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Supporting cast in my greenhouse - Spanish Moss

This is a discussion on Supporting cast in my greenhouse - Spanish Moss within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is one of my favorite supporting characters in my greenhouse. I'm ...

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  1. #1
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
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    Default Supporting cast in my greenhouse - Spanish Moss

    Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is one of my favorite supporting characters in my greenhouse.
    I'm sure folks from the southern states are familiar with these mainstays.

    They serve a number or purposes that makes things a lot easier to maintain the greenhouse.
    1. They provide additional shade due to their plant mass.
    2. They can store moisture and release them as necessary to balance out with the GH humidity - thus they act as small-scale moisture batteries. Draped around mounted orchids, they work great.
    And given sufficient numbers, they can significantly buffer the GH humidity and temperature.

    Here's a couple of strings that I am growing out. Once they are big enough, I take a few strings and wrap around the mounted orchids.


    Here's one that I wrapped around the vandas. Notice the tiny green flower:


    Close up of the flower:


    More flowers. Notice some popped seed pods as well. I dont know if those seeds will germinate naturally though:


    Spanish moss in action:

  2. #2
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    That's nice. You know..Spanish moss doesn't grow on our trees here..i think it might get a bit too cold for them in the Winter here or our ambient humidity isn't high enough

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    If you smell those spanish moss flowers towards the end of the day, you will be surprised how fragrant they are for such tiny things. (I manage to keep a clump alive and happy in my apartment). It looks like you have a nice growing space by the way.

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    We grow it in our GH also. I love when it blooms. I use it to dress up plants I take inside to display as well. Just a bit on top of the bark makes them look so nice. After I return the plant to the GH, I just leave the Spanish moss and it starts growing. Great stuff.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    I've toyed with trying some of this in one of my terrariums but was told that -- the wild stuff at least -- is commonly infested with 'chiggers'

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    I've toyed with trying some of this in one of my terrariums but was told that -- the wild stuff at least -- is commonly infested with 'chiggers'
    I have not had the unfortunate experience of finding (or at least feeling) chiggers on my stock.

    However, from wikipedia:wiki
    The plant is commonly believed to be a habitat for chiggers, but only collects the mites after it has touched the ground. Spanish moss in its natural habitat, hanging from trees, does not harbor chiggers.
    That does not really tell us much. So I guess if your area is a known to have chigger population, then treat spanish moss with caution.

  7. #7
    bench72's Avatar
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    These things are pretty amazing and surprisingly quite easy to grow..... i do much the same of letting some grow and then use it to drape around display plants...

    what are chiggers?

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    Chiggers are little devilish insects that will eat you alive if given the opportunity...

    =


    Quote Originally Posted by bench72 View Post
    These things are pretty amazing and surprisingly quite easy to grow..... i do much the same of letting some grow and then use it to drape around display plants...

    what are chiggers?

  9. #9
    pavel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clintdawley View Post
    Chiggers are little devilish insects that will eat you alive if given the opportunity...
    Just a small correction -- chiggers are mites NOT insects (the 6 legs in the pic causes understandable confusion) They attach to the host, inject digestive enzymes into the bite wound, and then suck up the digested tissue.

    John, I don't have a chigger prob here in the great white north but neither does spanish moss grow up here. Folks I know who live down south who would otherwise be willing to send me some warned me of the chigger problem.

  10. #10
    clintdawley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification, Pavel. I'm am by no means a bug person

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