Plain Gardening: Spanish Moss

(WKRG)- This edition of Plain Gardening starts with a wizard-like Gardening Expert Bill Finch with his head draped in Spanish moss.  My mom said Spanish moss had bugs in it, and wouldn’t let me bring it in the house, but Bill says there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Bill says Spanish moss is a beautiful plant that is almost an icon of the deep south and is actually a close relative of the pineapple!  If you look closely, there are tiny flowers but no pineapples.

First, let’s be clear that Spanish moss won’t hurt your trees.  It’s a bromeliad and lives on nutrients that it pulls directly from the air…it just uses trees to hang on.   It doesn’t even add much weight.

There isn’t as much Spanish moss now as there was 30-40 years ago.  While we’ve lost a lot of Spanish moss over the years, mostly to hurricanes, there’s still a lot around—especially near area creeks and rivers.

People aren’t alone in loving Spanish moss; bats love it, too.  That can mean fewer insects in and around your yard.

Oh, and Mom’s concern about insects?  Bill says nope, Spanish moss usually isn’t buggy.

There’s only one real problem with Spanish moss:  it’s hard to get it started on trees.

Learn more about Spanish—or any other nationality of moss, for that matter—by  calling Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings from 9-11am on 106.5FM or email

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