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Use of Cocopeat in potting mixture

                                                by           Dr. P. SINDHUMOLE


Cocopeat (coir pith, coir fibre pith or coir dust) is the binding material of  fibre fraction of coconut husks.  It is obtained as a bi-product during the processing of coconut husks for extracting coir fibres. Cocopeat can be seen as heaps near to the coir producing firms and it is available as free or at cheap rate. 

Potting mixture, the common medium for growing plants, is prepared by mixing soil, sand and farm yard manure (compost) in 1:1:1 proportion. Cocopeat may be added to an extent of 20 to 50 % by volume to the potting mixture.  It can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes and the pH ranges from 5.5 to 6.5.

Dried Cocopeat is available commercially as bales, blocks, bricks etc. which can be re-hydrated into bulk form and easily incorporated into potting mixture.   The whole sale suppliers may mix cocopeat in sufficient quantity before selling to nurseries.  Nursery owners can also blend cocopeat with potting mixture according to need.

Benefits of using potting mixture blended with cocopeat :

·         Improves porosity, wettability, water holding capacity (WHC) and cation exchange capacity (CEC):

Due to high porosity and high WHC (70 %), it is more beneficial than all other growing media in reducing the water requirement of plants as well as the frequency of re-watering. With better CEC, it can hold more nutrients easily.

·         Healthier plants: 

The plants growing in potting mixture containing cocopeat produce stronger and more fibrous roots.  This enables them to absorb more water and nutrients thereby improving their health and quality.

·         High quality plants: 

                 Cocopeat potting mixture helps to produce well grown and high quality plants with excellent uniform appearance and good shelf life.  Moreover, it facilitates easy care in long term display situations.   

·         High value potting mixture: 

                 Since cocopeat added potting mixture will hold more water and grow healthier plants, the value of these mixtures is markedly increased by 10 to 50 %.


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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.