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Using tree fern fibers?

This is a discussion on Using tree fern fibers? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I was curious as to how many people use tree fern fibers as part of ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Using tree fern fibers?

    I was curious as to how many people use tree fern fibers as part of the potting mix. I've seen the mounts and pots used. I've read a couple places that mention fibers as part of a mix for mini's. I'm wondering how many people here have experience using the tree fern fibers.

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    I've used it at times if I ran out of potting mix and some plants love it, I find I must water more often with it.

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    I've used it quite a bit. It lasts for 3-4 years without breaking down. It doesn't hold much water. I think it's pH neutral. If you have a mix that tends to stay wet too long you can use some tree fern fiber in the mix to open it up a little. It will allow more air to get to the roots and the mix will dry faster. As a result you may need to water more often. One complaint I have is that the bags always contain a lot of unusable material because it's just too small.

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    I use it a lot with my paphios and now with my cymbidiums as well.

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    I might give it a try for some orchids that I'd like to put a small amount of sphagnum in that normally stays to wet with anything else. I have one mini that is doing well in a mix with tree fern, sphag and perlite. That is what it came in and I've yet to repot it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catttan View Post
    I use it a lot with my paphios and now with my cymbidiums as well.
    I don't mean to derail the thread, but I am interested how you use fern tree fibers with cymbidiums, I am not happy with the mix I am using, and open to suggestions. thanks

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    I agreed with Yew good for paph and also notice many species love them, but based on my observation the Rhycholaelia digbyana they really love this medium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stateless View Post
    I don't mean to derail the thread, but I am interested how you use fern tree fibers with cymbidiums, I am not happy with the mix I am using, and open to suggestions. thanks
    Since I see that you live in Florida, I would suggest you visit the website of the St Augustine Orchid Society. You'll find a lot of good advice pertaining to cym culture in Florida there. My medium is a modified version of the medium suggested by Kobsukh Kaenratana of Thailand which I find suits the equatorial (hot, wet >100 inches rain thru out the year) climate here; my growing regime of 24/7 outdoors under 50% shade and 2 waterings a day. My medium consists of charcoal 1/2 inch size, 1/2" styrofoam pieces (perlite), fern pieces 1/2 - 1" pieces and shredded fern roots as top dressing. I also add 2-3 tablespoonful of crushed cockleshell to the mixture. I line the bottom, about 1 inch with bigger pieces of bricks and styrofaom for drainage. I mostly use 8" pots for my cyms. Formerly I used coconut husk but find that it retains moisture for too long and breaks down in a year, while fern root dries up faster and takes longer to break down, 3 years or more.

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    It's interesting reading the different ways people in different locations grow their orchids.

    Quote Originally Posted by catttan View Post
    Since I see that you live in Florida, I would suggest you visit the website of the St Augustine Orchid Society. You'll find a lot of good advice pertaining to cym culture in Florida there. My medium is a modified version of the medium suggested by Kobsukh Kaenratana of Thailand which I find suits the equatorial (hot, wet >100 inches rain thru out the year) climate here; my growing regime of 24/7 outdoors under 50% shade and 2 waterings a day. My medium consists of charcoal 1/2 inch size, 1/2" styrofoam pieces (perlite), fern pieces 1/2 - 1" pieces and shredded fern roots as top dressing. I also add 2-3 tablespoonful of crushed cockleshell to the mixture. I line the bottom, about 1 inch with bigger pieces of bricks and styrofaom for drainage. I mostly use 8" pots for my cyms. Formerly I used coconut husk but find that it retains moisture for too long and breaks down in a year, while fern root dries up faster and takes longer to break down, 3 years or more.

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