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#1 User is offline   Bradsbudsandblooms 

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:23 AM

I have begin using shredded coir (--pronounced "core" is coconut fiber--finely shredded like peat) to root cuttings and am having great success. When using 25% potting mix.75% perlite(more or less--an estimate) in the rooting tubes I always had a few rot on me. This time, out of three tube trays of 36 cuttings each, that I substituted coir and perlite mix (about a 60%coir-40% perlite ratio) , I have only lost one cutting and the rest look very happy with leaves popping out everywhere. The rooting time has also been decreased as all seemed to start showing sgins of growth in less time than usual.

Reading up has revealed that coir actually does not provide a suitable environment for the growth of "bad" fungi and has anti-bacterial properties. It is extremely light weight, water pours right through it yet the individual fibers are like little sponges that hold water, yet maintain zillions of air spaces in between for maximum root growth. Also, coir does not rot or break down like peat based mixes, never gets hard/compacted, nor does it ever develop that annoying water repellent condition that peat based soils do when they get very dry. I have also begun using a mix of about 60% coir/40% perlite for my adeniums and they LOVE it.

Granted it is more expensive but you can order it in large bricks that expand like crazy when you wet them. I get mine from Florida Potting Soils in Orlando, already pre- moistened, expanded and bagged. I had been reading a little here and there about coir, but at the advice of LeftCoastAngler(THANKS!!!) on this forum, I gave it a try and am most happy with it. I haven't been using it on my established plumerias yet, but am very happy with the trials I have conducted thus far in my nursery. One more thing, coir fibers not only hold water, but also hang onto liquid fertilizer nutrients much longer than peat based mixes, meaning you can fertlize less often. Coir never packs down hard over time and maintains its springy consistency even after lots of waterings and dry outs. It also has an attractive brown color that contrasts nicely with the plants potted in it.

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#2 User is offline   ijplume 

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:42 AM

Hi Brad,

I'm actually going the "other" way now with coir, and not using it this year. I started using coir about 5 years ago for seedlings, rooting, and potting up established plants. I loved coir at first, and it does have many wonderful attributes as you mentioned. However, if not purchased from a good source, coir can be extremely high in salts. Unfortunately, I bought some cheap stuff last year, and found out later that it was high in salts. The first sign with an established plumeria is that it stops growing and the edges of the leaves show a salt burn. The novice coir grower stops fertilizing, thinking they are overfertilizing, but, in fact, the high salt content of the medium prevents some of the nutrients from entering the roots. There's a lot of information on this from hydroponic growers as they use coir, and the best coir can be purchased from hydroponic stores. Also hydroponic stores stock specific fertilizers for balancing the nutrient levels in coir. Irene



View PostBradsbudsandblooms, on May 24 2009, 06:23 PM, said:

I have begin using shredded coir (--pronounced "core" is coconut fiber--finely shredded like peat) to root cuttings and am having great success. When using 25% potting mix.75% perlite(more or less--an estimate) in the rooting tubes I always had a few rot on me. This time, out of three tube trays of 36 cuttings each, that I substituted coir and perlite mix (about a 60%coir-40% perlite ratio) , I have only lost one cutting and the rest look very happy with leaves popping out everywhere. The rooting time has also been decreased as all seemed to start showing sgins of growth in less time than usual.

Reading up has revealed that coir actually does not provide a suitable environment for the growth of "bad" fungi and has anti-bacterial properties. It is extremely light weight, water pours right through it yet the individual fibers are like little sponges that hold water, yet maintain zillions of air spaces in between for maximum root growth. Also, coir does not rot or break down like peat based mixes, never gets hard/compacted, nor does it ever develop that annoying water repellent condition that peat based soils do when they get very dry. I have also begun using a mix of about 60% coir/40% perlite for my adeniums and they LOVE it.

Granted it is more expensive but you can order it in large bricks that expand like crazy when you wet them. I get mine from Florida Potting Soils in Orlando, already pre- moistened, expanded and bagged. I had been reading a little here and there about coir, but at the advice of LeftCoastAngler(THANKS!!!) on this forum, I gave it a try and am most happy with it. I haven't been using it on my established plumerias yet, but am very happy with the trials I have conducted thus far in my nursery. One more thing, coir fibers not only hold water, but also hang onto liquid fertilizer nutrients much longer than peat based mixes, meaning you can fertlize less often. Coir never packs down hard over time and maintains its springy consistency even after lots of waterings and dry outs. It also has an attractive brown color that contrasts nicely with the plants potted in it.

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#3 User is offline   Bradsbudsandblooms 

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:11 AM

Hi Irene,

Glad you mentioned this as I did not. My supplier washes the coir thoroughly and YES the cheaper stuff definitely can be a problem as you described. That being said, I like the stuff I am getting and my plants seem very happy in it. There are reputable sources out there, you just have to be cautious and ask lots of questions.
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#4 User is offline   nancycorinne 

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  • Interests:I've been a member of this forum since 2004 (I think) - well whatever year it first started. <br /><br />I came here to learn more about growing plumerias but I've made great friends and learned a lot about other flowers I have learned to love like stephanotis, tuberoses, pikaki and hoyas.<br /><br />I play guitar and sing, have a karaoke catalog of about 20 thousand songs and my husband is a drummer. We have been members of different bands over the years - none you would have ever heard of but it's been fun!<br /><br />Currently, I have about 40+ rooted plumerias mostly unknowns. <br /><br />The named ones I have are Heidi, Lei Rainbow, Aztec Gold, of course, gotta have Celadine. I can't think of the others at the moment but I know there are a few. Mostly single tip cuttings at this point. I lost a lot during an unusual freeze a few years ago and was disgusted. I just did not know a lot about keeping them from freeze.<br /><br />I love the colors the fragrance and the diversity of plumerias.<br /><br />Good Growing!

Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:52 PM

Very interesting, thanks for taking the time to share your experience!
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#5 User is offline   LeslieC 

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 02:10 AM

Thanks for the info Brad. I find it really interesing and am always tempted to try new things. However Im afraid to mess with success if you know what I mean lol. I rarely have problems rooting things, thankfully. I have found that those rooting tubes (for me anyway) tend to root slower plus I've noticed that some of the cuttings burn in them.
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#6 User is offline   LeftCoastAngler 

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  Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:46 AM

Your coirs salt content is too high? you must me mistaken.
CocoCoir is a inert medium. I can almost guarantee a pH of 7.

Your coirs holding the salt content.

You need to occasionally do a fresh water flush type cycle on them occasionally.
YOUR ADDING THE SALT.

For instance:

week one: fert'd water
week two: nothing but water
week three: nothing but water
week four: nothing but water
week five: fert'd water
week six: nothing but water
week seven: nothing but water... etc... etc..

Or basically feed your plants only once a month if your water them four times a month...
I rarely do that. I feed once in a blue moon... Nowadays, I've just been sprinkling granular 13-13-13 all around everywhere for my palms and whatnot, so the Frangis get that... No more concentrating on feeding them...

~LCA.
Brandon, FL
27.95N 82.28W (Elev. 62 ft)
USDA Zone 9B
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#7 User is offline   Mike88 

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:51 AM

View PostLeftCoastAngler, on May 25 2009, 09:46 AM, said:

Your coirs salt content is too high? you must me mistaken.
CocoCoir is a inert medium. I can almost guarantee a pH of 7.

Your coirs holding the salt content.

You need to occasionally do a fresh water flush type cycle on them occasionally.
YOUR ADDING THE SALT.

For instance:

week one: fert'd water
week two: nothing but water
week three: nothing but water
week four: nothing but water
week five: fert'd water
week six: nothing but water
week seven: nothing but water... etc... etc..

Or basically feed your plants only once a month if your water them four times a month...
I rarely do that. I feed once in a blue moon... Nowadays, I've just been sprinkling granular 13-13-13 all around everywhere for my palms and whatnot, so the Frangis get that... No more concentrating on feeding them...

~LCA.


Actually, some suppliers' coir is full of salt. Its processed somewhere in the world where the coconut trees are in salty areas and if it isn't washed, it is very salty. I use it for my worm farms, and have to be careful about it; I always wash it first.
Mike
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#8 User is offline   kenji 

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:01 PM

Yup, the cheap stuff from India and Bangladesh contains high amount of salts... better to be safe than sorry and flush! LOL
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#9 User is offline   LeftCoastAngler 

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:33 PM

Well, I don't buy cheap stuff.
And if I were you, I wouldn't either.

I don't believe it anyway.
Somehow during the refining of the coir, it's rinsed several times...
I don't care where its from.

The salt were talking about is salt from fertilizer buildup. TDS (total dissolved solids or salts)
After time, salt buildup occurs in cococoir.

~LCA.
Brandon, FL
27.95N 82.28W (Elev. 62 ft)
USDA Zone 9B
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#10 User is offline   ijplume 

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 04:00 PM

Here is information on two good brands (and there are many others available) which might help folks understand the salt issue with coir. After all, coconut trees often grow by the side of the ocean so every part of them can have a high salt content if their water source is salt water.

Botanicare COCOGRO is exposed to rain water from at least three monsoon seasons, which naturally washes away harmful salts out of the final product. Most other coir fibers are only 4 to 5 months old and have excessive potassium and salts and thus have to be chemically treated.

Atami Coco (Coir) Fiber Atami ships compressed coir to the Netherlands where it undergoes rigid batch testing and treatment. Because Atami owns its own facility in Sri Lanka they are able to guarantee the quality of the original untreated/raw product (age and origin). Atami coir is sourced from coir that is grown 50km's (or more) inland from the coast meaning the original coir source is low in sodium chloride. Furthermore, the coir is under two years old which means the coirs composition is ideal for use as a hydroponic media. Atami utilizes a unique steaming and buffering process for the coir at its facilities in the Netherlands and then ships it around the world. Atami is the only company in the world that uses this steaming process to flush impurities from the media. In this process, the coir is initially saturated with calcium and magnesium solutions. After this, the coir is steamed to 900 C and then flushed with large amounts of water; the combination of these two processes ensures that impurities are efficiently and effectively flushed from the media. After this B'Ccuzz coir is lightly fertilized to achieve optimized nutritional balance within the media.

Irene
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#11 User is offline   Bfishy 

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 04:34 PM

If the cutting is large, I shove it right in the ground and stake it if need be, if its small, I just get dirt from the ground and put it in a pot and shove in the cutting. Primitive, but it works, no work and no money 100% success rate this way so far. :)
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#12 User is offline   Shadow 

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:21 PM

Anyone try the
burpee seed starting mix
its 95 % coir & 5 % perlite?

I might want to try it withe the smaller seedlings

:unsure:
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#13 User is offline   Baby_Love 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:42 AM

Irene, did you happen to take a photo of any of the leaves with salt burn? I'd be interested to see what this looks like if you did. Thanks!
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