was unaware that any spanish moss is a parasite

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 9:01PM
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