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Central American tree fern slabs

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Raven, Jan 6, 2023.

  1. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody have a source for Central American tree fern slabs/totems? I used to grow many mounted orchids on them but can't find it anymore. New Zealand products are too soft and keep way too much water in them. I use NZ mounts for many pleurothallids, but it doesn't work for miniature Oncidiinae, Bulbophyllum, and Dendrobiums under my conditions.

    Thanks!
     
    J E likes this.
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm interested in the answer. I don't really use tree fern for mounts, but I used to use the medium fibers in a terrestrial mix and I miss having it.
     
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  3. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    Marni, flori-culture has Guatemalan tree fern fiber for sale. It is not cheap and limited. No slabs or totems, though.
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Last time I check, all he had was the large size which is too difficult to break up. Have you bought any recently?
     
  5. Raven

    Raven Well-Known Member

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    I've purchased from them in the past but not recently.
     
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  6. Laimatix

    Laimatix New Member

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    I get your struggle with finding the right tree fern slabs for your orchids. Have you considered looking into suppliers that specialize in Central American flora? Sometimes local nurseries or online forums might have leads.
     
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  7. Paul222

    Paul222 New Member

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    I am not sure if this is significant here but... I have some N.Z. tree fern slabs the flex type mentioned above.
    In the past I had used osmunda fiber slabs. They were more brittle and looked similar to tree fern, I was told that they did add nutrients as they broke down over time.
    Is this useful here? Or maybe someone reading this could respond. I think they were awesome for small or larger mounts.
     
  8. Laimatix

    Laimatix New Member

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    Also, have you experimented with alternative mounting materials like camphor tree slabs? They could offer a different texture and drainage that might work well for your mini orchids.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    I recall reading that much of the Central American supply originated through "jungle stripping" and was putting the species in danger.

    My own experience growing tree fern tells me it really isn't a very quickly renewable resource, making farming difficult, if not impossible.
     
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