What is Coco Coir and how it can be used to grow cannabis

Published Jul 29, 2019 12:36 p.m. ET
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A lot of people assume that growing marijuana is little more than a fancy set up that includes some soil and lights. However, there are many different soil amendments on the market today. Most of them offer various benefits and drawbacks when compared to more traditional dirt, but Coco Coir is a popular one that can work well for both experienced and novice producers. Here, you will learn what it is, the benefits that can come from using it, and how to grow marijuana with coco coir as a medium.

What is coco coir?

Coco Coir is a common additive found in products like doormats, floor mats, mattresses and brushes, it is commonly used as a growing medium for various plant species and is also used as an environmentally sustainable and completely organic substrate. Using this medium for growing marijuana will result in a hardier plant.

It is made from natural fibers that have been extracted and then processed from coconut husks. At one time it was a less preferred medium, as the older versions wouldn’t last very long, but these days only high-quality Coco Coir is on the shelves, and it will last up to three times longer than its predecessor.

The benefits

1. It is environmentally friendly and sustainable
This growing medium is taken from coconut shells, a product which is usually tossed away. It is an excellent alternative to soil and much easier on the environment.

2. Reusable
Coco coir will not last for years, but it can stay intact long enough to get two or three successful harvests.

3. Fast growth
The extra nutrients that are in this substrate can help with growing marijuana, as it includes many of the essential nutrients you would typically add. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to feed your cannabis; it just helps to provide a solid base.

4. Large yields
Since coco coir is capable of providing the ideal environment for growing marijuana plants, it results in much larger buds and more substantial yields overall.

5. Space for the root system to flourish
The texture of coco coir allows for the ideal amount of oxygen exposure while offering plenty of room for the plant’s root system to spread out unimpeded.

6. PH neutral
Coco coir will maintain a ph level of between 5.2 and 6.8. This will fluctuate but is also simple to stabilize with other nutrients.

7. Minimizes your risk of dealing with pests and other plant illness and disease
Coco coir offers antifungal properties which can help to protect your cannabis plants from diseases and pathogens that could otherwise be deadly.

The drawbacks

1. Chemical treatments
Most coco coir is dried using a process that includes various chemicals, so it is critical to check the label to ensure that there are no toxins present that may harm your cannabis plants.

2. Salt content
Many coco coir mixtures are rinsed with a saltwater for curing. So, it is essential to clean or check if it was already done so by the manufacturers.

3.Locks out calcium iron, and magnesium
Since coco coir has a high exchange rate, the substrate will release and hold onto the nutrients as needed, but calcium will often remain left behind. To counteract this effect, you will need to use nutrients that are made specifically for this process for a healthy yield.

Growing marijuana with coco coir

Coco coir can be used in place of regular soil, as well as for growing marijuana through hydroponics. However, to do so, you will need a small list of must-have items to maintain control over the ph and nutrient levels being administered to your cannabis plants:

You will need:
Perfect Sensi Coco Grow A&B (to help with blooming and maintain nutrients)
Big Bud Coco (to increase bud size)
• Pots (2gallon)
• Lights (either sunlight or artificial lighting)

The process is as simple as setting up the same way that you would typically for growing marijuana, followed by a stringent regimen of all the above nutrients according to the label directions. Though some people have luck cultivating without the addition of nutrients if you want the best chances at success, all the tools listed here are necessary.

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