Re: Peat moss alternatives

Paul Temple (
Thu, 02 Jun 94 11:27:32 +0100

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Coconut husk fibre is usually called COIR (pronounced the same as Choir)
in the UK.

I read the article too, in the UK CP Society journal I think.

I've tried coconut fibre with mixed results. For large and mature CP,
say Sarracenia, the larger Drosera, Heliamphora, you can replace
sphagnum moss peat (i.e. peat) with coir without risk. For anything
sensitive, immature or small, I have consistently found that coir is
far more likely to introduce or attract fungi when new. This will
quickly overpower and kill plants. If you are going to try Coir I
therefore recommend you do so first with spare plants, preferably large
mature specimens and try using copper fungicide before planting.

Coconut fibre is of little use with things like Nepenthes as it doesn't
seem to come in lumps so its probably too moisture retentive (unless
you're an expert Nepenthes grower in which case you'll know how to
balance the media you use).

Comparing coconut fibre with sieved peat, the proprties are generally
very similar, including the acidic nature.

So overall, use it but beware of the risks. Conservation conscious
individuals should be attempting to use less Peat and more Coir as the
Peat Bogs of the world are now endangered through drainage and Peat extraction.