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Thread: Alternatives to peat and Sphagnum

  1. #1

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    Soem research has brought up the issue which I imagine has been discussed before.

    Is there any enviroment friendly alternative to "harvested" sphagnum and peat?
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  2. #2
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    We have dissucussed this before and as of now we still don't have a real alternitive to peat and sphagnum.
    There have been some talk about coconut fiber, but I don't think it's the best idea.

  3. #3

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    The concern with the coconut fiber was that it could contain salts if the fiber was collected from areas near beaches. At least this is one reason.
    Nick

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I use coir, the ground coconut husk material, and haven't had any problem. It's sold as a brick which gets reconstituted with water.

    I haven't seen any evidence of salt injury to any plants I've used it for but, if you're concerned, fill the pot a few times and allow it to drain in between. I use coconut husk chips (CHC) for orchids and just soak and drain them a few times to remove any (potential) salt. My N. x Ventrata is thriving in CHC, by the way.

    I've read the salt comes from coconuts that are floated down rivers into brackish areas where they're corralled for processing. I try to picture men hopping from coconut to coconut during the big river drives, but can't quite see it.

    Coir has a wonderful texture and I use it when making all my various potting mixes. If there's a problem to consider, it's that the stuff breaks down to goo more quickly than sphagnum peat. I use coir as an addition to bulkier materials, such as sphagnum or perlite or vermiculite, so haven't worried too much about it. It seems to take a year or more, but I would recommend monitoring coir if used as a primary potting material.

    Using coir allows us to use an agricultural waste product instead of consuming more peat and I think it's a good idea.
    Bruce in CT

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  5. #5

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    Sounds pretty good to me!

    What plants have you tried this on?
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

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