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Thread: Coconut Coir ? about pet store grade

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Coconut Coir ? about pet store grade

    I purchased a block of coconut coir from my nursery and was disappointed how large the pieces seemed even after soaking for hous. After some research I've found I can buy coconut "dust" at pet stores used for reptile tanks. My question is...Can I use this grade for my gardening or is it not properly sterilzed as the horticulture grade coir blocks are? (I'm a square foot raised gardener, using a mixture of 1/3 coconut coir, 1/3 compost & 1/3 vermiculite)

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    i just transplanted a strawberry plant into straight coco coir from pet co.

    in a... i think 2 gallon grow bag and im just hand watering if alot,

    its just getting over the shock of the transplanting, but this morning i found a tun of bugs in the medium. more than there are in the other potted plants nest to it.

    i am very happy with the consistency of the coir from the pet store,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    I used a similar medium to grow mushrooms, and to sterilize i would put it in glass containers with small holes in the lid, then boil them for an hour and leave overnight to cool before opening and using. I'm not sure what scale you are working on so it would really depend how much you need to sterilize

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Los Angeles, CA


    I would highly discourage growers to use off-brand coco coir. General Hydroponics was one of the first companies to introduce coco coir to our industry. They made a terrible mistake and didn't source the highest quality, horticultural/hydroponic-grade coir. Many growers tried it, had awful results, and vowed never to use coir again. It took around 5 years to get growers to give coir a second chance, and they were very glad they did.

    Coir can be sourced from several different countries, but the best coir comes from Sri Lanka. Most coir comes from coconut trees that are growing close to the coast line. When the coconuts are ripe they fall off the trees and into the salty sand, where they pick up excess sodium. If this sodium isn't leached out of the coco, it will have very detrimental effects on the plants. Personally, the only three brands of pre-hydrated/fluffed coir I would use are Botanicare, Canna and B'Cuzz (I prefer the first two). The only brand of compressed coco I would use is Botanicare (CocoGro). I'm sure there are other brands out there that will grow plants just fine, but these are the brands that have become standards in our industry. They have produced consistent results, over a very long period of time. The stuff you find at the local nursery or pet store might be a bit more convenient and probably a bit less expensive, but I consider the price difference to be inconsequential compared to the time and money that can be lost by using an inferior brand of coco. I just don't think it's worth it, and I've seen first hand how miserable it can make a grower.

    Just my 2 cents...
    David G.
    BGH Forum Moderator

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