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New Air Plants!

Spanish Moss
With the warm summer we’ve been having, these Spanish moss plants are feeling right at home.

You’ll love these new arrivals in the Air Plant category.

Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an epiphyte (a rootless plant which hangs from the branches of a tree but gets no food or water from the host tree). The stem surfaces are covered with scales which absorb water and nutrients from the air and rain. For most of us, it doesn’t rain inside our homes, so when you grow them indoors, just mist them with water.

As I was doing a little research about these plants I discovered that Spanish moss was once commercially harvested for use as a stuffing (about 20 million pounds were used in 1937 for stuffing car seats, mattresses and furniture) and as packing material. It was also used for floor mats, insulation and mulch. These days its uses are much more restricted and it’s generally only used in arts and crafts, and floral arrangements. We tend to use our local types of moss with European basket arrangements, but the grayish color of Spanish Moss sometimes is just the thing.

Strangely enough, in all my research I found no mention of the most popular use for this plant: holding it to your chin and pretending you’re an old man.

P.S. A fresh batch of vegetable starts have just arrived (most are organic). You may be happily harvesting plenty of produce, but adding Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, and Lettuce to your garden now will keep your harvest going when other plants are done.

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