Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) is an alternative fiber crop being grown in Mississippi that maybe used as a tree-less fiber substitute for making paper. A by-product in this process is the pithy light-weight fiber core. The objective of this study was to examine the chemical and physical properties of kenaf fiber core as a medium component in growing woody ornamentals and compare to pine bark. Comparisons of media in which Ilex crenata `Cherokee' and Rhodoendron eirocarpum `Wakabuisi' were grown were made. The physical and chemical properties including bulk density, total pore space, water retention, pH and soluble salt concentrations were determined. Aged kenaf had lower pH values than fresh and both aged and fresh kenaf had higher pH values than pine bark. The total pore space of kenaf was lower than the pore space of pine bark. At the termination of the study, the kenaf media had considerable shrinkage, which was considered unsuitable for a long-term crop.