Soft Tree Fern Fibre for healthy orchid root development
Orchids growing in Fernwood Soft Tree Fern Fibre develop a healthy root system. A well-developed root system forms the foundation to grow a healthy orchid plant.
Some of the benefits of using tree fern fibre as an orchid potting medium are:
- Excellent root development. A healthy root system is important for plant growth and health.
- Retains moisture while at the same time remains aerated without bogging.
- It is stable and long lasting, even in high humidity environments.
- Soft and friable, easy to work with.
- It is sustainably harvested and is considered a superior material to Tree Ferns found in other countries around the world.
A few points to note about Fernwood Tree Fern Fibre
- Tree Fern Fibre has a large surface area compared to many other substrates. This means that its capacity to retain moisture is much larger.
- The fibre is very porous and has the ability to retain moisture without becoming waterlogged, drains well and has good aeration.
- Moisture is evenly distributed throughout the substrate and due to the moisture holding capacity of the fibre, water is released via capillary action to all the roots. With time, many substrates dry out from the top down which results in uneven moisture distribution through the orchid root zone.
- Unlike many other orchid growing substrates, all the orchids roots are covered with fibre and constantly in contact with moisture. Bark, for example, dries out from the top down and the orchid roots are not constantly in contact with moisture.
- Soft and porous for plant roots to easily grow through the fibre, without becoming compacted.
- Slow to decompose due to its natural antibacterial properties
Some Points To Consider When Repotting Your Orchids.
- Soak your orchids for an hour in lukewarm water. This softens the growing media and makes it easier to separate the media from the roots.
- Choose a pot size that does not have too much 'space' for the roots. Orchids prefer a smaller pot over a large pot which has too much space for roots. Pot up so that it appears to be slightly root bound.
- Clean the roots of your orchids by removing all the old media and cut away any dead roots.
- Before placing the roots in the pot try and place some fibre in the centre of the orchid root system and gently place the roots into the pot.
- Tuck all the roots into the pot and start placing the fibre around and between the roots. Use your fingers to push the fibre to the spaces between the roots.
- The consistency of the fibre should be firm and not compact.
- On completion of repotting your orchid, the plant should be able to support itself, i.e. free standing in the pot. You can use a stake to support the plant until such time that the roots system is able to do this on its own.
- Water the leaves and pot with a suitable orchid fertiliser.
Beware of Overwatering!
Soft Tree Fern Fibre has excellent water holding capacity. This means that you do not have to water your plants as regularly as you would with other orchid growing media.
It may be that during the warm summer months you may only need to water once a week and in cool winter months once a month.
Check the moisture content of the tree fern fibre in the pot first before watering.
Let the tree fern fibre dry out a bit before watering, not completely dry. The substrate will turn from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour as it dries out.
Watering and Feeding Regime.
Every time you water your orchid incorporate one of the Nutrient Solution mixes mentioned below. I believe it is better to feed your orchids a weak solution of nutrients every time you water your orchids.
Tree Fern Orchid Boards
We also stock Fernwood Soft Tree Fern Orchid Mounts that are supplied in a pack of 2 boards each measuring 25 X12.5 X 3 cm.
They are ideal mounting orchids, ferns, air plants and other epiphytic plants.
New Zealand Tree Fern is softer and therefore the orchid boards hold more moisture than boards made from Asian Tree fern or South American Tree Fern. They can be used in high humidity environments without deteriorating because they have excellent aeration and drainage
The boards can be used as hanging mounts because they are soft and it is easy to push a wire through them. Because of the strong fibrous nature of the board, any wire pushed through them holds fast.