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A picture of a Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss

Tillandsia usneoides

Also known as

Old Man's Beard, Black Moss, Florida Moss, Hanging Moss, Long Beard, Long Moss, New Orleans Moss, Southern Moss, Tree Beard, Vegetable Hair, Grey Moss, Air Plant, Airplant, Greybeard, Old man's beard

Starr 080326-3794 Tillandsia usneoides by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Spanish Moss

A photo of Spanish Moss
A photo of Spanish Moss
A photo of Spanish Moss
A photo of Spanish Moss
A photo of Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss Overview

Tillandsia usneoides is also commonly known as Spanish Moss, however it has no relation to the moss family. In fact, this species lies in the Bromeliaceae family. Also known as Old Man's Beard, Hanging Moss or Florida Moss, amongst other common names. It is a tiny epiphytic plant, gaining moisture from the surrounding air. This flowering "air" plant grows in the upper reaches of tall trees or other structures and uses the scales on the leaves and its curving structure to anchor itself. Tillandsia usneoides produces small, 3-petalled yellow-green flowers and narrow, linear foliage coloured silver-white.

Common problems with Spanish Moss

Red bugs (also known as harvest mites), and mealy bug might effect this plant.

Spanish Moss Companion Plants

Generally grown in solitary or on trees.

How to harvest Spanish Moss

Simply divide strands for use in arrangements.

How to propagate Spanish Moss


The plant in nature self-seeds. It is tricky to propagate from seed and it is easier to take a part of the plant and attach it to a piece of bark. Spray with a mister for humidity.


The easiest propagation method is simply dividing the strands.

Special features of Spanish Moss

Attracts birds

Birds use Spanish moss as nest making material. Serves as habitats for frogs, bats, snakes and spiders.

Wet sites

Grows well near the outside of air-condition vents, dripping fluids unto the plant.

Hedge plant

Arrange these on a hedge to grow into a screen.

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Spanish Moss

Grown for their flowers or overall appearance.


Grown for the unusual foliage, it has become popular with floral designers.

Air Plants (Tillandsia spp.)

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