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Re: coconut fiber, three pennies more, plus two centavos

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: coconut fiber, three pennies more, plus two centavos
  • From: "Peter Wunderlin" <pmdes@iafrica.com>
  • Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 08:54:39 -0500 (CDT)

Hi everybody,
To put my 2 cents into this as well. I use use the compressed version of
cocopeat as they call it mainly for germination of seeds.
I make a mix of about 50-50 with cocopeat in brickform and perlite. I have
had pretty good results with palm, cycad and anthurium seeds. I want to
point out that I dont use this medium for planting out plants as it has not
much nutritional properties and once seeds are germinated they obviously
need something that does not decompose otherwise we look for trouble with
root rot etc etc.
One advantage of cocopeat supplied in brickform that it is free of insects
and fungi. I have been told that the material has to be gamma radiated
otherwise they wont let it into the country. How true that is is another
story of course.
Best Regards
----- Original Message -----
From: George Yao <gcyao@netasia.net>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 03, 2000 4:55 PM
Subject: Re: coconut fiber, three pennies more, plus two centavos

> Hi everyone,
> Allow me to put in my two centavos' worth. Coir (or coconut fiber) is the
> term to use for the coarse fibered product, whereas, coir dust (or coconut
> peat, or cocopeat) is the term for the fine particled one.
> Cocopeat is technically not a peat, but the term is used, I believe, more
> as a marketing gimmick. It is a by-product in the production of coir, the
> long fibers which is used for making insulation, carpet backing, floor
> mats, brushes, and, of course, horticultural liner mats. Cocopeat is
> actually a mixture of short fibers and particles of spongy pith that binds
> the fibers in the husk. It comes in various grades depending on how much
> and how long the fibers are. And some are composted also. Often, it is
> compressed into bricks for convenience and economy in transport.
> As we don't have peat here in the Philippines, we use cocopeat as a
> substitute. I agree with the findings of Dennis that cocopeat alone is no
> good and that it is okay as a component of a potting mix. For most
> application, I found cocopeat and sand to be good enough.
> George Yao <gcyao@netasia.net>
> Metro-Manila, Philippines
> At 08:51 PM 06/02/2000 -0500, you wrote:
> >Additional comment on coconut fiber:
> >
> >Coconut fiber is nothing new. I tried the coarse fibered product twenty
> >years ago for orchid seedlings. Like Dewey said, it did very well and
> >then the material on the bottom of the pot turned to mush and sometimes
> >took the roots and plants with it. I think its best use in the
> >Horticultural industry was found as liners mats for wire hanging baskets
> >(instead of stuffing the wire mesh with Sphagnum Moss) and as an
> >artificial, soft, organic totem pole for vining crops like Pothos and
> >Syngoniums and Phillodendrons (they wrap the long fibres around a platic
> >tube). It maintained it fibrous integrity as long as it was allowed to
> >dry out and not stay constantly moist.
> >
> >The second coconut fiber product was Coir or Coconut Peat. Because there
> >are vast mountains of this free or very cheap by-product of the Coconut
> >oil industry in the tropics within the last two to three years the
> >Horticultural industry has touted this material as a Shagnum peat
> >substitute. It is totally decomposed to the point of being unable to be
> >decomposed any further. It has some very good qualities, easy to wet and
> >good cation exchange capacity and some undefined benficial qualities,
> >however it is more expensive than sphagnum peat from Canada and there
> >are inconsistencies due to the varying sources and age of the material.
> >The Scotts Company(Fertilizer & Hort Products Giant) is marketing this
> >material in soil mixes and as compressed blocks. The consensus of
> >professional growers I have talked to is that the material it not the
> >best when used alone, but rather as an amendment in addition to peat,
> >perlite, vermiculite and bark or sand in a soil mix.
> >
> >
> >Denis at Silver Krome Gardens
> >Homestead, Florida
> >
> >mb.cfg@mindspring.com wrote:
> >>
> >> I must throw in my two cents and agree VERY STRONGLY with Dewey.  I
> >> made the mistake of potting up dozens of plants with coconut fiber as a
> >> major component of the soil mix.  There is no doubt in my mind that
> >> stuff breaks down into wretched sludge faster than anything else I have
> >> ever seen.
> >>
> >> I have read some of the emails of others using this product with
> >> and I am amazed!  In my own experience the only thing coconut fiber is
> >> for is suffocating roots...I would not even risk it...its not worth it.
> >>
> >> (P.S. Please note....there are 2!! different kinds of coconut fiber
> >> commercially and they donít react the same.  One kind is sold in long
> >> coarse strands and looks much like a horses mane, the other is usually
> >> in bricks and resembles peat moss.  The one that looks like a horses
> >> is very "dry" and resists absorbing moister, the other holds lots of
> >> The "horses mane" type breaks down much slower than the brick kind, but
> >> they both eventually turn to "mush".)
> >>
> >> Marc Burack
> >>
> >> > Be very careful of Coconut fiber!!!!!!  After about six or eight
> months the
> >> top can look great....  but just below the surface.... the media has
> >> to mush....  it disintergrates like you would not believe!  Now, this
> >> just be in the climate here in South Florida....  But, I had a lot of
> >> rotted roots because of it.....Years ago, I tried it....  Now, would
> >> touch it with a ten foot pole.....  even one that was twelve foot!!!
> >> Dewey
> >
> >
> >
> >

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