Why we use Cocunut Husk to Grow Cattleya Orchids Seedlings?

Why we use Cocunut Husk to Grow Cattleya Orchids Seedlings?

It is certain that dual benefits are obtained when coconut husk is used as a growing media for orchid species due to its property of the fibrous component and the chemical antimicrobial properties of the active constituents.

When visiting your local landscaping supply store, you’ll find that you have many different planting mediums to choose from, each with its own list of benefits. There are several factors you want to consider when choosing the right product for your plants such as drainage, nutrient density, and acidity level. Your planting medium is very important, so you don't want to make a decision based on price alone.

Coconut husk - based products have many desirable qualities that orchid lovers look for including:

Water Retention

One of the main reasons why coconut coir makes for such a great growing medium is its natural ability to retain moisture for long periods of time, which is perfect for cattleya orchid seedlings. There are other planting products that do an equally good job at retaining water, however, what makes coconut husk-based products so unique is that the natural fibers are able to retain moisture without suffocating plants.


Fibrous coconut coir expands in such a way that it allows for great aeration for the roots of your plants. Some planting materials tend to become too compact around plants, causing them to suffocate over time. However, coconut husk products allow oxygen to flow freely around plant roots, which help maintain the health of your plants, ultimately allowing them to grow larger, faster.


There are many growing mediums on the market that are simply not Eco-friendly. However, coconut husk products are a smart choice if you're looking to limit your environmental impact. That’s because coconuts are an easily renewable resource.

In fact, a single coconut tree is able to produce upwards of one hundred and fifty coconuts per year. That means that producers of coconut coir products can rely on a constant supply of raw materials each year. Plus, coconut trees typically do not require the use of pesticides and other chemicals to maintain their health. When you purchase coconut-based products you can rest easy knowing that you're making an environmentally responsible choice.

Naturally pH Balanced

As you begin to delve into more advanced gardening techniques, you will probably start looking at monitoring the acidity level of your soil and growing mediums. Certain plants are very sensitive to changes in the pH levels of their soil. Some growing mediums that you purchase off the shelf at your local landscaping supply store may be far too acidic for your plants. If the pH of your soil isn't at the optimum level, your plant may fail to thrive or even die, no matter how much care you take to water and fertilize it. However, this is not a concern if you use coconut coir as your planting medium. That’s because coco coir has a natural pH of about 5.2 to 6.8. This is nearly neutral on the pH scale, making it ideal for lots of plants without the need for additives.

Nutrient Density

There are many vital nutrients that are naturally found in coconut byproducts. These include potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and zinc. These nutrients are very beneficial plants. One of the great things about coconut coir is that it releases these nutrients very slowly, so it will feed your plants on an ongoing basis over time. What’s more, coconut coir is also rich in natural hormones that act as bio-stimulants, encouraging your plants to flourish.

Beneficial Bacteria

You may think of bacteria as a bad thing, however, certain types of bacteria are beneficial to plants. Coconut coir has been proven to promote the growth of lignins, increasing the number of beneficial bacteria around your plant’s root systems. This beneficial bacterium serves to combat harmful bacteria that may harm your plants. This is one reason why coconut coir is so popular amongst hydroponic growers.

Cost Effective

Because coconut husk products take a very long time to break down and release their beneficial nutrients slowly, gardeners can go a long time without replacing their growing medium. In addition, coconut husk natural ability to retain moisture will help you save on your water bill. Compared to other growing mediums, coconut coir products are not the most expensive but are also not the least. However, these moderately-priced products

Disadvantages of Coconut Coir Planting:

There are advantages to planting in this medium, but let me mention there are disadvantages of coconut coir too.

Hard to find – First, it can be hard to find, in the right size, therefore expensive

Problems from salt – Some gardeners have experienced cons of coconut coir because of too much salt in the product. The electrical conductivity of water in a growing medium that is too salty can prevent or deter the uptake of water by plant roots. It can also cause issues with the absorption of nutrients. This often happens because those harvesting the coir rinse the product in saltwater as opposed to fresh water. Know the distributor of the material before you purchase and, if the price seems too good to be true, check the fine print and call the company, if needed. Salt in the product has the potential to cause major problems.

This is why we at La Foresta Orchids, always proceed to wash our coconut husk at least 6 times prior to use, in addition to treat it replacing the potassium by calcium as part of our curating process.

Low nutrients – Coconut husk help retain calcium, magnesium and iron, and while stores and releases most added nutrients readily, because of a high cation exchange, you will probably need to add MSU fertilizer formula to compliments. whats needed, in addition to vitamins and aminoacids.

We use coconut husk for growing cattleya orchid seedlings that need only limited nutrients, so it is not a problem, but may be for some other plants. Using a product that would have otherwise been discarded or burned is an environmentally conscious decision.

While it won’t fit every plant’s needs, it is a versatile and adaptable soil amendment that can take the place of endangered peat. Just make sure you consider all of its possible downsides too prior to use.

XOXO @LaForestaOrchids

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