to get more detailed, osmunda is the root system of the fern, while tree
fern is the "trunk".
As osmunda breaks down, it actually feeds the plant, but mostly nitrogen.
Tree fern does not.
Ray Barkalow - First Rays Orchids - www.firstrays.com
Plants, Supplies. Books, Artwork, and lots of Free Info!
"v_coerulea" wrote in message
Osmunda is a Genus of several species of fern. Tree fern fiber comes from
one of the tree fern species mostly Cyathea.The massive root system of any
of these can be chunked, shredded, or layered (slabbed?). Tree ferns are
much larger and can make bigger slabs. Osmunda, being much smaller is not
economical for slabs. Anyway, being an organic substance, like bark, it's
going to break done sooner or later. The amount of moisture and heat
determine the rate of degradation. Use loose, shredded fiber mixed with
Spongerock in small clay pots and it's going to last a long time. Reverse
all of these and it's probably going to break down as fast as any other
organic. I find Jim's Orchid Supplies in FL is probably the cheapest for
buying slabs. Then I can cut it as I like with a nice sharp machete. Tin
snips work. A rolling pin breaks a lot of connecting fibers for easier
shredding. In any case you're going to make a mess and end up with some
fern fiber. Substitutes are being tested since the use of tree fern has
consideranly diminished the resource. Try epiweb as an alternative. Check
http://www.firstrays.com/epiweb.htm for what it is and another story on
"Steve" wrote in message
Hello the Group!
Great to see ya's. I'm not sure if I spelled the genus correctly. I
have a D. magnum that just doesn't thrive here. I've had it for
years. It's in bark at the moment. I'm gonna switch it to sphagnum.
I can't seem to figure this plant out! Am I keeping it too wet? Too
dry? Too dim? Too bright? Wrong tag? lol.
I switched a Lockhartia and a Maxillaria to osmunda fiber, and that
was the ticket for them. I can't find osmunda any more. The stores I
got it at before no longer carry it. Is tree fern fiber a similar
product? Just curious, they didn't have that either.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and ideas.
Bob Campoli - Philadelphia, Pa
I can't be specific about Dendrochilum culture because I haven't figured
mine out either. Both of my species have bloomed but they don't really
I've had quite a few plants over the years suddenly do much better in
Osmunda. Some plants certainly didn't like it but if a plant isn't doing
well in bark or CHC that's what I try.
Tree fern fiber is kind of similar to Osmunda but plants don't grow the
same in them. Tree fern, for use in pots, is a bunch of very stiff, loose
fibers. I never had anything thrive in tree fern fiber. I think the big
difference is that Osmunda holds some moisture and tree fern drains and
dries quickly. Perhaps a person living in the humid south would have
better luck with tree fern and find Osmunda to stay too wet?
PS My supply of Osmunda is a huge 6 cubic foot box I ordered from
Tropical Plant Products certainly over 10 years ago. I'm going to miss it
when I have used it all up. I rarely use it in a big pot. Trying to not
use it up too fast.