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Coconut Fiber vs Sphagnum Peat Moss?

Guest Jeannie

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Guest Jeannie

Regardless of whether you think the world is quickly using up its supply of peat moss or whether or not you consider peat moss a renewable resource, there's a substitute for peat that you are going to like a lot better. It is quickly renewable, is already a surplus product, and works beautifully. Test after test has shown that in every way it is superior, or at least equal, to peat. But that's not the full story, please read on!

We're talking about "Growcoir," (pronounced grow-core). The "coir" part is the short name for coir fiber pith, the residue of the process that extracts the long fibers from coconuts. Those long fibers have been used for floor mats, basket liners, and lots of other things, but until recently, the residue was just tossed into piles, some of those piles are a hundred years old! Tells you something about the longevity of Growcoir, doesn't it?

Growcoir has a high lignin content. Lignin is an organic substance that, with cellulose, forms the chief part of woody tissue. It is the lignin that provides the longevity. Growcoir is slightly acidic and is a good texturizer of both clay and sandy soils. It aerates soils. It is an organic material that breaks down very slowly. It holds water and nutrients beautifully. And it will not waterlog.

This 100% organic material can be used for potting plants, texturizing your soil. It is a rooting medium in the greenhouse instead of perlite and vermiculite. It is a soilless material for planting or a medium for hydroponic growing. You use it anywhere you would normally use peat moss, rockwool, vermiculite, perlite, or pumice. And worms love it!

Growcoir contains no nutrients. The easiest thing to do is add fertilizer to the water before you soak the Growcoir. The resulting material is loaded with nutrients and ready to go. It holds 8-9 times its weight of water and has a high nutrient-absorption capacity. These characteristics make it an ideal soil amendment.

Growcoir is very easy to use. It works well either straight or mixed with any type of soil. It is far better than any other available growing medium.

Growcoir lasts in the soil from three to five years.

It is available in a variety of compression ratios and sizes for all types of applications. It has an indefinite shelf life.

It is superior for even water distribution. It is easily re-wetted and does not require a wetting agent. It has a high water-holding capacity with excellent drainage.

There is an absence of weeds and pathogens and no long fibers to cause problems with potting machines.

It fosters a much better root development and is a soil conditioner that prevents soil compaction and erosion.

It has an acceptable pH, cation exchange capacity and electrical conductivity.

It is a 100% organic renewable resource with no chemical compounds.

There are no ecological drawbacks to its use.


This is all from a commercial website. Would you guys think coconut fiber is better than sphagnum peat moss for venus flytraps?

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Guest Aidan

It is very unlikely that coir is "better" than peat. It may be an acceptable alternative. Some growers certainly use it, particularly for Nepenthes. Coir may be harvested from trees close to the sea and salt content is reported to be a potential problem.

Has anyone here tried growing Dionaea in a coir based media? If not, you may have to sacrifice a few plants to experiment.

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no! ive never used it on carnivorous plants but we got a load free at work awhile ago. trees and shrubs never established as well as in they did in peat based compost. bedding plants ect took longer to root, watering during summer was a nightmare it didnt have as good a water holding capacity as peat based composts it also does not decompose as well as peat based compost

i would also dispute the enviromental benefit of it. yes ive seen the moutains of it clogging up water ways and rivers through out southern india and thailand as well as the mangrove swaps ripped up to plant new coconut fields

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Guest Sheila

there have been some conflicting reports on how effective coir is for growing plants. Until there is a bit more testing done on a bigger variety of carnivorous plants I will stick to using peat. At least I know that is what my plants are happiest in.

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  • 14 years later...

Nepenthes related, I have tried not the exact stuff your talking about, but I have tried mixing coco fiber with our mixes and it seems to just mold very easily..... I hate using coco fiber. I just use Long fibered Spangnum with Pumice. Pumice is better than perlite because it lasts longer. Perlite breaks down faster. There are some people who use like 20 different things in their mixes which seems kind of pointless to me unless its in a giant pot in need of a lot of drainage.

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