Osmunda fibre

Osmunda ferns, for example: the Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomeum), the Royal fern (Osmunda regalis) etc. form huge colonies in swamps, with very massive and densely matted, wiry roots. The roots of these ferns are often harvested and sold as “Osmunda fibre”.

Osmunda fibre is used in orchid culture as a growing medium. Not that long time ago, perhaps 10 years, osmunda was one of the best potting media; however, scarcity, high prices and new equally as good potting media have caused it to fall out of favor.

Osmunda fibre is very useful and has some advantages:

It retains moisture.

It ensures that the plants' roots get good air circulation.

Decomposes slowly and as it decomposes, it becomes a good source of nutrients. Therefore, orchids require less fertilizing.

Despite the fine texture of the fibre, it does not break down quickly and will last a couple of years.

Orchids can be easily mounted on Osmunda slabs and the slabs can be cut to size to suit the orchid.

The fact that the roots require: a) Some vertical alignment to ensure good drainage; and b) Some skills to successfully pot with it. Does not degrade the contribution of the Osmunda fibre.

I use Osmunda slabs to mount my Chilochista segawai orchids.