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Thread: soil question

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    ILoveMyPlants's Avatar
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    soil question

    Hey all can I use coco coir for vft and droseras or would this not work ?
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    BigBella's Avatar
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    I know of a few who tried in England and SE Asia and found it to be challenging; the plants grew but never thrived. I take it that the coir is to be used as a peat substitute because of its expense and increasingly limited availability in the UK? If at all possible, go for a 2:1 or 1:1 peat-sand mixture . . .

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    Last edited by BigBella; 06-23-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    From what I've heard, coco coir isn't acidic enough for flytraps and most sundews, so most likely not.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

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    clippity-clip-clip Clue's Avatar
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    It also tends to break down when it isn't allowed to dry up enough, which is certainly a negative for its use with bog plants.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    In my opinion, a mix of sand and peat, with a healthy top layer of live LFS is the best for VFT's.

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    My growing partner Steve Doonan uses coir almost exclusively for his flytraps now. It is a great medium with several properties that make it superior to peat in my opinion. His plants thrive in it.

    The only reason I don't use it is because coir is usually processed with salt water due to the fact that most coconut processing plants are on islands and salt water is free and easily accessible. So coir is extremely high in dissolved solids (mostly salt) and must be soaked in rain water or reverse osmosis water 8 to 10 times for 12 hour periods to bring down the TDS measurement to a usable level for CPs. I don't want to take the time and use all the water to do that.

    The elevated pH levels don't seem to bother the flytraps at all. And coir is much "airier" and more resistant to breaking down than sphagnum peat moss.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    http://www.agrococo.com/Bethke/NUTRI...F_AGROCOIR.pdf

    The concentrations of most essential micronutrients are presented in Figure 3. Again the micronutrient concentrations in the coir are approximately twice that common in sphagnum with the finer grades tending to have higher concentrations. The iron concentrations are depicted in Figure 4. The concentrations of iron were approximately equal to that commonly found in sphagnum. Again the coarser fibers showed a lower concentration of iron than the finer grades of Mexican AgroCoir suggesting a greater concentration of the micronutrients in the finer pith than in the coarser fibers.
    The Saturated Media Analysis (SME) provides an estimate of the nutrients that are readily available to plant roots. It provides a measure of the soluble nutrients in a substrate. These measurements help to quantify the nutrients that can be readily absorbed by plant roots. In Figure 5. we see the pH levels for the different grades of coir compared to sphagnum peat. All grades of coir showed pH levels between 5.6 and 6.0 while sphagnum was about 3.2. All grades of coir showed approximately the same pH. The coarse, more fibrous grade demonstrated a slightly lower value at 5.7. The near optimal pH values in coir likely arise from the comparatively high levels of potassium in the coir.
    The total soluble salts levels, as measured by the electrical conductivity (E.C.), range from adequate to high in all grades of coir. Those values are depicted in Figure 6. Again the coarse more fiberous coir has a lower quantity of total soluable salts than the finer materials. Sphagnum is much lower in soluable nutrients, especially potassium, (Figure 7).
    If it was me, I wouldn't use coir with Dionaea unless boosting the acidity with something like pine needles or pine bark mulch - and only if the media gets changed annually. They like higher acidity than most other genus of carnivorous plants. I find they do better in pure peat moss or at least 75% peat moss.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 06-24-2011 at 08:51 AM.
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    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Is coconut husk the only investigated alternative substrate for VFT's today?

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