What is Coir?
Advantages of Coir:
- Coir lasts longer in soil than peat moss
- Coir is quickly and easily renewable
- Coir is naturally free of bacteria, plant disease, fungal spores, weeds, seeds, and pathogens.
- Coir’s neutral pH of 5.8–6.8 allows it to efficiently release nutrients to plant roots and reduces the need to use dolomite lime in the garden.
Why Use Coir?
Coir maintains excellent air porosity even when saturated and gives better crops with faster developing roots and more flowers and fruit per plant when used correctly.
EXCELLENT WATER RETENTION
Coir has better water retention qualities than peat and other growing media. This has obvious advantages in dry climates or at times when plants cannot be watered frequently such as in transit to market.
QUICKLY REABSORBS WATER FROM DRY STATE
Coir peat absorbs moisture immediately, even from a dry state, (unlike sphagnum peat which tends to shrink when dry and form a water-repellent crust which causes water run-off from the top surface and water loss between the peat and the inside edge of the flower pot). Thus plants growing in coir tend to recover better and more quickly from dry conditions.
The ease of re-wetting and the quick drainage characteristics of coir mean that coir needs to be irrigated less frequently and for shorter periods. This leads to reduced leaching losses of nutrients and lower water use.
The inherent qualities of coir and the optimum water/air availability are ideal for quick rooting and propagation. In many cases, this leads to more seedling rotations per year, a higher percentage of seedling and propagation take-up and more efficient use of greenhouse equipment.
In its unprocessed state, coir dust is a waste product in its country of origin. Its use, therefore, does not involve the destruction of peat bogs and natural wetland wildlife habitat. It is a renewable resource with no hazardous disposal problems (unlike some alternatives such as rock wool). Having carefully researched the question, Horticultural Coir Ltd is quite satisfied that the environmental input including the fossil fuel consumption associated with the transport of coir from Asia is significantly less than the environmental cost involved in the production and transport of peat moss and rock-wool. Coir is transported in a compressed compact state on scheduled vessels. Please see our environment page for more information on coir & the environment.
The lignin content of around 45% ensures that the excellent water/air ratio is maintained over a longer period of time than is the case with many other substrates. Thus, for example, good performance is maintained over the commercial life of a rose plant which may be more than 5 years.
FREE FROM SOIL DISEASES
Because Coir originates above ground it does not contain any soil diseases. In fact, several studies have indicated that coir substrate brings increased resistance to pythium and other root diseases.