Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish Moss)

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Scientific Name

Tillandsia usneoides (L.) L.

Common Names

Spanish Moss, Grandpas Beard

Synonyms

Dendropogon usneoides, Renealmia usneoides, Strepsia usneoides, Tillandsia crinita, Tillandsia filiformis, Tillandsia trichoides

Scientific Classification

Family: Bromeliaceae
Subfamily: Tillandsioideae
Genus: Tillandsia

Flower

Color: Green, yellow or grey
Bloom Time: Spring through fall

Description

Tillandsia usneoides is an epiphytic, flowering plant with one or more slender stems bearing alternate thin, curved or curly, heavily scaled leaves up to 2.5 inches (6.2 cm) long. They grow vegetatively in chain-like fashion, forming hanging structures up to 20 feet (6 m) long. The plant has no aerial roots and its brown, green, yellow or grey flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. Its flowers open in succession over up to 4 months from spring through fall.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 7a to 11b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like with most plants, the first step in learning how to grow an Air Plant is learning about their natural habitats. These plants are native to forests and mountains in Central and South America, and the southern United States.

From late-summer to mid-spring, water your Air Plants by misting them daily. Unlike potted houseplants, you can’t really over-water an Air Plant.

Keep in mind that these plants primarily come from warm and humid environments. If you live in a dry climate or have forced air, you will need to provided adequate humidity by regularly misting your Air Plants.

A bright, sunny window, alcove or porch where the Air Plant gets some protection from full sun is ideal for these plants. Remember, they grow in tree canopies and mountains where they get dabbled light and some shade. Too much direct sunlight will lead to your plant drying out or the leaves burning. Yes, plants can get sunburns just like we do… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Air Plants

Origin

Tillandsia usneoides is native to much of Mexico, Bermuda, Bahamas, Central America, South America, southern United States, French Polynesia and West Indies. It is also naturalized in Queensland (Australia).

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