I'm interested in growing hoyas in coconut husk chips (CHCs) and would like to hear from others who are using them in their planting mix. Pros? Cons? Other components of mix? Thanks for any info.
I like it. I generally don't mix it with anything else. I say generally because there might be one or two here and there with a mix, but I'm doing pretty well using it alone. I like using it because it doesn't tend to get soggy, but holds moisture pretty well. So the water's there for the roots, but it's not nearly as likely as, say, potting soil, to cause root rot. It dries out fast enough for me to water every couple days or so, which I prefer to soil that stays wetter longer, because the more times I have to check whether or not it needs watering, the greater the chances will be that I will forget. Also, I love that it comes as a compressed brick, as that makes it so much easier to store.
Cons: If you are not growing in a clear pot, it may be tricky to see whether or not it actually needs watering, because the top looks dry much faster than the rest of it. It tends to dye things a reddish brown for a while, so if you have a saucer that you are fond of, it may end up looking stained. I think it washes off, but it'll get stained again when you water again. Depending on where you get it, it may need to be soaked and leached extensively to remove salts from the manufacturing process. Or maybe that's just coir? I'm not sure.
In any case, I enjoy using coco husk chips for hoyas and orchids. I haven't tried it for anything else yet. I try not to use it for things that like to stay moist, but I've had to, and they are doing well anyway. I just have to make sure and keep on top of the watering situation.
I haven't tried the chips because I don't want to have to water that often. I use coir and perlite. Coir dries out plenty fast for me...
Denise in Omaha
I use a mix of coconut husk chips, perlite and potting soil. I have used bark and I prefer the coconut husk chips.
You do need to rinse and soak the chips in hot water several times to remove the salts unless you buy a pre-rinsed product made for growing plants vs from the pet store.
I like that the compacted chips take up little space so you can store enough to pot many plants in a small space. Coconut husks are also the perfect source for environmental reasons as they are just left over by-product from the harvesting of coconuts where as bark is from the timber industry.
Here in Barsil, I use the coconut husk-old found in a deposit after the consumption of coconut water.
I buy regular cubes of coconut, coconut originating from recycling, after the consumption of water.
In the manufacturing process in which a cleaning, but still maintains the salt. I still soaked with the water exchange time in two days. until water completely transparent skirt. So I take the sun to dry it for use as substrate Hoya, orchids, bromeliads epiphyllum.
Some time ago, when the cubes are used without soaking the roots of the plants die ..
I too use coir and perlite for most of the Hoyas.
But I use the chips for some of my orchids. And yes, especially if you get the chips from the pet store, it need to be well rinsed. I actually soak them until the water is clear - it takes about a week, changing the water out every day.
I do this for the coir as well.
Thanks to all for the input. I have placed an order for some prewashed CHCs, but will soak them several times before using to further reduce salinity level.