At the risk of sounding like a broken record I say yet again Fern Fibre produces positive results. Eight months since starting the trial I am now into the first flowering of the trial plants. At this stage only one pair in the trial has produced flowers but there have been three others to date (early in the flowering season as yet)

The first to flower was Miltoniopsis ‘Pink Cadillac’ (Mps. Lady Snow x Mps. Second Love). Although the flower was slightly paler than expected it was about 15% bigger than any previous flowering plants in the bark/pumice mix. This is the first flowering for this plant.

The other pair plant is in spike but not as yet open. This plant also flowered early in terms of the rest of the collection. (September 2, 2019.)

Of the 15 pair of Mps in the direct Fern Fibre trial at this stage 14 pairs are all doing well and those in fibre showing sign of multi spike. At this stage only one pair is not doing that great. I suspect recovering still from the shock of being split and re-potted. This photo is of Mps Herralexandre (Mps. Alexandre Dumas x Mps. Herrenhausen) ‘189 Smiler’. The plant has produced a stronger flower than in the previous season with 6 flowers on a spike.

Last season there was only 4 flowers per spike. As yet the other Mps pair in the trial although in spike as yet the buds have not opened.

The third single plant to flower in the trial group was Mps. Hamburg (Mps. Robert Paterson x Mps. Lingwood) ‘Red Velvet’ although this plant only produced 4 flowers it is its first flowering. The flowers produced however are very strong in colour and texture.

The first pair of trial plants to produce spikes and open belong to Mps. Rene Komoda  (Mps. Edwidge Sabourin x Mps. santanaei)’ Pacific Clouds’ this plant was split back in February to be part of the trial.

The photo I have included shows both plants side by side. The flower centre and right are from the plant in fibre. When compared the flowers from the fern fibre plant are stronger, rounder and 10% larger. The fern fibre plant shows signs of improved development and growth.

The trial, when initially started, had an open mind approach with notable results not expected for 18 months to two years. Here we are only eight months into the trial and the results can already be seen.  I intend to maintain the 14 pairs in the trial as a control group. I am progressively repotting all my other Mps into Fern Fibre substrate as they finish flowering.

I have had various growers say to me that they are getting results with the mixes they are using and my answer is a simple well done, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. But if you want to try and improve, try fern fibre. Fern fibre is certainly producing positive results for me.

Allan Watson