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Growing Spanish Moss

Question:

Can Spanish moss be grown using the dry version that you can buy from hardware/craft stores? I was told at a green house that you can buy it dry and wet it and it will start growing. Is this true or am I going to have to order it?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

Samara from VA

Answer:

Samara,

It's more likely that you're gong to have to order it. Spanish moss needs constant high humidity and generally prefers temperatures that don't regularly dip below 20ºF. Moss harvested for commercial use is almost always dried and cured before being packaged to sell commercially. Although I'm not familiar with the exact details of the curing process, I would guess that heat is used during some point in the process in order to kill any insects or bacteria present in the moss. That doesn't necessarily mean that growing it won't work, it just means that you're much less likely to be starting with viable moss spores. My understanding is that Spanish moss is really only hardy to zone 8, although micro-climates may make growing it in slightly cooler zones possible. There have also been a fair number of federal, state and municipal laws enacted to protect people from taking Spanish moss from the wild, which probably makes ordering nursery grown stock your safest bet.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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