Coconut Coir is a hydroponic soil-less growing media made from the broken husk of coconuts. There are two types of fibers that make up coir — brown and white. Brown coir comes from mature, ripe coconuts and is a lot stronger, but less flexible. White fibers come from pre-ripe coconut husks and are far more flexible, but much less strong. Almost all of the coconut coir used for hydroponics is brown coir since it’s processed even more after initial harvesting.
With most coconut coir products you’re really getting three types of coconut coir: the fiber, the pith (or coconut peat), or the coco chips. Each type brings specific benefits and together they provide a powerful growing medium.
Coconut chips are a natural type of expanded clay pellet, except it’s made from plant matter instead of clay, so they do break down eventually. The chips are large enough to create air pockets, but also absorb water so plants won’t dehydrate.
Coconut fiber adds air pockets into your medium. It’s not very absorbent, which is beneficial since your growing media needs air pockets in order to provide oxygen to the root zone. The fibers are made of cellulose so they break down fairly quickly, resulting in the collapse of the air pockets over time.
Coco Peat or Pith
The pith looks like finely ground coconut or peat moss. It’s very small and absorbent, so if you were to use just coco peat as your only growing medium, you would drown the roots of your plants.
Growing in coco coir may feel like growing in soil because the two media look similar, but coco coir is inert, meaning that it has no nutrients within it. You will need to add hydroponic nutrients and control the pH when using coir. Your plants may also be short on calcium and magnesium, so supplementing with “Cal-Mag” might be necessary. It also needs rehydration before initial use, as the coir will most likely be shipped as dry, compressed bricks.
The benefits of coir include its ability to absorb up to 10x its weight in water, so the roots of your plants should never get dehydrated. There’s also a lot of growing media for roots to work through, promoting healthy root development. Coir can be reused more than once, and most garden pests will avoid settling in coco coir.
Common Applications of Coco Peat (Coco Coir)
Potting mix suppliers
- Green houses
- Hydroponic Growers
- Nursery & Garden center professionals
- Seedling Nurseries
- Lawn and Golf course constructors
- Horticulture and Floriculture applications
- Home Gardening (indoor and outdoor) and for landscaping use
Properties Coco Peat (Coco Coir)
- Cocopeat is light, easy to handle and can even be reused for up to 4 years.
- The physical and biochemical properties of cocopeat make it resistant to bacterial and fungal growth.
- Cocopeat disintegrates slowly. It only begins to break down when it is ten years old, thus providing long-term benefits.
- It has pH of 5.2 to 6.8 which is neutral to slightly acidic. This makes it great to be mixed with alkaline garden soil. Read about soil pH & its effect on plant growth.
- Cocopeat can store and release nutrients to plants for extended periods of time.
- It has great oxygenation properties which are important for healthy root development.
- Cocopeat can be combined with any of the usual ingredients like soil and manure to be used as a mixture or a stand-alone product.
- Cocopeat is available at affordable price for a quality product with an environmentally sustainable future.
- Cocopeat is perfect soil conditioner, and it can retain moisture up to eight times of its volume. It is entirely organic.
- Cocopeat is consistent and uniform in texture, and easy to handle. Unlike soil, it does not form any mud.