I know this has been posted before, but haven't seen it in a while. Please share your experiences, good OR bad, and what mixtures you use as a rooting medium.
Rooting mix: 30% coir, 65% peat, 5% vermiculite (not exact proportions, but close)
Potting mix: half rooting mix, half Supersoil Potting Mix, small amount of Soil Moist crystals
I love how the coir helps the mix. I have not had a root ball crumble yet, no potted plants have complained about being too wet or too dry. It stays moist better than peat and is easy to re-wet. Pots with this mix are not heavy. Coir is Good Stuff.
I really like the results I get using coir to root cuttings, when mixed with perlite.
Nothing extra is needed to root cuttings in coir. I add a little home-made compost just to make myself feel better (to give the wee darlings something to munch on once they've rooted). I would argue that it is significantly better alone, or with very little else, than with other ammendments. If you want the research, ask, and I'll dig it up.
weldon I didn't have good luck at all. I tried several times, different roses, different seasons just to see if it was just me. It still may be. My problem was the coir dried out. It would sneak up on me. Seemed like it would dry up over night and I would not realize it. The cuttings would already be dead by the time I checked on them. Or if I was trying to watch for that I would keep them too moist and they would rot. I couldn't get it right, That's just my experience, I have best luck with lava sand. They don't need checking on when I use lava sand. They have rooted and are ready to transplant by the time it needs more water.
If using the 2 L bottle method , with the bottoms cut off, as long as there is some condensation on the side of the bottle, there is enough water. One only has to concern oneself with there being too much moisture once they have rooted, and then, the bottle caps should come off.
I have to agree with Elks. Nothing else needs to be added to the coir to root cuttings.
i also like the 2 L bootle method described by Elks in an earlier post.
On the cheap mist propagation in sand was all the rage in this forum around the time I first developed an interest in propagating roses, and I tried and tried and tried and never could get it to work. Mist propagation is fantastic, but I've never been able to get even halfway decent success rates with any sort of inorganic rooting medium.
Coir worked like a charm, though. I managed to get my hands on a couple of bricks a few years ago and got great results, but decided against using it routinely because the lack of a local source made it too inconvenient. And because I found something else that performs just as well (for me) and is available locally. For the last couple of years I've done all of my rooting in pine bark fines.
I've gotta try them, RosyOne.
I use nothing but coir with excellent results. Luckily, I have enough stores in the area that cater to the marijuana growers that coir is easy to get from numerous sources. I am just waiting for the FEDS to show up at my door!
There are different types of coir. Although I am not aware of any official grading system. I have experience with three types that have somewhat different charactoristics.
The last coir that I purchased was the "peat eliminator" sold by garden centers as a "green" replacement for peat moss. This coir has a great variation of particles that range from fine to coarse fibers that are inches long. This coir drains very well.
I have also had some inexpensive coir that I bought on the Net that was basically coir dust. When I tried to rinse this coir by putting the hydrated coir in a 4 gallon pot and filling the pot with water, a lot of the product came right out the drain holes with the water.
The nicest coir was the expensive bricks that I got at the pet store that was sold as reptile bedding. this had a texture in between the dust coir and the fibrous type. There was not much dust and few fibers longer than 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
People have reported success rooting cuttings in a wide variety of mediums, but I think most agree that good drainage is a key factor for good results. I have adjusted the amount of perlite added to my coir mixtures depending on the observed drainage qualities of the coir at hand.
The dust like coir makes a type of coir mud when hydrated. I have used 25 to 50 % perlite with this type. I have used from zero to 25% perlite with the expensive pet shop type of coir.
I have not used the garden center peat replacement type of coir for cuttings yet. However, it drains so well that I will probably use it plain without anything else.
My point is that all coir is not the same. Coir seems to be a great rooting medium, but if the coir you have at hand is not draining well, you might consider lightening it up with something like perlite so that it does drain well.