What Is Coco Coir?
Coco coir is about to revolutionize the way we think of cannabis cultivation. But first, what the heck is it?
If you’re a cannabis grower who’s never heard of coco coir (pronounced: coy-er), get ready to take your grow to an entirely new level. Or if you’re interested in growing cannabis but haven’t made the plunge yet, coco coir will get you up and running in no time.
So what is it? Basically, coco coir is a natural growing medium that blends the experience of soil with the benefits of hydroponics. But you want more than just the basics.
Below you’ll find all the information you need to know about this trending grow medium, along with some tips for making the most out of coco coir in your own grow projects.
Coco Coir: The Perfect Grow Medium For Cannabis Plants
For cannabis growers, nothing is more important than the growing media. Whatever the grow setup, obtaining optimal nutrient conditions for your plants is a must if you want big, plentiful buds. And more and more growers are discovering that coco coir, a common growing medium, is actually perfect for cannabis plants.
If you’ve spent some time doing any kind of gardening, you’ve probably come across coco coir before. It’s just that long, brown, fibrous stuff usually used as lining in hanging baskets. But it’s also a common component of commercial potting soil mixes.
The brown fibers come from the husk of coconuts. Coco coir is short for “coconut coir,” and is actually a byproduct of coconut processing.
So what makes it so great for growing cannabis? Really, there are a number of reasons. But the biggest one has to do with hydration. The woven fibers of coco coir allows for the perfect combination of water drainage and nutrient absorbency.
Coco Coir Is All About Its Roots
Coco coir is one of the most effect growing mediums for keeping moisture and dissolved nutrients at the roots. However, the fibers also trap more oxygen, making sure you never over- or underwater your plants.
The material also provides strong structural support while still giving roots plenty of room to grow. As a result, coco coir delivers healthier and more rapid root development versus other types of potting soil.
For growers, these properties help out in two big ways. First, because it drains well, you won’t lose any plants to root-rot from over watering them. But since coco coir holds onto nutrients better, you can make more efficient use of your fertilizer.
The Feel Of Soil Growing With The Benefits Of Hydro
One of the reasons coco coir is becoming such a popular growing medium for cannabis is that it blends the feel of soil with the unique advantages of hydroponic grows.
Even though coconut coir is not a soil medium, you still grow your cannabis plants in pots sand water them with a nutrient solution. But it can be tough to make sure your soil is delivering all the needed nutrients to your plants’ roots.
Hydroponic growing works so well because it delivers the precise amount of nutrients to the roots, directly to the roots. In other words, the roots don’t have to go out in search of nutrients. But managing a hydro system, especially if you’re a home grower, can be complicated.
Coco coir, however, provides most of the benefits of hydro with a simple potting setup. The results speak for themselves. You’ll see a quicker flowering period with larger harvests.
Coco Coir Has Pest Control Covered
One of the toughest challenges for DIY cannabis growers is pest control. Bugs can ruin a harvest, costing you time and money. And if you’ve ever grown anything in soil, you know how tough keeping your plants pest-free can be.
But coconut coir, unlike soil, doesn’t provide the best accommodations for those garden invaders. For outdoor growers, this fact alone is reason enough to make the switch from other potting mixes.
How To Get The Most Out Of Growing With Coco Coir
There are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on growing cannabis in coco coir. These tips will help you get the most out of growing with it.
First, coconut coir is inert. It doesn’t have any nutrient content of its own. In other words, you’ll need to water the medium with a nutrient solution formulated for your cannabis plants. The same is true of soil growing, too. But coco coir gives you more control.
Second, you’ll need to use a calcium-magnesium supplement. One of the drawbacks to coconut coir is that it tends to lead to a shortage of calcium compared to growing in soil. And calcium is essential for healthy plants and big buds.
Finally, plan on having to re-hydrate the coconut coir you buy at your favorite garden or home store. The medium typically comes in dry bricks, so you’ll need some buckets. Try mixing in some Perlite for added moisture control.
Here’s a tried and true ratio to get you started with about 10 gallons of coconut coir potting mix:
- 2 x coco coir bricks (1,250 kg total)
- 8-quart perlite