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Thread: Charcoal as grow medium?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Davao Philippines

    Default Charcoal as grow medium?

    Hi, My first post on this forum.

    Leon a 67 year old retired Australian living in Davao Philippines and trying hydroponics for the first time.

    Slowly putting an over engineered hydroponics set up together. Not easy here as not much available and what is is of really bad quality but that's part of the facts of life living here.

    Was going to use Coconut husks, fibre etc as my grow medium as it's readily available here but have found a source of Charcoal which they use to grow Orchids. Looks good to my untrained eye and my question is has any one used or know of using Charcoal as a grow medium?

    Maybe a 50-50 mix with the Coconut fibre would be OK?

    First I want to try to grow some decent Tomatoes and Strawberries.

    Started to build a flood and drain system, flooding from the bottom however realized the grow medium was light and could cause floating problems so I've modified my ideas and now going to use a flood type system from the top and draining from the bottom. Will have to work out the times and flow rates etc and that's part of the fun of having a hobby.

    Cheers Leon...

  2. #2
    Unregistered Guest


    Try using sand. It is cheaper... You can also find expanded clay pellets, perlite, and rockwool if you are in Manila.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009


    My advice is do not use charcoal. One of the requirements for any hydroponic growing medium is that it be inert (neutral) and not change the chemical makeup of the nutrient solution (either chemical makeup or pH). Charcoal is NOT inert and is sure to throw off your solution. Stick with coco coir. Good luck.
    Learn hydro the easy way! Cut through all the hype and clutter at Hydroponics-Simplified.

  4. #4
    Unregistered Guest


    A new area of hydro is organic. It is amazing what you can use to grow veges: Gold fish poop, charcoal powder, virtually any organic source of nutrients as long as it dont kill the fish your ok! Check out you tube and organic hydroponics!

  5. #5
    pates32 Guest


    It is said to be that charcoal can be an ideal growing medium for plants that require air flow around their roots or that soak up moisture and micro nutrients from the ambient air to sustain.Organic growing medium would be better in hydroponics.You may put, growing media is a soil substitute.

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