Pros and Cons of Coco Peat

How great is it to supply your plants with 100% non-chemical ingredients for optimum growth? Cocopeat is a gardener’s first choice when it comes to providing your plants with adequate moisture and air, whether rooted in a pot or a grow bag. But, there are some things you should take care of while mixing and using it in the soil to avoid future complications. So, if you plan on having a lush, colorful garden or growing organic vegetables, the Pros and Cons of Coco Peat can help you ensure your plants are thriving and smiling.

What is coco peat?

Coco peat is obtained from coconut husks and is widely used as a growing medium for growing plants. The natural substance is known to be versatile as it has multiple applications. Most popularly, coco peat is used as a potting mix plant. However, you can also add it to enhance its drainage properties. It is also used on its own as a hydroponic growing medium. The best part about it is, it’s a reusable byproduct from coconut obtained absolutely naturally.

It’s generally used as a soil enhancer and a gardening mix. It is an excellent seed starter and is used in rugs and ropes. It is eco-friendly and can be reused after rinsing and straining; it will work perfectly for plantation. Cocopeat is a 100% natural product. Coconut husks are dried and undergo multiple processes to change their form from husk to cocopeat. Nowadays, it is becoming popular for soilless cultivation, which is known as Hydroponics.

Different Types of coco peat for Plants

There are different types of cocopeat you can fetch from the market. These include:

Coco brick

In this process, cocopeat is compressed into a brick shape, which must be soaked in water to break them apart. Gardeners mostly use this type of coco peat to grow healthy plants. It can be mixed with soil, sand, compost, and fertilizer to improve the quality. It supplies nutrients to the plant roots and makes them healthy.

Coir Dust

This type is mainly used for exotic plants as it can hold 8 to 9 times more water than coco brick. It comes from the natural fibers of coconut. Certain plants that require more water as compared to other plants can be grown using coir dust, but it can act as a barrier for plants with less water requirement. Coir is neutral, with a pH value of 5.8-6.9.

Coco chips

These are small chunks of coir that are larger as compared to coco brick and coir dust. These coco chips are mixed with coco peat or coir dust according to the plant’s requirement; this helps in plant aeration and maintains the air-to-moisture ratio for plant roots. It maintains the oxygen supply and helps pass nutrients to different parts of the plant.

How to choose a cocopeat for plants?

Cocopeat should have low EC, Low fiber content, and pH suitable to the needs of the root zone. Good quality cocopeat can help in plants’ growth but providing nutrients, water, and oxygen to the plants through soil. To check its quality, crush and compress cocopeat by hand to powder it. Rub between the palms to separate the cocopeat from the fiber.

Now measure the EC of demineralized water or Ro water (ECW) using a calibrated hand-held EC meter. Mix the cocopeat with the right amount of demineralized water to fully expand the compressed particle. Cocopeat will do an excellent job keeping plants healthy due to its anti-fungal properties. The EC level can also be lowered by washing the cocopeat using clean, natural spring water, which lowers the EC level.

What are the Pros of coco peat?

There are certain benefits of cocopeat for your plants as it can enhance the quality of soil in many ways. Some of the common to vital advantages include:

1. Excellent water retention

Cocopeat is an organic, 100% natural alternative to traditional soil-based potting mixes. It helps store and release moisture better than other potting mixes, making it perfect for water-retaining applications. The lightweight nature of cocopeat makes it ideal for use in raised beds and containers where drainage is necessary.

2. Improves soil Aeration

Cocopeat is an excellent soil conditioner that can provide aeration to the soil. It helps improve the drainage capabilities of the soil and allows for better water and air circulation throughout. The particles in Cocopeat are much smaller than those found in regular garden soils, which enables them to penetrate deeper into the ground and create more space between soil particles. This increases the amount of oxygen available around root systems, improving root health.

3. pH neutral

Cocopeat is a natural growing medium made from coconut husk fibers. Its neutral pH of 6.5 makes it an ideal choice for many plants, as it does not require adjusting or buffering the soil's pH level. The pH level of Cocopeat can be adjusted by adding organic fertilizers, composts or even lime to increase the alkalinity and decrease acidity levels, respectively. It is also non-toxic for plants and contains no harmful or toxic elements that could potentially harm the root system.

4. Environment friendly

Cocopeat is a highly sustainable, environmentally friendly material that can be used in various applications such as potting mix, soil amendment, hydroponic growing medium, and animal bedding. It is made from coconut husks that are processed and compressed into small bricks or blocks. Unlike many other growing media, cocopeat contains no synthetic fertilizers or herbicides.

This makes it an eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials like peat moss which have serious environmental implications due to their unsustainable harvesting practices. Additionally, cocopeat can retain moisture for long periods while also providing good aeration for root growth.

5. Budget Friendly

Cocopeat is an inexpensive and economical choice for many gardeners. It’s much cheaper than other growing media, making it a great option for those on a tight budget. It is also lightweight and easy to transport, which makes it relatively easy to find at local gardening stores or online retailers. This reduces the cost of shipping and makes it more accessible for home gardeners.

What are the Cons of Coco Peat or Common Disadvantages?

Yes, there are some drawbacks of coco peat that you must consider for the wellness of your plants.

1. Limited Nutrients

Limited nutrient content means cocopeat has a low nutrient content and may not provide sufficient nutrition for certain plants with higher nutrients requirement. Do note that every plant needs different amounts of nutrients and water. Even if you put cocopeat and soil in equal proportions, some plants may face dire disadvantages of cocopeat mix.

2. High-Salt Content

Cocopeat has a high salt content, which can create an imbalance in soil chemistry and damage plants if not managed properly. High sodium levels can also cause nutrient deficiencies in plants, causing them to grow poorly or even die due to a lack of essential nutrients.

A high salt content in cocopeat can lead to water retention issues that damage plants since they cannot absorb enough moisture from the soil. A high-salt cocopeat can make it difficult for beneficial microbes to thrive since they require certain mineral balances to survive and help promote plant growth.

3. Poor drainage

As the cocopeat ages, it becomes more caked and sealed, making it harder for water to drain sufficiently. Poor drainage can cause various problems, such as root rot in plants due to excessive moisture, fungus gnats, and overly wet growing mediums, leading to stagnant conditions that are not ideal for growth.

Poor drainage will also reduce oxygen availability at the root zone leading to stunted growth and unhealthy plant life. It is important to use cocopeat with perlite or other materials to ensure adequate water drainage from the growing medium.

4. It’s Getting Expensive

Cocopeat is a renewable resource, but it has become increasingly expensive over time. Prices can vary depending on the source and quality of the material, but it isn’t cheap for large-scale use or in bulk. Since cocopeat is lightweight, shipping costs can increase quickly if you don’t shop for the best deals.

How to Choose Cocopeat for your plants?

So, you have decided to use cocopeat for your plants? Do note, choosing the right type of cocopeat for your needs is important.

Many types and grades of cocopeat are available on the market, so it can be difficult to know what is best for your plants. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision when selecting Cocopeat:

1. Consider the Plant Type

Different plant species require different growing conditions. They thus will need different types of cocopeat to thrive. For example, orchids prefer a finer grade, while cacti may do better with a coarser variety.

2. Look at Nutrient Content

Cocopeat is typically high in nutrients, but certain types may contain higher amounts of specific minerals and trace elements. For example, if your plants require more nitrogen-rich soil, you should opt for a cocopeat with higher levels of this nutrient.

3. Check the pH Level

Different plants prefer different pH ranges, so you should check the packaging to ensure that the cocopeat suits your needs.

4. Consider Your Budget

Cocopeat can be expensive, so it is important to consider your budget when purchasing. Generally speaking, lower grade cocopeat is more affordable than higher grades, so you may need to sacrifice some quality to remain within your budget constraints.

5. Consider Packaging and Storage

Most cocopeat comes compressed and in bags, which makes it easy to transport and store. However, some types of cocopeat come loose or in larger bales, making it difficult to handle and store. Consider your needs when purchasing to ensure you get the best product for your plants.

How to use coco peat?

You can use cocopeat to allow healthy growth for the plants. Mix coco peat in a soil in ratio 3:1. That is, use three parts of soil for one part of coco peat. This will help retain moisture and oxygen supply and enhance organic matter in the soil. While using cocopeat and compost, use them in a ratio of 1:1. However compost holds excess nutrients. It can work better with compost, fertilizer, or sometimes and depending on the plant’s requirement.

It is mainly used in Terrance Garden or depending on the soil quality as it helps is plants growth and reduces the risk of plant decaying. It is easily and highly available near coastal areas. The Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Brazil produce around 70% of the total coconut. It can also be bought from various online sites.


Cocopeat brings many benefits to gardeners that want to save time and effort. With its great moisture retention, ideal pH levels, and affordability, it is an attractive option for anyone wanting a dependable medium for their plants. But as with any gardening product, there are drawbacks.

It can become anaerobic, leading to the proliferation of diseases and organisms, and can have trouble holding up in damp environments or when over-wet. All this should be considered when deciding if cocopeat is right for you and your garden. Remember that cocopeat isn't the only product available; researching other growing media is worth deciding which will work best for you.

Pros and Cons of Coco Peat

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cocopeat good for all plants?

Cocopeat can be used for both indoor and outdoor plants, making it a great choice for the summer months when you want to reduce watering frequency. Additionally, cocopeat's antifungal properties can provide ideal conditions for plant growth.

What are the benefits of coco peat?

Using cocopeat in potting mix improves its porosity, allowing for better aeration and looser soil, which helps in the effective growth of plant roots. This, in turn, contributes to the overall development of the plant. Additionally, the soil's porosity helps maintain the plant's water-holding capacity, further aiding in its growth.

How long does Cocopeat last?

Cocopeat is a lightweight and easy-to-handle material that can be reused for up to 4 years. It has physical and biochemical properties that make it resistant to bacterial and fungal growth. Cocopeat breaks down slowly and will only begin to degrade when it reaches the age of ten years, so it provides long-term benefits.

Is cocopeat better than soil?

One key difference between soil and coco peat is the nutrient content. Soil is naturally abundant in nutrients, while coco peat is not fertilized and requires the addition of nutrients to become fertile. Despite this, plants thrive more in coco peat than in soil.

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