How to Grow Spanish Moss

What You'll Need
A sturdy tree
Specimen (piece) of Spanish Moss
Watering Can
Twist ties or thin metal pieces

Found primarily in southern states such as Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Florida, Spanish moss is known as the “air plant” because it feeds off the particles and nutrients that are floating in the air. Spanish moss is often used as a symbol of love and beauty and romance as part of the history of the South. It thrives along streams and rivers and grows in large, dense boggy-like structures.  Spanish moss tends to grow slowly. It spreads from one branch to another and then from tree to tree. While Spanish moss grows best in the deep south, if you have a greenhouse room or if you live in a highly humid area, growing this type of moss will be a snap for you. If you are interested in adding Spanish moss to the romantic aspects of your garden, follow these how-to steps.

Step 1: Pick a Beautiful Tree or Two

Pick a large tree that will not be damaged by the weight of the Spanish moss that will grow alongside the tree’s trunk. Smaller trees tend to bend and break from the weight of the Spanish moss. 

Step 2: Choose your Spanish Moss Specimen

Choose a thin piece of Spanish moss. Pick off or clip a piece of Spanish moss that is no larger than the size of your hand extended. If you do not wish to clip or pick it off from a tree, you can sometimes find Spanish moss on the ground after it has fallen from the tree. 

Step 3: Add and Afix your Spanish Moss to your Tree

Take the Spanish Moss you have collected and place it on a tree branch. Lightly tie your Spanish moss with a couple of twist ties or use a small thin piece of metal wire. This will keep the Spanish Moss from flying away if there happens to be a gust of wind.

Step 4: Add Moisture To the Moss

Unless you're expecting rain in the next 24 hours, take a watering can or a hose and spray the Spanish moss until it is well soaked and wet.  Continue to wet and soak your Spanish moss for at least every day for one week until it takes hold on your branch.  If it rains, omit this step. 

Step 5: Harvest your Spanish Moss

In order to protect your tree, you need to harvest your Spanish Moss regularly. To harvest your moss, just gently tug at the moss and it will usually just come off right in your hands.  Alternatively, take some shears and trim the Spanish moss. Allow your Spanish moss to dry and use it as an accent in floral arrangements