Moss on shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Puyallup, Wa
Question by zbonnee
March 28, 2010
Should I peel off the moss that is on the branches of many of my ornamental shrubs (like rhodies, azaelas, lilacs, etc.)?
Thank you,
Bonnee Z.

Answer from NGA
March 28, 2010


Algae or moss growth on the branches of woody ornamentals is quite common in the Pacific Northwest and you don't need to remove it, although you can if you wish. I peel it off when it annoys me, or kill it during the winter months with a lime/sulfur spray (such as you would use for apple trees). Don't use this on evergreens such as your rhodies, though. The lime/sulfur will burn the leaves. Just use it on the bare wood of your lilacs and other deciduous shrubs. The lime/sulfur will kill the algae and it will weather away in a few years. It might be simpler just to leave it alone.

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