Spanish Moss question

diane_v_44(Z6)February 2, 2014

I believe that is what the moss is called that grows on some trees down here in the south. My home is in Ft Myers and I have collected some of this moss to use for growing Bromeliads in Seems to be just the thing and very successful
I tried to find someplace where I could purchase a large amount of it LIke a big green garbage bag partly or totally full of the moss.
Have an idea that I would like to try using this moss

I looked for somewhere to purchase same but not found anything on line other than in those little bags at Lowes or similar store Which would be much to expensive for my idea .
Anyone know a source of this moss

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plantsman56

I saw small bales of it at Michael's which is a place where they we'll plastic flowers and materials for arrangements.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 2:03PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I've only seen small bags of it for sale. If you decide to yank some off of local trees, please wear gloves. Chiggers live in it. You would have to sterilize it to kill them.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:33PM
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diane_v_44(Z6)

did pull some down today

what are chiggers
?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Chiggers are a type of red mite that usually are found in leaf litter around the base of trees. They can get under your skin and actually breed there and spread. My brother had a bad case of them when we were younger. They had spread up the entirety of his right arm before he got diagnosed.

The danger of getting chiggers from Spanish Moss supposedly is for the moss that you find on the ground. The stuff hanging from the trees tend to be mite-free. One 'expert' referenced in a magazine I have said he's never seen chiggers in arboreal moss in the decades he's been working with it. That said, I still wear gloves when harvesting.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 7:08PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Spanish Moss, the Unfinished Chigger Story
"There is a widespread belief in the southern parts of the United States that Chiggers are common in Spanish Moss. However, no chiggers were found among the 3297 organisms collected from Spanish Moss and Ball Moss in trees and from the ground on Cumberland Island, GA."

See link to full article below.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: Spanish Moss, the Unfinished Chigger Story

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 8:15PM
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diane_v_44(Z6)

I thank you all for discussing Spanish Moss or mosses with me

Have been gardening the past 14 years on a half year basis Each year. Have learned quite a bit and now have some quite interesting gardens
Past four years have got interested in Bromelaids and now orchids.
I never remember proper names so much but seem to have a knack for growing with success some pretty neat stuff
Always scouring the countrysdie and in towns even For vacant properties or gorgeous properties with well trimmed yards. Amazing it seems that you can actually knock on the door, or watch for someone working outside, go up to them and talk gardens and generally walk away with more ideas, or plants or at least cuttings.
Did get a fair bit of the moss today had it in the trunk of my car, and when I got home had not time or did not take time right away to take it out of the trunk
is out of the trunk now and on the driveway in a shaded part. Will have alook at it tomorrow more so
car of my

Would I be able to see these Chiggers or are they very small.
Leekle2ManE now did I get that right Where do you harvest the moss Would I be able to purchase some from you

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:30PM
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melissa_thefarm(NItaly)

Interesting facts you might not know: the botanical name of Spanish moss is Tillandsia usneoides, and it is itself a member of the Bromeliad family, making it a cousin of pineapples. There's an article about it on Wikipedia.
It's great you find people to talk gardening with and get starts from. That's a healthy social as well as gardening environment.
Melissa

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:40PM
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ritaweeda

I would not be hauling Spanish Moss around in my car, I've heard that it can harbor bird mites. We were always told when we were kids not to sit or lie in it, because of the red bugs in it. I know a lady who has a big farm, she has huge oak trees all around the house and grows all kinds of houseplants under them in containers. In the winter when it threatens to freeze, she piles Spanish Moss on top of them and it protects them perfectly.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:09AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

No Diane, I don't harvest it, at least not on any kind of commercial scale. About once a year I renew the mulch/dressing on top of my planters and when I do I go visit my In-Laws who are all-too-happy to watch me pull the stuff from their water oaks. I wear gloves while doing it, not so much because of mites, but because other critters such as spiders (and reportedly bats in the really thick clumps, haven't seen this myself).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:41AM
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diane_v_44(Z6)

some interesting information and yes this forum is for sure not onlyh informative but makes you feel good hearing what others have to say and what people are doing in their gardens and around their property or community Ritaweeda I do have quite a nice car but it does seem forever I am picking up something or other and my trunk usually is kind of messy Looking for Moss yesterday I as well found this really neat old wagon Has a broken wheel but I have a neigbhour who can fix it up or maybe I can give it a try myself.
I like to look for rocks and often have a few in the trunk by the time I am back home.
Is a luxury really having a car or truck and the gas to put in it and the time to take the road where you will and just poke around

Melissa that is interesting that the Moss is Tillandsia And you know in one big piece of it I pulled down was quite a neat Tillandsia plant growing in it

I do have some other Tillandsia and that is in fact why I was looking for the Spanish moss
Bromeliads really do well for me here in Florida. I have some in part shade and others in full sun.
I picked up three long cedar rails that are weathered but dry. Thought to make them into a tepee shape in a mostly shady area. Then attach some orchids or bromeliads wrapped sort of , loosely ,in some of the moss to partly at least cover the rails. Don't know if the moss would grow or just stay as it is.

well better get out there and get some work done before it gets to warm today Perhaps being a Canadian and down here half year, maybe your blood is thicker or whatever and then I am getting older as well but the heat and humidity do bother me Love it but best to work in the morning outside.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:56AM
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