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Fernwood NZ Tree Fern Fibre - 5 Litre

$18.99 NZD

Fernwood Fern Fibre reviews

"Since growing my plants in pure fibre I have enjoyed better growth and flowering, and the work required in the greenhouse is significantly reduced."

"About three years ago I conducted some trials for Fernwood... I selected seedlings that were of approximately the same size and divided them into three groups.  Equal numbers were re-potted into tubes of fibre, a mixture of fibre and bark, and bark alone.

Evaluation after a year yielded very clear resultsThe plants in fibre alone were well ahead of the other two groups.  Those in bark + fibre were ahead of those that were planted in bark alone... fibre is quite superior to bark."

Excerpts from An Insight Into Fern Fibre Culture in March 2020, Orchid News, by Selwyn Hatrick 


Introducing Fernwood Fern Fibre

Fern fibre is a relatively new medium to us indoor plant hobbyists, but a firm favourite in the Orchid world. It makes a superb growing medium for many indoor plants, used by itself - popular for cuttings and baby plants - or as an ingredient to improve your soil mix, with great results reported for Aroids, Hoya, Orchids, Ferns and other epiphytes (plants that climb up and grow on other plants), and more (especially Hoya by the way, wow).

Fernwood is the brand to look for in particular (that's this one). It's NZ made, so you're supporting local, but more importantly also sustainably harvested from the tree fern Dicksonia fibrosa, from privately owned, reforested farmland in the Taranaki region.

This is for the 5 litre size, the most popular size for indoor plant hobbyists. Ideal to store along with your indoor plant supplies and other substrates without taking up masses of room. One 5 litre bag measures roughly 33cms tall x 17cm wide x 8cm deep. 

What is fern fibre?

Fern fibre is a natural, soft, airy, fibrous, long lasting material, and if it's the Fernwood brand, it's sustainably sourced from the Dicksonia fibrosa tree fern in NZ. 

What are the benefits of using fern fibre?


Ok, that's my word for it, and a weird choice for describing substrate I know, but it really is soft and fluffy (for a substrate). Fern fibre's fibrous nature means it provides excellent aeration, getting precious oxygen to roots, especially valued for plants that prefer free draining substrate, and for epiphytes that like to climb and are used to their roots, and aerial roots, getting plenty of air.

Less frequent watering

Fern fibre contains a lot of air, and can retain a lot of water. As it holds water for longer than many other free-draining substrates, you won't have to water as often. A great choice for the many indoor plants that prefer moist to lightly moist conditions and don't like to fully dry out, and for those of us prone to forgetting to water, or who tend to water inconsistently. The fibrous nature means more even moisture throughout the pot due to natural capillary action.

Easier to know when to water

Fern fibre is easier medium to judge when it's time to water again as it changes colour from a dark chocolate brown when moist, to a lighter brown when dry.

Less fertiliser needed

Fern fibre retains nutrients really well, so cuts down on how much fertiliser you need to use. I'd recommend at least half your usual amount depending on the plant's needs. Where you might use 1ml per 1 litre for example, I'd adjust to 1ml per 2.5 litres. 

Longer lasting for less frequent repotting 

If you adjust your watering and fertilising, fern fibre will last for many, many years. When you might need to repot a medium like bark every year due to it breaking down, fern fibre you might be looking at every 4 to 5 years+. When you do repot, you can keep the old fern fibre and just gently adding some extra down the sides when potting up, no need to throw out and replace the substrate. 

Better root health

Not just healthier roots, but fern fibre also makes it much easier to check on root health, quality and size, as it's a more stable medium. You can easily slide a plant out of the pot with less disruption to the roots, and without the mess of usual airy substrate like bark. Great for the curious and worriers among us ;) An awesome combo with a clear nursery pot too. 

Before you buy: Don't just chuck any old plant in pure fern fibre and continue as normal. Do your research and check the properties of fern fibre are what your plant actually thrives in. Remember the more of your substrate mix is made up of fern fibre (or when using pure fern fibre), to adjust your watering and fertiliser use to suit the properties of this medium and your plant's preferred conditions.

Please note once your total orders get over 10 litres of products, overweight or overwise shipping might apply. Find out more here >


Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
Anna-marie Visagie

Love the tree fern fibre , mixed it together with the Hoya mix and absolutely fantastic the way my Hoya plants grow now

Dawn Williams
New to Tree Fern fibre

I am trialling this substrate with a Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma) and it is loving it. I usually use Sphagnum Moss and have great success but this looks promising and the plant looks great against the dark background. It creates a real showcase.

Cassie H
Perfect substrate mix

I have been using the same store bought plant soil for a while and recently noticed a lot less good materials actually being put in it. For example, pumice and bark were few and far between and I noticed more root rot occurring due to this. I decided to beef it up with some pumice and tree fern fibre from Love that leaf and my gosh! My plants are loving the rich and breathable soil.


I use fern fibre in most of my indoor plants potting mixes & also on its own for propagating most indoor plants cuttings (they always thrive & when it dries, it doesn't affect the cuttings the way other medium may), great drainage & also great water retention, it also allows great air circulation (to avoid compaction in potting mix).

Alan Swain

The fern Fibre I like alot so have brought a bigger bag.....Plants are doing real well in it and will put most of my plants in it when I have to repot....think it is a real easy substrate to grow I ...have fern poles as well which I think look way better than other poles ..... the fern poles are definitely they way go

Shipping and Delivery FAQ's


 is FREE for all orders $90+. Orders under $90: Auckland Standard $5, signature required $7, or rural $9. Rest of the North Island and the South Island: Standard $7, signature required $9, or rural $11. Plants, fragile and overweight/oversize parcels have separate rates. 


Stock levels are live. Everything showing in stock online, is in stock right here, right now, in Auckland New Zealand, ready to ship. No drop shipping from other countries. No delays.



Orders ship every week-day, Monday to Friday. Orders placed before 7pm Monday to Thursday leave the next morning. Zoom zoom! Fri, Sat & Sun orders leave Monday (or the next working day).



Normal delivery is 1 to 3 working days. Rural and some regions can take a day or 2 longer, depending on where you're based (orders ship from Auckland). 

More about shipping and delivery > 



"I can’t recommend love that leaf highly enough. I’ve bought a couple of times so far and on both occasions Anna has been more helpful than I could possibly wish for. 5 stars! Don’t hesitate to order from Love That Leaf. Excellent service and super fast delivery." Rob Gordon

Why choose to buy from Love That Leaf?


When you buy from me you're supporting a small, local, family business. Love That Leaf is a registered NZ business, based in Auckland. 


You'll get your planty goodies super fast. Everything showing in stock on the website is right here in NZ, in stock, ready to ship. I ship daily, Monday to Friday. Orders normally leave the courier the same or next working day. Zoom zoom!


I stand by everything I sell and will always help put right anything that goes wrong. When you choose to buy from a registered NZ business (like me), you're also covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act, unlike overseas purchases or private sales, where you can end up stuck with no rights if anything arrives damaged or stops working.


I won't go AWOL on you. I'm here for support and advice anytime, even if you haven't bought from me yet. A lot of lovely people helped me along my plant journey, and I want to pay it forward. Please don't hesitate to ask for help. No obligation at all to purchase. 


"Super impressed with this business. Something that is lost nowadays, is customer service. This however is not the case with Anna from Love that Leaf. Very happy with my purchase, very happy with the product information provided and very happy with the quick shipping and great packaging. Thanks!" Melayna Anderson

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