Author: Aqua Gardening
Date: 5 June 2023

Coco Coir as a Growing Medium

Coco coir (pronounced coy-er) is made from coconut fibre. Coco coir is also known as coco peat, coir pith, coir fibre pith, coir dust, or simply coir. It's available in different sizes, from a course husk to a fine husk. Coco Coir is completely organic and it has been the grow media of choice for Australian hydroponic growers for over 10 years.

Coco Coir vs Rockwool and Other Grow Media

  • Coco coir maintains a larger oxygen capacity and has a better water holding capacity than rock wool.
  • It is not an environmental hazard when disposed like rockwool or perlite, it breaks down naturally in the environment.
  • Coco coir contains useful organic compounds.
  • It is a completely renewable resource unlike peat moss which is becoming rapidly depleted.

Coco coir has an extraordinary natural chemistry which is high in rooting compounds. Additionally, coco substrates are high in potassium and contain some phosphorous and sulfates which are beneficial to plants. The amazing thing about coconuts is that they float around in the ocean for months and wash up on islands. After all this time they are still able to sprout out roots and grow into coconut trees. The coconut fibres also protect plants roots against fungus infestation.

Coco coir has long been the Australian growers media of choice as it has the following benefits:

  • Insulation from heat - the top dryer surface insulates the wetter lower layers of the media and it remains cool.
  • Water retention for days in case of a watering system or timer failure.
  • High oxygen capacity.

Coco Coir Tips

  • Always use high quality coco coir as the lower grades can lead to disappointing results in hydroponics. The cheaper coco coir is often higher in salt content ("EC") and will require flushing before use. Flushing and buffering with Calcium and Magnesium are highly recommended for Coco Coir that doesn't come pre-buffered.
  • Coconut fibres can be highly compressed into bricks and when added to water expands 6-8 times its size. This can lead to cheaper shipping and prices on the shop shelf.
  • Use a lower EC with Coco than other grow media as the coir retains nutrient salts.

Coco Coir Signs of Toxicity

Your plants will show the following symptoms with high levels of salt in your coco media:

  • Slow growth
  • Rust spots on the leaves
  • Rusting on the leaf edges
  • Yellowing and browning
  • "Burning" symptoms

How is Coco Coir Produced

Coco coir primarily consists of the coir fibre pith or coir dust which is obtained by processing coconut husk and removing the long fibres. The fine coco coir (often called "coco peat" as it is so similiar to ) which is obtained can hold large quantities of water, just like a sponge. It is used as a replacement for traditional peat in soil mixtures, or, as a soil-less substrate for plant cultivation. It also lasts 3 time longer than traditional sphagnum peat moss.

Coir waste from coir fiber industries is washed, heat-treated, screened and graded before being processed into coco peat products of various granularity and denseness, which are then used for horticultural and agricultural applications, and as industrial absorbent.

Buy Coco Coir Online

Browse our Coco Coir products on our online store here.