Opinions on coco coir/coco byproducts?

by Sam


I just wanted to ask for your opinion on coconut byproducts.

I have used coco chips/coco fibre/coco coir in the past for most of my aroids, but at one point I came across a post on Reddit claiming that coconut products had high salinity –as expected, bearing in mind their natural habitat–, and also an excess in nutrients such as sodium or potassium, which would draw other essential nutrients such as calcium or magnesium.

I have experienced such issues myself by means of white residue on the coco chips’ tips, or stunted/slower plant growth.

I progressively moved on to orchid bark and it seemed that plants were doing better, but now I’m out of bark and I still have a lot of coco chips that I wanted to use.

I have blended them because I like the resulting fibrous texture and have rinsed them and soaked them thoroughly to remove any dust and salt.

I have also come across a post suggesting to “buffer” the coconut product by soaking the washed fibres twice for 8 hours in a strong solution of calcium and magnesium (calmag), in order to saturate the media with the nutrients it would be removing otherwise.

This 3-minute video summarises my last paragraph in more detail:


What are your thoughts on this? Would buffering coco coir or chips mitigate its adverse effects and transform it into a better media for plants? Would orchid bark still be a better option?

Thank you!

Comments for Opinions on coco coir/coco byproducts?

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Sep 07, 2022
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I've had good success with bark products, but sometimes you need a substitute. I would use the coir only if rinsed, as you outline, and mixed with the bark. Test it out, and keep a record of what seems to work the best.

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