Coco Coir

Definition - What does Coco Coir mean?

Coco coir is a growing medium used in a number of garden types. It consists of fibrous coconut husks and can be mixed with soil for improved aeration of potted plants. It may also be used on its own or with aerating materials as a growing medium for hydroponic plants.

This soil-free medium gives the look and feel of growing plants in soil, but instead nutrients and water are regularly added to provide the nitrogen, iron and other minerals that plants need to survive.

MaximumYield explains Coco Coir

Coco coir is the fibrous material found on the inside of coconut shells, and until recently it was considered a waste material. Today it is often used to replace peat moss to aerate soil or to act as a medium on its own.

Coco coir has a neutral pH level, which means that it will not hinder nutrients from dissolving into the soil-water mixture and being taken up by the plants. Peat moss was often used before coco coir was discovered, but because peat moss is so acidic it is necessary to add an alkaline product like limestone to the growing medium for balance. This is no longer necessary because coco coir will not throw off the pH level of soil (or any grow medium).

Because it facilitates aeration, coco coir increases the rate that water drains through the medium in which it is used. At the same time, because coco coir is very absorbent it will also retain moisture for plants to feed on.

Coco coir does not add to the nutrient quality of soil or any other growing medium. However, it does make an efficient medium to which nutrients and water can be added. Also, some plants thrive best in lower- or higher-nutrient soil, making coco coir a good medium to customize the nutrient levels that different plants receive.

Coco coir is a highly sustainable substance because it is a natural byproduct of coconut production and can easily be replaced.

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