Is coconut shell alright to use instead of peat moss?

open_window_maniacAugust 4, 2007

i have some ground-up coconut shell mulch just lying around and i was wondering if carnivorous plants could grow in it.

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i believe that some companies sell it as nepenthes soil but i have never tried it myself so can't tell you.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:52AM
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Greetings open window maniac,

Coconut shell and fiber can be used for Nepenthes, however; would not be advisable for use with other carnivorous plants. Usually for Nepenthes, the ratio of mix is 1/3 coconut husk, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 orchid bark. For other carnivorous plants, the mixture would need to be 1/2 peat moss to 1/2 perlite or silica sand. Some species need more drainage, so might need 1/3 peat moss to 2/3 silica sand or perlite. The thing is, you can't replace peat moss completely as that is what keeps the soil acidic, which is what these plants need. Many attempts to change the soil usually ended in the death or poor growing of many a carnivorous plant.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:41AM
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are there differences in the available varieties? A new hydroponics store near me just opened and they sell some BIG bags of it. Is any kind of coconut fiber ok?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:10PM
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ilbasso 74,

I would rinse it thoroughly before use and make sure that nothing was added if you want to try it on your Nepenthes. From what I understand, some coconut husk products have salts added in. The only stuff I have used is premixed from and is the 1/3 mix of coconut husk, bark, and peat moss.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 1:28AM
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the mix from cobra plants has peat moss in it? It just says it has ground coconut bark chunks of coconut husk and bark in there. Is there peat moss in there without them telling you or do you add your own peat?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 8:03AM
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Hello cpgrower770,

When they say that it contains those ingredients, they are just letting people know so they are not surprised by seeing coconut husk in their peat moss. What their info sheet on that soil is saying is that the "peat moss" most growers are used to seeing will have big chunks of bark and coconut husk mixed in. They just left out peat moss as they are inferring that it is in there.

In any case, it is the exact same mix my N. sanguinea is in and the plant is tying to eat it own container it is growing so fast. Just keep that mix watered as it dries out every few days, but it certainly will keep your plant from getting waterlogged.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:10AM
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thank you very much :)

my plant came with horribly conditions form the local nursery

unfortunatly its overpriced so i couldn't save moer :(

it cam with spaghnum moss and it was fertilized in the soil so that is why im ordering that nepenthes mix from sarracenia northwest but until i get it how often should i water it. it has what i think is a coconut fiber covering on the inside of the bowl. and i should water with the nepenthes mix every few days?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:17AM
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Just keep the soil moist all the time. Water it maybe every 2-4 days and let any extra water drain out and remove it. You can use a towel or tray under the pot to catch the runoff and then remove the excess water and just leave a dry tray under the pot after that. It really is a balancing act with watering Nepenthes as you need to keep it's soil moist, but never allow water to sit under the pot and waterlog the plant.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:46PM
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aye though i dnt have to worry bout trays my nep is hanging :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 5:42PM
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