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If you’re looking for a natural, renewable growing medium that’s perfect for your houseplants, you might want to consider using coco coir. Coco coir is made from the fibers of coconut husks and is an excellent alternative to peat moss, which is not a renewable resource. Coco coir is not only environmentally friendly, but it also offers many benefits for your plants.

One of the main benefits of using coco coir is that it retains moisture well, which means you won’t have to water your plants as frequently. This is especially useful if you tend to forget to water your plants regularly. Coco coir also has a neutral pH, which makes it an ideal growing medium for a wide variety of plants. Additionally, coco coir is free of pests and diseases, which means you won’t have to worry about introducing harmful organisms to your plants.

If you want to know how to use coco coir for houseplants, keep reading. We will share a few tips and tricks so you can use this growing medium for your plants.

What is Coco Coir?

Coco coir is widely known as coir, coconut fiber, or coco fiber. It comes from the husk of a coconut fruit. The process for removing the fiber includes soaking the husk in water so that the fibers can be removed. The fibers are washed, spun, and collected into a brick-like, compressed form that absorbs water.

It is a popular choice for growing plants because it is renewable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

Types of Coco Coir

There are three main types of coco coir: coco peat, coco fiber, and coco chips.

Coco peat or coco pith is the most commonly used type of coco coir. It is made from the finely ground coconut fibers and is often sold in compressed bricks or blocks.

Coco fiber, sometimes called coir fiber, is a coarser material made from the longer fibers of the coconut husk. It is often used in hanging baskets or as a decorative mulch.

Coco chips are larger pieces of coconut husk that can be used as a soil amendment or as a decorative top layer.

One of the benefits of using coco coir for houseplants is that it is an inert material, meaning it does not contain any nutrients or minerals that could harm your plants.

This allows you to have more control over the nutrients your plants receive and can help prevent over-fertilization.

Can Coco Coir Replace Potting Soil?

On its own coco coir lacks the nutrients plants need to grow and thrive, but mixed with other mediums like perlite and compost, it can create a top notch potting mix that can be tailored to meet your plant’s needs.

However, coco coir can be used on its own in certain gardening situations. For example, hydroponic gardening is a great use for coco coir because it is able to provide adequate support and moisture for plants without the need for nutrient-rich soil.

Additionally, coco coir can also be used as a soil amendment to help break up hard clay soils so that nutrients can be more easily absorbed by the plants.

Advantages of Using Coco Coir for Houseplants

Excellent Water Retention

Coco coir has excellent water retention capabilities, which means your plants will have access to moisture for a longer period of time.

This is especially useful if you’re someone who tends to forget to water your plants regularly. Coco coir can hold up to 10 times its weight in water, which means you won’t have to water your plants as frequently.


Coco coir is also great for aerating soil. It allows air to circulate around the roots of your plants, which is essential for healthy growth. If you’re growing plants in containers, this can be helpful to avoid situations where the roots can become compacted and suffocate. Coco coir helps to prevent this by providing a loose, airy growing medium.

Neutral pH

Coco coir has a neutral pH, which means it won’t affect the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. This is important because different plants require different pH levels to thrive.

Using coco coir as a growing medium ensures that your plants have a stable pH level, which is essential for healthy growth.

Insect Free

Coco coir does not attract bugs and plants that are growing in coco coir are less likely to be attacked by pests. For example, it can deter fungus gnats.


Coco coir helps to conserve moisture, which means your plants won’t dry out as quickly. This is especially useful if you live in a dry climate or if you’re growing plants that require a lot of water.

Disadvantages of Using Coco Coir for Houseplants

There are some disadvantages to using coco coir that you should be aware of before incorporating it into your houseplant care routine.


One of the biggest disadvantages of using coco coir for houseplants is that it has a high water retention capacity. This means that it can easily become overly saturated, leading to other issues.

Some gardeners will soak their house plants with coco coir in the anticipation that it will slowly saturate. This is not necessary, you can water your plants as usual. To prevent overwatering, it’s important to monitor the moisture level of your coco coir regularly and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Coco coir does hold water but it is not always distrubuted evenly. So when you are checking the soil, dont just check the top where it may be dry, you will also need to check down into the soil.

Root Rot

Of course overwatering can lead to root rot, a condition in which the roots of a plant become damaged and begin to rot.

This can be particularly problematic when using coco coir, as the material retains moisture and can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi.


Another disadvantage of using coco coir is that it can become compacted over time, which can restrict the flow of air and water to your plant’s roots.

This can lead to stunted growth, nutrient deficiencies, and other issues. To prevent compaction, it’s important to regularly fluff and aerate your coco coir to ensure that it remains loose and well-draining.


It’s also worth noting that coco coir is an inert growing medium, meaning that it contains no nutrients.

This means that you’ll need to supplement your plants with hydroponic nutrients to ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

Additionally, some gardeners have reported issues with salt buildup in coco coir, which can negatively impact plant growth and health.

Coco coir can be expensive, but if you plan on using it in potted plants or container gardens, the cost isnt that bad.

How to Use Coco Coir for Houseplants

.Here are some tips on how to use coco coir for your potted plants and house plants. We will discuss how to prepare coco coir bricks, the coco coir to water ratio and more.

Preparing Coco Coir Bricks

Before using coco coir, it is important to prepare it properly. Coco coir comes in compressed blocks or bags and needs to be hydrated before use. Here’s how to prepare coco coir for your houseplants:

  1. Place the compressed block or bag of coco coir in a large container.
  2. Add water to the container until the coco coir is fully submerged.
  3. Let the coco coir soak for at least 30 minutes or until it has fully expanded.
  4. Drain any excess water from the container.

The coco coir to water ratio will depend on the specific brand and type of coco coir you are using, as well as the stage of growth of your plants.

In general, a common coco coir to water ratio for seedlings is 1:1, which means equal parts coco coir and water by volume.

Weighing the coir by grams and multiplying it by 4.75 will give you an idea of how much water weight you need – if too wet multiply by 4.50 for your sweet spot.

It’s important to note that coco coir can hold a lot of water, so it’s best to start with a lower ratio and adjust as needed to avoid overwatering your plants.

You can also test the moisture level of the coco coir by squeezing a handful – if it is damp but not dripping, it’s ready for your plants.

Mixing Coco Coir with Other Growing Mediums

Coco coir is often mixed with other materials to create a well-draining potting mix. Here are some materials you can mix with coco coir:

  • Perlite: Perlite is a lightweight volcanic rock that helps improve drainage in potting mixes.
  • Sand: Sand can be added to potting mixes to improve drainage.
  • Vermiculite: Vermiculite is a mineral that helps retain moisture in potting mixes.
  • Sandy soil: If you have sandy soil, you can mix it with coco coir to improve its water retention.

To mix coco coir with other growing mediums, use a 1:1 ratio of coco coir to the other material. For example, if you are mixing coco coir with perlite, use equal parts of each.

Watering and Fertilizing with Coco Coir

Coco coir has excellent water retention properties, which means you may not need to water your plants as frequently. However, you dont want your plants sitting in standing water, as this can lead to root rot. Here are some tips for watering and fertilizing with coco coir:

  • Make sure your plant pot has drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom of the pot.
  • Before watering your plants feel the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. You may need to dig a little deeper to make sure only the top soil is not dry.
  • Use a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 to provide your plants with essential nutrients.
  • Fertilize your plants every two weeks during the growing season and once a month during the dormant season.

Using Coco Coir for Hydroponic Gardening

If you’re looking for a sustainable and effective growing medium for your hydroponic garden, coco coir is a great option. It’s a natural and renewable resource that can be used as a stand-alone medium or mixed with other substrates. Here’s what you need to know about using coco coir for hydroponic gardening:

Preparing Coco Coir for Hydroponic Gardening

Before using coco coir as a growing medium, it’s important to properly hydrate it and wash out any excess salt. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Hydrate the coco coir: Follow the instructions on the package to hydrate the coco coir. Typically, you’ll need to add water and let it sit for a few hours until it’s fully hydrated.
  2. Wash the coco coir: Rinse the coco coir thoroughly to remove any excess salt. You can do this by soaking it in water and then draining off the water.

Using Coco Coir in Hydroponic Gardening

Once you’ve prepared the coco coir, you can use it as a growing medium in your hydroponic garden. Here are some tips for using coco coir effectively:

  1. Use the right mix: Depending on the plant you’re growing, you may need to adjust the ratio of coco coir to other substrates. For example, some plants prefer a more porous mix, while others prefer a denser mix. Experiment with different ratios to find the right one for your plants.
  2. Monitor the root zone: Coco coir is a great sponge for water, but it’s important to make sure that the root zone doesn’t become too wet.
  3. Check the pH level: Coco coir has a natural pH level of around 5.5-6.5, which is slightly acidic. Make sure to check the pH level regularly and adjust it as needed to keep it within the optimal range for your plants.
  4. Supplement with nutrients: Coco coir doesn’t contain many nutrients on its own, so it’s important to supplement with a balanced fertilizer that provides the right amount of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) for your plants.

What Plants Like Coco Coir

We’ll take a look at some of the best plants that grow well in coco coir. From lush foliage to bright blooms, you can find plenty of plants that will thrive in this versatile growing medium.

First up on our list is philodendron.

This classic houseplant loves damp but not soggy conditions and coco coir provides just the right balance for it. It’s easy to care for and will reward you with its lush foliage and trailing vines. If you like to experiment, try growing a climbing form of philodendron in a larger container full of coco coir.

Cacti are another great choice for container gardening with coco coir.

Cacti and succulents love the well-draining medium and many varieties thrive in bright light or dappled shade. Be sure to pick cacti that are suited for your climate – some prefer warmer temperatures while others can handle cooler conditions. For example, Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) grows well at lower temperatures than other varieties do.

If you’re looking for something that blooms, begonias are a great choice.

These shade-loving plants come in many varieties, from delicate trailing types to bushy upright forms. Most prefer evenly moist soil but not soggy conditions, so coco coir is perfect for them. If you’re feeling adventurous, try growing the unusual Rex Begonia (Begonia rex) with its colorful foliage and interesting textures.

Another plant worth considering is ferns.

From tiny creeping types to towering tree ferns, there’s a variety of ferns that grow well in containers filled with coco coir. In general, they thrive in warm and humid environments and benefit from regular misting or light watering. Because of their foliage, tree ferns are especially attractive in container gardens.

Last but not least, we have a few vegetables that can be grown successfully in coco coir. Tomatoes and peppers both require well-draining soil and plenty of sun to produce bountiful harvests. If you choose an indeterminate variety (which produces a continuous crop) you’ll get the most out of your harvest – make sure to provide a sturdy support system for the vines!

Best Coco Coir

If you’re looking for a high-quality brand of coco coir, Canna Coco is a popular choice among hydroponic growers. It’s made from high-quality coconut fibers and has been specifically designed for use in hydroponic gardening. It’s also been washed and buffered to remove excess salt and balance the pH level, making it a great option for beginners.

With Fox Farm Coco Loco Potting Mix, you can rest assured that your plants are getting the nutrients they need without being exposed to overwatering or runoff.

A benefit of using Fox Farm Coco Loco Potting Mix is its aeration and drainage capabilities. The perlite included in this potting mix helps promote air circulation, allowing oxygen to reach the roots of plants. Additionally, the mix provides excellent drainage, preventing roots from sitting in standing water and becoming over-saturated. The combination of aeration and drainage ensures that your plants have access to both air and water for optimal growth.

FAQ About Coco Coir

Can coco coir be reused?

Yes, coco coir can be reused. Coco coir is a popular soil-less medium for container gardening because it holds moisture while providing good drainage and air flow. To reuse it, you’ll need to clean the coco coir of any debris and remove any salt buildup that may have occurred during the first use. Once cleaned, just add water until it reaches the desired consistency and you’re ready to go!

Do you need to use compost with coco coir?

Yes, you can use compost with coco coir. Coco coir is an organic material made from coconut husks and is used to improve soil structure and drainage in container gardens. Compost helps the coco coir retain moisture and provide essential nutrients for plants. It’s best to mix equal amounts of both ingredients before adding them to your containers. Doing so will ensure that your plants get all the benefits they need.

How does coco coir help garden soil?

Coco coir is an excellent addition to garden soil because it helps improve water retention, aeration, drainage and nutrient uptake. It also provides a habitat for beneficial microbes, increasing the health of your soil and helping plants thrive. Be sure to mix it with other materials like compost to make the most out of coco coir’s benefits.

Problems with Coco Coir and How to Avoid Them

When using coco coir for your houseplants, there are a few common problems that you may encounter. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can easily avoid these issues. Here are some tips to help you avoid common problems when using coco coir.

Pests and Disease

One of the biggest concerns when using coco coir is the possibility of pests and disease. Coco coir is a natural product that can contain bacteria and fungi that may harm your plants. To avoid these problems, make sure to purchase coco coir from a reputable source that has been properly processed and sterilized.

Another way to avoid pests and disease is to use a fungicide or pesticide. However, be sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions to avoid damaging your plants. Additionally, you can use beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings to help control pests.

Root Issues

Root issues are another common problem when using coco coir. Overwatering can cause root rot, which can kill your plants. To avoid this problem, make sure to water your plants only when the top layer of coco coir is dry to the touch. You can also add perlite or vermiculite to the coco coir to improve drainage.

Another way to avoid root issues is to ensure that your plants have enough room to grow. Coco coir can be compacted over time, which can limit root growth. To prevent this, loosen the coco coir regularly with a fork or other tool.

Neutral pH

Coco coir has a natural pH of around 5.5 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic. However, some plants prefer a neutral pH of around 7.0. To avoid problems, you can adjust the pH of the coco coir by adding lime or sulfur. Be sure to test the pH regularly to ensure that it remains within the desired range.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to use coco coir for your houseplants. Coco coir is a high quality, sanitary, inexpensive for potted plants or container gardens, and eco-friendly alternative to traditional soil. It is easy to transport and can be recycled to reduce waste.

Coco coir is an excellent growing medium for a variety of indoor plants, including orchids, succulents, cacti, and monstera. It can also be used for container gardening and is ideal for drought-resistant plants.

When using coco coir, it is important to note that there are different types available. Compressed coconut coir, brown coco coir, and coconut chips are all viable options, but they have different properties and uses. Be sure to choose the right type for your specific needs.

In addition to being a great growing medium, coco coir can also be used as a mulch or compost. It is rich in micronutrients and helps to reduce the buildup of salts in the soil.

Overall, coco coir is a versatile and sustainable option for any indoor gardener. Give it a try and see the benefits for yourself!


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