Growing orchids is not without its challenges, says Allan Watson. Having moved from his traditional medium bark to Fernwood Fern Fibre substrate in regulation pots with award winning success, he says his next move into slab or totem culture was a no-brainer.
In previous blog posts, keen hobby grower Allan Watson explained that he traditionally used bark as a medium for his orchids. The introduction of Fernwood NZ’s fern fibre substrate into his orchid culture required some changes but the results show that good things come to those who wait.
Jacob and Anja Wassink, owners/operators at Phalaenopsis Nurseries in Omokoroa near Tauranga, have converted their entire operation into growing all plants in Fernwood fibre, and the results are outstanding. Anja reports.
Allan Watson has provided this comprehensive report for Fernwood NZ after a 2-year trial growing his orchids in Tree Fern Fibre Substrate. He says that while the trial timeline comes to an end, the results just keep on coming.
Since converting to using fern fibre only in preference to bark, Selwyn Hatrick has been growing much larger and more robust orchids. In turn, this has led to considerably more flowers and of better quality. His efforts have been recognised with a raft of awards.
Selwyn Hatrick explains the ins and outs of fern fibre culture, explains that the main species being harvested is Ponga/NZ native fern and talks about sustainable harvesting in New Zealand. He looks at the characteristics that make fibre superior to bark as a potting substrate for orchids.
Eight months since starting the trial, Grower Allan Watson is now into the first flowering of the trial plants, and they are thriving with flowers strong in colour and texture. He says the positive results of using fern fibre can clearly be seen.
Selwyn Hatrick began a trial late November 2016, to compare the growth of three groups of paphiopedilum seedlings. One selection planted in orchid bark, the second in a mix of bark and fern fibre, and the third in fern fibre with no additives. Read his findings here…
When we start growing orchids we are entering into a partnership that consists of light, temperature, air movement and water. Without it our plants would not survive. Read how you can make this partnership work for you.
Having been asked to participate in a Fern Fibre substrate over Bark/Pumice trial some six months ago and looking for a challenge, orchid grower Allan Watson from Taranaki, New Zealand, said yes.