I want to air layer quite a few clones of my beloved Jamaican Cherry Tree (Mutingia calabura) but a small bag of sphagnum moss at Lowe's yesterday was $5.63 I think...guess who puckered up and put it back on the shelf? So I had an idea I tried today. When I took garden fresh goodies to south Tampa's Wimauma Restaurant on south MacDill Avenue and to pick up three buckets of scraps for my chickens and ducks, I half filled a used black plastic garbage bag I had in my car with Spanish Moss from the grounds and parking lot there. I tied the bag tightly shut and will let it sit a few days in full sun in my back yard to kill the "moss" (it is really a bromelliad), then let it dry in full sun a few days after that. My plan is to wound each branch I wish to root, rub on some rooting hormone, wrap damp dead dried Spanish Moss around the wound, wrap it in clear commercial restaurant Saran wrap I scavenged a huge roll of years ago, then tie off each end with scavenged twine. If all goes well, in 4-6 weeks I will see roots within each air layer, sever the branch, and pot each in one gallon of home made soil. My goal this year is to recover all seed and plant purchasing costs initially, then generate some cash each week for groceries, gas, pet food, and fun.
It might not work but hey, it also MIGHT work just fine. I hope so as except for a few pennies' worth of rooting hormone, it is all free!