Coco peat is an organic, natural, and soil-less growing medium that plants love. However, can it be used to grow plants without any additions, or should there be other additions like soil to ensure that plants grow well?
Plants can be grown in only coco peat, a byproduct of the coconut processing sector and a superb potting soil substitute. However, coco peat doesn’t contain any inherent nutritional value. Therefore, the additional nutritional value should be added for plants to grow successfully.
Some plants can be grown in water only. However, those plants often need additional nutrients. The same can be said for plants grown in only coco peat. Here is what is required if plants are only grown in coco peat.
Will Plants Grow if Planted Only in Coco Peat?
Yes, plants can indeed be grown in coco peat only. However, the question is is it good for plants by itself? Will plants get the necessary nutrients and be able to develop strong roots if they are only planted and grown in coco peat?
Coco peat is a fiber that has very little to no nutritional value. It serves as a medium to keep soil constantly moist as it helps the soil retain water much more effectively. Additionally, it aids in terrace gardening by reducing soil weight and increasing soil porosity, which aids and promotes healthy root growth.
Generally speaking, if the plant is a big one or one that will grow to be large, coco peat should not be the only median in which that plant is grown. If the plant is on the smaller side or will only cover a small area, coco peat can be used in its normal form. This all has to do with larger plants needing more nutrients.
How Can You Promote the Best Growth With Coco Peat?
Combining coco peat with an equivalent amount of compost before planting plants is wise to promote the best growth possible. Regarding nutrient recommendations, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the top three. Plants need these nutrients to grow and thrive and look their best.
The electrical conductivity, often abbreviated as EC, of coco peat that has been washed decreases over time, just like other organic materials. A low EC of 1-2 is ideal for healthy plant growth. This is mainly because young plants are killed by high electrical conductivity. Therefore, storing coco peat decreases its EC, which raises the value of use.
As long as you ensure that nutrients are provided, in either solution or dry form, coco peat can support plant growth all by itself without adding soil or fertilizer. But, it is recommended that you use a particular ratio to ensure the optimum development of your plants. You will generally obtain excellent results if you use coco peat in a 1:1:1 ratio of soil, compost, and coco peat.
Is Coco Peat by Itself Good For Seed Germination?
Yes, yes, it is. Wondering why coco peat is a favorite for seed germination? Since most farms utilize decomposed coco peat for seed germination, it is safe for humans and plants. Not only is it ideal, but it is also very sought-after. Because coco peat has high moisture content and is very porous to roots, seeds sprout quickly and easily.
More micronutrients, which are often found in soil as well as in the nitrogenous waste products of insects, animals, and plants, would be required as the plants grew larger. Because of this, coco peat is typically included in the garden mix along with regular soil and fertilizer. By using a water media similar to those used in hydroponics, essential micronutrients can also be given to the plant.
Any medium can be used to cultivate seeds, although coco peat used as a medium promotes faster growth. Thanks to its ability to retain moisture, seeds can grow much more rapidly as it is well-known that seeds require moisture when sprouting.
Additionally, the coarse texture of this medium aids in better root penetration by increasing aeration, and the coir fiber within it functions as a dripper to promote strong roots. However, as mentioned above, because coco peat doesn’t contain any nutrients by itself, it must be combined with fertilizers or manures once the seeds take form and the plants begin to grow.
The plant’s roots will then likely absorb the necessary nutrients much more quickly due to the water retention and aeration medium, which will result in even faster growth.
Are There Advantages of Using Coco Peat in Plants?
Coco peat is widely used for growing plants, and with good reason. Here are a few known benefits of employing coco peat to grow plants.
- Coco peat plays a considerable role in mixtures by making the potting mix more porous. This means the mixture is loosened and not compact, allowing roots to grow and spread.
- Another great reason why coco peat is used in plant growth is that it aids in maintaining the soil’s looseness. Therefore, there is improved air transportation and plant root development. Aerated soil is imperative for soil drainage to prevent plants from getting waterlogged.
- Coco peat is excellent at contributing to increasing water retaining capacity. Interestingly, coco peat has eight times the water holding capacity of regular soil.
- Carbon sequestration is another benefit of using coco peat to grow plants. It enriches the soil with carbon as it decomposes.
- Not only does coco peat promote fast plant growth, but it also makes a perfect environment for microorganism development. Microorganisms, beneficial ones, are essential in a plant’s growth cycle.
- Removing nursery plants planted in coco peat is relatively simple due to how loose it is. This makes repotting a breeze.
As you can see, coco peat can be used by itself to grow plants. However, the problem comes from coco peat’s lack of nutrients. Plants need nutrients to grow and thrive. Without nutrients, plants will not grow well. This is why it is recommended that coco peat be mixed with other potting mixtures to ensure that plants have all the benefits of coco peat and the necessary nutrients.