Floral editor Janet Porcher Gregg’s favorite varieties are sheet moss and Spanish moss, both widely available in the Lowcountry.
Sheet moss: “Sheet moss is great because it’s so malleable and easy to work with,” says Gregg. “You can shape it to most any surface and can easily attach it to a block of floral foam using fern pins.” Offering a tidy look and fresh green color, this species of carpet moss can be bought by the box at floral supply shops such as Busy B’s Wholesale Florist and Horst Wholesale. “You have to keep a close eye on sheet moss, because it can dry out quickly,” warns Gregg. “If you spritz it with water every couple days, it should stay fresh for about two weeks.”
Spanish moss: This member of the bromeliad family, often found draping the limbs of Lowcountry trees, can easily be wrapped around branches or stems and held in place with a dot of glue. It can also be helpful if you are arranging tall blooms in a vase—pack the moss down into the container, and it will support and hold stems in place. You can pick up dried Spanish moss at most floral shops, or try collecting your own. Just gather the fresh moss into a plastic bag and microwave for about a minute to kill any bugs living in it. You can also wash it gently with soap and water, and then dry in the sun. Thirty minutes to an hour before using in your arrangement, mist the moss with water—this will soften it and cut down on dust.