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  1. Hi I read a page mentioning how Saracenia can be grown successfully in Coir at http://carnivorousplantsocietyblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnivorous-plants-growing-well-in-coir.html . However, other pages suggest it is not good. I am wondering if you know more regarding who else is successfully using it and if so, what type of coir they use and how they are treating it before hand. I heard it helps if the coir is washed well and also aged. However, I am not sure how long the coir would need to have to stand after it is wet before it is good to use. Do you have any idea or who may know more? Locally I can source Tropicoir at https://www.gardencityplastics.com/tlpro4wrapped.html and https://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-90l-mega-coir-garden-soil-mulch-block_p2960146?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgvqSwZGW8gIVGplmAh24DARXEAQYASABEgKWffD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds A problem is I do not have much time to age it and would need to use it within a few days so I hope this is all right if I wash the coir a few times. This is because the Sarracenia are starting to shoot with Spring almost here. What I am trying to do is put the coir in polystyrene boxes and putting a couple of small holes in the bottom so that the box will hold water for a couple of hours and then slowly drain away to wash out any salts. I could top up the box with water maybe two or three times a day to rince it. I plan trying to mix the coir with sphagnum based peat for some of the plants at 1 part coir to 1 part peat to 2 parts Perlite. However, I may run out of peat soon so will also try one part coir to one part Perlite. Please let me know of anyone that has had successful results and how they treated the coir before use. Regards Richard.
  2. Hello all Growers, Hope you are all well. I did an experiment today and found out something quite interesting. Yes it is a lock down experiment I am mainly an indoor grower but all my Sarracenia, VFT and Darlingtonia are all outside and watered with rain water. I live in the North West of England. I grow three hybrids of Nepenthes in a window, a few Drosera binata in a window, a Ping in a window and a hell of a lot of Cephalotus in windows. I went peat free about three years ago. I straight switched coir for peat but always noticed a definite sulk in all my plants on re-potting. I have an eBay (£3) TDS meter and to the 10's they are quite sufficient. I have a eBay Reverse Osmosis (RO) unit I bought for about £35 and my RO water goes from tap (@360 ppm) to 15-10 ppm depending on the time of year. Well below the magical figure of 50 ppm. No one has died! I hydrated a whole brick of Coir at the recommended rate using water at 11 ppm (yesterday) from my eBay RO unit. I left it for one day to fully hydrate. After that I put 125 g of coir in a 3.5 inch pot with a disc of clean J-Cloth at the bottom. This is about 250 mL in volume to the brim. I then poured a series of 125 g of water (125mL) over the pot and collected the effluent (what came out the bottom of the pot) over 10 minutes. Of interest was that the volume of the first effluent was only 40 mLs! After that the effluent matched just under what I put in. This suggests that the compost was not fully hydrated originally? Bottom line was that I washed a mass of 125 g of coir with a mass of 125 g of water 10 times and waited 10 minutes to collect the water that passed through that compost. I measured the TDS of each washout. Here are the results: Wash 1 - 907 ppm Wash 2 - 600 ppm Wash 3 - 229 ppm Wash 4 - 101 ppm Wash 5 - 50 ppm Wash 6 - 33 ppm Wash 7 - 27 ppm Wash 8 - 25 ppm Wash 9 -22 ppm Wash 10 - 21 ppm Considering I was washing with water at TDS 11 ppm, it took me two washes to get washout less than my tap water! It took five washes to get to the "magic" level of less that 50 ppm much after wash 6 there is no improvement. I may repeat this experiment with water at 0 TDS? Take 11 of the figures. Bottom line is wash your coir and wash it at least five times. After that it is fine. I have VFTs, Cephs, Sarrs in it but I kind of noticed the water in the trays going up when I first started using it and I just flushed the pots through a couple of times with rainwater. TDS goes up with passage through peat too (a bit). I suggest the first wash of your coir is using tap water! Keep safe, and as Jeff and Dallas say... Happy Growing! Peace Adam x
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