The Complete Guide To Growing In Coco Coir

There are several different growing mediums you can put your plants in to help them grow. There are also plenty of other tools and amendments you can use to get them off to the right start.

From different types of garden soils and potting mixes to various sized pots and more, the list of choices for things you'll need can be dizzying.

If you’re new to gardening, there are just two simple words you should remember - coco coir.

Although this phrase likely isn’t familiar to a beginner, you should become familiar as you prepare for the upcoming season.

A boon to any garden or gardener, coco coir is a growing medium that you definitely need to consider.

Knowing a little bit about coco coir and how to use it is very beneficial. This complete guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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The Complete Guide To Growing In Coco Coir


There are several different growing mediums you can put your plants in to help them grow. There are also plenty of other tools and amendments you can use to get them off to the right start.

From different types of garden soils and potting mixes to various sized pots and more, the list of choices for things you'll need can be dizzying.

If you’re new to gardening, there are just two simple words you should remember - coco coir.

Although this phrase likely isn’t familiar to a beginner, you should become familiar as you prepare for the upcoming season.

A boon to any garden or gardener, coco coir is a growing medium that you definitely need to consider.

Knowing a little bit about coco coir and how to use it is very beneficial. This complete guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What Is Coco Coir?

What Is Coco Coir?

Coco coir is short for Coconut Coir and is made directly from actual coconuts! This material is made out of coconut fiber.

It is created when old coconut shells are cured for one week. After the curing process, steel combs go over the coconut and remove the fiber, and then the fiber is dried out.

Finally, the coir is molded into bricks, pots, or simply crushed and sold as loose mulch.

What Plants Can You Grow in Coco Coir?

You can grow almost any plant in coco coir as the material acts just like any other potting soil or peat.

As long as you know what you are doing, almost all plants will benefit from being planted in coco coir.

You can use coco coir to grow everything from exotic plants, to even more common plants and flowers.

It’s also almost always required for use in hydroponics. Typically, you’ll just have to mix some with your soil, and you’ll reap all the benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Growing In Coco Coir?

If you mix coco coir with regular potting soil, you’ll be able to help supercharge your plant growth.

Coco coir easily retains water and has very high wettability. Plus, the pH level is just about neutral compared to the more acidic option, peat.

What Are The Benefits Of Growing In Coco Coir?

It is also a renewable resource that will easily break down. Once it breaks down it can be used as a high-quality mulch in your garden.

Coco coir’s ability to absorb and hold water for a long time makes watering your plants a less frequent task.

The plant roots will be able to grow and expand because coco coir has reliable aeration and drainage.

When mixed with soil, you’ll give your plants everything they need to grow more flowers and provide a bigger harvest!

Is Coco Coir Better Than Soil?

This question comes up a lot in gardening circles, and the answer is: it varies. For the best results, you should mix coco coir and potting soil to find a perfect balance.

But if you are growing only with coco coir then there are times where it can be better than soil.

The increased air at the roots can have a large increase in yields. The water retention properties will also keep your soil moist for a longer period of time.

If you are working with hydroponic farming, then you almost always have to use coco coir. Coco coir’s nutrients will benefit your plants and have superior water retention properties.

Plus, coco coir is environmentally friendly and reusable. You can get multiple generations of plants from a single hydroponics station with coco coir if you play your cards right!

What Are The Different Types Of Coco Coir?

Coco coir comes in various forms, and while they are all made from the same material, they each have their differences. Some of the different forms include:

  • Compressed bricks
  • Molded pots
  • Coco peat

If you are an experienced gardener, you’ve probably seen seed starting kits and other products made with soil displayed similarly.

Coco peat is, without a doubt, the most common and easiest type to buy. It’s simple peat that you can mix in with the soil to give it all the coco coir benefits.

You’ll get all the aeration, moisture retention, and drainage benefits, along with all the benefits of regular soil.

Just make sure you measure correctly as having the wrong balance of soil to peat can cause problems for your plants.

Compressed coco coir bricks place coco fibers and dust into shaped bricks. Unlike peat or molded coco pots, these bricks require an extra step before they can be set in your garden.

You will need to soak them in water to make them expand. Most bricks can absorb up to nine times their weight in water!

Once they have been thoroughly soaked, you will be able to use the mixture for your garden without any more delays.

This is an incredibly efficient form of coco coir as a result. Finally, molded pots take coco coir fibers and shape them into the shape of a flowerpot.

You simply place your plant into the pot and then put that pot into the ground. Over time, the pot degrades, and you are left with coco coir enriched soil.

How To Grow In Coco Coir - Everything You Need To Know

How To Grow In Coco Coir - Everything You Need To Know

Growing in coco coir is different from soil. You’ll need to understand those differences to make sure that you get the maximum benefits.

We’ll cover tips for growing in coco such as watering, feeding, cleaning, and more, throughout the remainder of this article. This is the most important section of this blog post, so continue reading on!

Preparing Your Coco For Growing - Give It A Soak

Coco coir holds many nutrients, but these nutrients are embedded deep into the mixture that your plants might not get them.

So you should always soak your coco before planting. While some types of coco coir, like bricks, require pre-soaking, others do not.

Just because soaking isn’t required doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, though, as it can provide numerous benefits.

Aside from soaking your coco, you’ll also need to learn how to properly water your plants. This is an incredibly important aspect of not just growing in coco, but any media for that matter. Let’s discuss this now.

Do You Water Coco Every Day?

Many growers wonder, “do you water coco every day?”

For the most part, the answer is no - this would lead to over-watering. However, nothing is concrete, because every grow is different.

Do You Water Coco Every Day?

If your grow room or grow tent is hot or has high airflow (common when growing outdoors), you may need to water more frequently.

However, it’s easy to overwater your coco coir, which will stop the aeration from becoming effective. Once the coco coir is watered, take some up between your hands and squeeze. The water should disappear between your fingers but shouldn’t run out.

If the water runs out, you’ll need to dry it out. If no water appears, then you should keep watering.

Soil often requires less water overall, as it tends to hold lots of moisture. Coco coir, despite its water retention properties, does need to be watered every couple of days.

Despite the vigorous watering schedule, it’s much harder to overwater your plants. The drainage and aeration keep water out, and you have to work to overwater them.

Soil holds water for much longer, and you have a greater risk of overwatering and damaging your plants

Feeding Coco Grown Plants

The grow media’s EC is an essential factor when it comes to growing big, healthy plants. This is especially true if you are growing hydroponically. Testing nutrient EC is a way to measure the salt and nutrient content of your hydroponics reservoir. By measuring the EC of the solution, you can ensure your plants get ample nutrition.

common mistakes growers make involve feeding too heavily

Coco coir has a very low EC, essentially no charge at all. This means you are in complete control of what your plants get fed - a huge responsibility. Most potting soils contain low levels of nutrition to nourish your plants during the first few weeks of growing. However, in coco, you need to start feeding right away.

Your specific nutrient package will have a feeding chart to help you determine how to feed your plants. Most of them will have different versions for growing in soil or coco as well.

The important thing here is to learn about the relationship between nutrients and pH and how to test for both.

There may be a learning curve for proper feeding for a while. But, that’s what growing is all about!

How Long Should I Flush In Coco?

Another common question growers ask is, “how long should I flush in coco?” The answer will depend on your specific grow - how much salt build-up do you have in the media? How long has it been since you last flushed?

Many nutrient bundles require a flush every 4-6 weeks to prevent any toxic build-up of salt in the media.

Coco is notorious for sucking certain nutrients up and preventing your plant roots from accessing them - such as calcium.

How Long Should I Flush In Coco?

After an entire cycle, if you haven’t flushed, you’ll be able to see salt build up in your media. This is why it’s so important to routinely flush, and give a really good flush prior to harvesting.

We have a guide on flushing plants but it’s really just certain using water with the correct pH. This removes the extra salt from the media and forces your plants to use the nutrients they have in their cell walls.

If nothing else, this is a must prior to harvest. Flushing will put some serious growth in the final weeks. As your plants become stressed, they will make a last-ditch effort to become pollinated.

It will also greatly improve the flavor and aroma of your plants, preventing you from tasting the salt within your plants.

We recommend giving at least a 5-7 day flush. You can get more precise with this by testing the EC of the runoff from your waterings. Once there is no more charge, you can be sure your media is free of nutrients!

Cleaning and Reusing Coco Coir

Coco coir is a renewable and reusable resource. You can reuse old coco coir once the current batch of plants has been harvested and removed.

It must be processed and cleaned before you can reuse it, but don’t worry - it’s easier than it sounds.

First, you’ll need to gather up all the coco and remove any roots or plant matter from it. Getting rid of old roots will allow the new roots to have room to grow. Once the soil is clean, you’ll need to wash it with distilled water.

This will flush out any other roots or salts that are still in the soil. Having too much salt can be toxic for the plant.

The smaller roots that you can’t see will also be fighting for space inside the coir, stopping your plants’ growth.

For an added benefit, you’ll need to use sensizym enzymes to help break down any roots that are too small to be removed.

Then the coco coir is ready to be used again. You can use your coco coir two to three times before you’ll need to get a new batch.

The reason coco coir can be so easily reused is the lignin structure. The lignin makes the plant cells and the coco rigid and allows for reusability.

What Are The Best Coco Mixes For Growing Plants In?

Not all coco mixes are created equal - but luckily, we’ll help you choose the best coco mix for your grow.

Just about every product you’ll find here at Hydrobuilder is high-quality and sourced from only the most reputable brands. Here are a few of our favorites!

Mother Earth Coco + Perlite Soilless Mix

One of the best coco products on the market is Mother Earth Coco + Perlite Soilless Mix. This premium blend of coco coir and perlite is as good as it gets. It will give your plants the best balance of aeration and water retention possible.

This mix is 100% natural, derived from the husks of coconuts combined with perlite to increase aeration and drainage. The ratio is about 70% coco to 30% perlite.

This increased drainage and aeration allow the media to dry out quicker, thus, allowing you to feed more frequently. This can lead to some explosive growth!

Rhp certified to ensure the highest quality substrate possible, you know you are getting quality media. If you prefer less aeration and drainage, there is a Mother Earth Coco option without perlite!

Botanicare ReadyGro Aeration Formula Coco

Another great option is Botanicare ReadyGro Aeration Formula Coco. Botanicare is an industry leader when it comes to horticulture. Their hydroponics systems, plant nutrients, and of course, grow media, are as premium as it gets. They’ve earned a reputation as the best in the business for good reason.

This aeration formula is similar to Mother Earth, in that it provides excellent drainage to help lower the risk of overwatering. This allows you to feed more frequently.

If you use an automated fertigation system, this is the best choice for you because of how fast it dries out. The ratio here is about 55% coco to 45% perlite, so it provides superior drainage to Mother Earth.

This has the added benefit of getting more oxygen to the roots, improving nutrient uptake, and leading to a healthier plant. Part of this is due to the increased breakdown of matter because aerobic bacteria in the root zone can truly thrive. This makes nutrients more available to your plants.

With very low salt content and a high cation exchange rate, this is perfect for both indoor and outdoor plants. That is - as long as you are growing under a frequent watering program. If not, there is a better option for you.

Botanicare ReadyGro Moisture Formula Coco

A similar product is the Botanicare ReadyGro Moisture Formula Coco. The difference between this mix and the previous mix is that this formula behaves opposite in terms of aeration and drainage.

What this means is, that the ReadyGro Moisture Formula holds water for longer periods of time, drying out slower. So if you are growing under a frequent watering program, this is not the mix for you!

However, there are many advantages to this mix. If you are a hobbyist grower trying to limit your wor, use this Moisture Formula to water less frequently.

Of course, it’s much easier to overwater with this formula. You’ll need to be more precise with the frequency of watering or feeding, ensuring your media is not still too wet.

That’s not to say this product will stay soggy for extended periods of time. It still provides great growing conditions with a ratio of 80% coco to 20% perlite.

If you’re looking for a great coco mix that requires less water, this is one of the best options available!

DaKine 420 Organic Coco Coir Blend

A somewhat new arrival to the horticulture world, the DaKine 420 Organic Coco Coir Blend is a very unique mix.

Unlike the aforementioned soilless mixes above, this coco blend contains more than just the coir and perlite. Rather, Dakine Coco is mixed with:

  • Worm castings
  • Alaskan peat moss
  • Compost
  • Montmorillonite
  • Fishbone meal
  • Bat guano
  • Kelp meal
  • Endomycorrhizae
  • Beneficial bacteria

This is not typical of coco products - which tend to contain no nutrient charge whatsoever. All the organic amendments featured in this blend will provide your plants with nutrients early on. This will allow you to forgo using liquid nutrients.

Char Coir Coco Coir

One final line of products we want to mention is the Char Coir Coco Mixes. Two, in particular, are really cool and worth checking out:

The Char Coir BioPot is perfect for transplanting your small plants after propagation. This allows them to grow in the same container through veg and flowering! This prevents the need to transplant. The BioPot is both a coco product and a fabric garden pot.

The Coco Cube, on the other hand, allows you to actually start your seeds or clone a plant in the container. You’ll enjoy rapid germination and rooting because of the aeration of the fabric container.

Both of these products contain 100% RHP Certified Coco Coir, and contain virtually no EC. It’s buffered and pH balanced and features a high cation exchange capacity for impressive growth.

Final Thoughts On Growing In Coco Coir

Coco coir is an excellent growing medium for beginner and medium gardeners alike. It thrives in all conditions, benefits your flowers and plants, and is perfect for both regular and hydroponic gardening.

You can grow just about any kind of plant in this diverse and versatile medium. To find the right coco coir for your growing needs, be sure to visit Hydrobuilder’s dedicated coco coir supply page.

We have everything you need to get you up and running. We also have a dedicated team of customer service professionals to help you with any concerns you might have.

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