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Fern Fibre Substrate for Indoor Plants - 5 Litre

$19.99 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, epiphytes (plants that climb up and grow on other plants), and more. 

Fernwood is the brand to look for in particular (that's this one). 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.

Shipping and Delivery FAQ's


Flat rate shipping is $5.90 nationwide (or $9.50 for rural). Order as many products as you like without paying anything extra for shipping. The only exceptions are plants and fragile or oversize products (like handmade pottery and coffee table books), which have their own rates. 

For $2 you can upgrade to signature required. Well worth it for anything valuable or limited edition that can't be replaced. Choosing signature required gives both of us the ability to claim if anything goes wrong with the courier. Signature required is flat rate $7.90 nationwide (or $12.50 for rural).


Everything showing in stock online, is in stock right here, right now, in Auckland NZ, ready to ship. No drop shipping from other countries. No delays.



Orders ship every week-day, Monday to Friday (except plants which only ship Mondays and Tuesdays). For everything else, order before 7pm Sunday through Thursday, and your order will normally be packed and on the courier the next morning. Zoom zoom! We do ship on Saturdays also when we can, however can't always guarantee a Friday order will ship on a Saturday.



Normal delivery is 1 to 2 working days. Some regions can take longer, 3 to 4 working days is normally the longest wait, depending on where you're based (I'm based in Auckland). Keep in mind covid and extreme weather can both cause delays.

More about shipping and delivery > 



"Anna was brilliant. Order placed and sent the next day. Received in awesome packaging. Couldn’t ask for more... will definitely use you again and again and again. Highly recommend." Scott Guthrie 

"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 local, small, family business. Love That Leaf is a registered NZ business, based in Auckland. 


You'll also get your goodies super fast. Everything showing in stock on the website is right here, in stock, ready to ship to you. I ship daily, Monday to Friday. If you order by 8pm Sunday through Thursday, your order will be normally be on the courier at 8am the next morning. 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.  I'm very happy to help, 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. 


"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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