How To Get Rid Of Spanish Moss – The 5 DIY Method Guide

While Spanish moss may provide shade, it is not so good for your home. It causes damage to roofs and other surfaces by allowing water to seep into the cracks. If you have it hanging from any of your trees or shrubs, this article contains some tips on how to get rid of Spanish Moss.

Spanish moss, sometimes known as lace lichen or Florida moss, is a divisive topic among homeowners; some adore it, while others despise it. It’s a common sight in our state, and you may see it hanging from many Southern trees as either a lovely or terrible ornament. You may not realize that Spanish moss has an impact on your yard that goes beyond its appearance.

The Spanish moss prefers damp conditions. It possesses cup-like scales on the surface of its leaves that capture and hold moisture, allowing it to survive dry seasons. It’s also tough and can become dormant in dry conditions until moisture is restored.

While Spanish moss is ubiquitous in many southern landscapes, it is known for causing homeowners to have a hate/love relationship. Some people adore Spanish moss, while others despise it. If you’re among the haters and want to know how to discard them, this article will be useful.

How To Get Rid Of Spanish Moss
Spanish Moss via Wikimedia

What is the Most Convenient Way to Annihilate Spanish Moss?

Because eradicating Spanish moss could be a headache and laborious operation, it’s easier (and more cost-effective) to hire a tree professional or an arborist, especially if your landscape is full of larger trees.

Using Spanish Moss Herbicides

The most economically convenient technique of Spanish moss treatment is spraying herbicide on the trees, besides hand removal. Tree professionals are the ideal solution for this because they are better suited to handle and spray massive trees that a typical homeowner would not do.

5 DIY Sprays

Copper, potassium, and baking soda are the three most common sprays used to kill Spanish moss. While they are all safe to be used and might provide supplementary benefits, others may cause problems. Copper and potassium sprays, for instance, may cause the trees to wash out if they are applied during a drought or hot season.

Baking soda spray is also relatively safe, but it will only work on small patches of moss that have grown over the surface of shrubs and smaller plants. Finally, mulching can eliminate Spanish moss over time.

How To Get Rid Of Spanish Moss?

Equipment You Need

  • Ladder
  • Gardening Gloves
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Lime
  • Peachtree Root Beer Juice

1. Copper Solution

One of the most popular treatments for removing Spanish moss is copper sulfate. However, while employing this procedure to remove Spanish moss, caution must be exercised.

1.1 How to make Copper Spray

  • You can buy copper sulfate sprays already prepared or make your own by mixing one part copper sulfate with one part lime in ten parts water.

1.2 When to Spray the Copper Solution

  • Spraying trees before they bud out or at a later stage in the season is advised.
  • Because it tends to stain, this is an excellent choice for usage in wide and open spaces instead of near dwellings.
  • Ensure that it can be safely applied to the Spanish moss-infested trees you want to treat.

1.3 Antifungal Property of Copper

  • Copper is an antifungal remedy that is commonly found in most dry fertilizers.
  • The copper solution is the slowest, but it is the most thorough.
  • It is thought to be effective at targeting and killing Spanish moss as a systemic spray.
  • On the other hand, copper-based sprays can harm tender tree growth, and any overspray could damage the surrounding landscape.

2. Potassium Solution

Another approach for killing this quickly is to use potassium to spray trees afflicted with Spanish moss.

2.1 How to make Potassium Spray

  • To manufacture your own spray, combine 1/4 cup potassium bicarbonate with one gallon of water.

2.2 Potassium as Contact Poison

  • Potassium is regarded as a contact poison.
  • So, if you spray your tree in the early morning time, the Spanish moss will be killed by the afternoon — or at the very least within a few days.
  • While potassium destroys moss, it does not affect your tree.
  • It’s a healthy root fertilizer for the tree.

3. Baking Soda Solution

Baking soda is the safest solution for eliminating Spanish moss (apart from manual removal).

3.1 How to make Baking Soda Spray

  • There is also a commercial product called Bio Wash that is supposed to work well.
  • Add 1/4 cup (60 mL.) of baking soda or potassium bicarbonate per gallon (4 L.) of spray.

However, while using this method to remove Spanish moss, there are several considerations to make.

  • Baking soda contains a huge salt content. Thus it shouldn’t be sprayed on trees with fresh, fragile growth because it can harm them.
  • Baking soda, like potassium spray, is a particularly effective contact killer.
  • Before using the product, it is advised that you remove as much moss as possible by hand before spraying the affected trees.

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4. Vinegar Solution

  • Spray white vinegar on the Spanish moss.
  • Vinegar is safe to use around plants and won’t harm them.
  • Spanish moss is highly sensitive to vinegar, so that it will kill the plant completely in a matter of one or two applications.

5. Peachtree Root Beer Juice

  • The juice from a peach tree root beer extract can be used for killing Spanish moss.
  • You can buy a 12 oz bottle, and you will find the ingredients in the list as water, sugar, caramel color, natural flavor, potassium sorbate (preservative), citric acid.
  • Spray this juice on your trees where you have a lot of hanging Spanish moss, and within a few weeks, you will see the moss fall off.

While the above DIY approaches may work, removing Spanish moss will take a significant amount of time, effort, and energy. Spanish moss-covered branches can fall unexpectedly, causing skin discomfort if handled without protection. The most effective solution for removing Spanish moss is using machinery specifically engineered to kill it. This procedure will guarantee safety and provide instant results.


Final Remarks

Spanish moss is a problem for many homeowners. It’s not only unsightly, but it can also become a fire risk due to the buildup of flammable debris. If you don’t mind doing so manually, there are several ways to kill Spanish moss off your trees. However, there are still those people who prefer using chemicals over manual removal.

There is no foolproof chemical method for removing Spanish moss. The easiest way to kill the moss is to pull it out by hand as it grows. Even if the Spanish moss has been completely removed, it may reappear. It could also come back after being transported by birds. However, by supplying appropriate fertilizer and water to your trees, you can usually slow down the growth of Spanish moss.

Regardless of the method you choose, remember to use caution when dealing with the substances mentioned above. Copper Sulfate should not be used around young trees or if it is forecast to rain. On your first try, you may want to experiment by spraying only one section of the tree so that you can see how it reacts before making a large application. Although every material mentioned above is a natural product, it can still harm your tree if you overdo it.

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