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Old 02-05-2015, 11:52 AM
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Question Coir

Who on here uses coir I understand it's good for water holding capacity yet these materials also provide plenty of aeration and drainage.

I would like to try this with some of paphs,onc and others that like to be moist. What would be good other medium to mix w/this
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:19 PM
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I have not used coir, but since it is a coconut fiber, if you try it, rinse very thoroughly first as these tend to be "salty".
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:26 PM
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In the Philippines where it is widely used, they would add charcoal in the coir container that they are using. They are using the actual dried coconut shell, still lined with the coco fiber inside, not just coir nuggets as sold here.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:28 PM
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I use it a LOT! As has already been noted - there is a TON of variation, not only in pre-use salt levels, but in quality/grades as well. It can come in fine/small, coarse or chunky appearance/style. It is usually compressed for shipment to the US so it can be hard to know exactly what you are purchasing. The fine material can pack down significantly and make it difficult for your orchids to breathe. I prefer media that has a good level of fibers and/or coarse coir mixed with it - and then usually add some perlite and charcoal to suit my needs. It is fabulous for phals the way I use it and another primary use for me is for re-rooting orchids that are in "ICU" for abuse/lack of roots. I've saved a number of rootless paphs using it. I've found the brand "Cocogro" to be EXCELLENT - https://www.hydroponics.net/i/131513. Many hydroponics stores carry this material if you have any in your area...... Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:07 PM
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I have a coir container I got in May 2013 and I have moved my Wilsonara Hilda Plumtree Purple Wings in it. It just loved being in that container whether I have it outdoors or indoors. I guess it holds much moisture it likes. I only used the usual bark mix and some clay rocks as media, but container is coir. Before I only get blooms in Spring around May, but now it is also blooming in late Fall and Winter. I guess my timing is right to keep it indoors during cold weather, plus it likes the coir container too.

May 2014
img_0126.jpg

Nov 2014 - this bloomed till early Jan 2015
dsc01511.jpg

New spike again forming this Feb 2015
img_4032.jpg
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:31 PM
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I almost forgot.....I've also planted a Colmanara Wildcat in a coir mix that certainly also LOVES this option. I water it once per week in an office environment in a NE facing window and it faithfully blooms EVERY spring!
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:42 PM
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My understanding is that chips of coconut husk both retain moisture and allow drainage, so it may be important to distinguish between chipped husks and coir. I only grow epiphytes and the ones I have seen in the wild have more or less naked roots unless they manage to creep under loose bark. I might try mixing with some larger sized charcoal some time, my orchids didn't like the prolonged period of cold mornings and temperatures generally under 24 but seem to be recovering. They are all planted in reconstituted coconut shells as shown.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooked View Post
My understanding is that chips of coconut husk both retain moisture and allow drainage, so it may be important to distinguish between chipped husks and coir. I only grow epiphytes and the ones I have seen in the wild have more or less naked roots unless they manage to creep under loose bark. I might try mixing with some larger sized charcoal some time, my orchids didn't like the prolonged period of cold mornings and temperatures generally under 24 but seem to be recovering. They are all planted in reconstituted coconut shells as shown.
What a neat idea. I would love to try that
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:39 PM
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Cooked,
Hello to you. I am wanting to repot 2 of my dendrobiums into coconut husk like yours. I have the coconut husks, my friend shipped them from Miami as the do not grow here in Central Fl. What must I do to the coconut to prepare it?
Thank you,
also one more question, do I remove any of the inside material?
Thanks again!!
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by kdennis14 View Post
Cooked,
Hello to you. I am wanting to repot 2 of my dendrobiums into coconut husk like yours. I have the coconut husks, my friend shipped them from Miami as the do not grow here in Central Fl. What must I do to the coconut to prepare it?
Thank you,
also one more question, do I remove any of the inside material?
Thanks again!!
Karen
mmm... well yes, you remove the coconut! I have watched the neighbour doing it. First he removes the green part on the outside. The top is chopped off with a machete and the milk consumed, what remains is then split from top to bottom and split again. The flesh is removed, and using two coconuts, a new container is made as in my photo. (Boring holes, tying together with wire). My wife says that the rougher the interior of the shell is, the better orchids can establish their roots. I imagine that it isn't as easy as it looks, let us know how you get on! Cost about $1.- each here so I never made one.
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:51 AM
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I used to use coir for everything and short term it gives great growth. Now I only use it for cymbidiums and soft cane Dendrobes. Everything else is in bark and perlite.

It is really good when plants need a lot of moisture and can handle the amount it holds though, it can promote fast growth when repotted initially but I am careful what I use with it. I think I prefer perlite for my Phrags now for example and I don't use it on Paphs at all anymore.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:47 PM
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Cooked,
My friend only shipped the outer husks of 2 coconuts, that is all I asked for. I have only that. I am wondering if I need to remove the bulk of the fiber interior? I purchased a dendrobium from HDepot, and it was potted up like what I want to do. I am wondering if I must soak the husks in plain water ?? Or do not soak??
I really appreciate your help with this.
Thanks a million,
Karen
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:37 AM
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Well I have to answer "according to my wife". First of all we have exclusively epiphyte orchids (like Dendrobiums), I should have mentioned that. Secondly the rougher the interior of the shell is left, the better, the roots really like to attach themselves to that.
As attachment an old coconut pot.

Soaking: our coconuts grow in an area far from the sea, so don't need soaking to get rid of the salt, coconuts absorb everything. In case of doubt, yes, soak and change the water a couple of times.
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Last edited by cooked; 08-31-2015 at 01:40 AM. Reason: incomplete answer
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:46 AM
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Thank you so much. Now I am ready to get moving on it. I really love the look.
Thanks a million.
Karen
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