How to use Coconut Chips for Orchids
For planting exotic plants use coconut peat, which is a kind of nutty substrate. Coconut chips are also used for orchids and other decorative flowers.
How to use Coconut Chips for Orchids
The substrate from the coconut palm fruit is an organic medium intended for growing mushrooms, vegetables, berries, fruits and various crops, where the peel acts as a raw material. Its composition includes fibers with a length of 15 to 33 cm and coconut peat, which is a binder. When processing the peel, these components are separated. Substrates are made from peat.
Ropes, brushes, mattresses, rugs are made on fiber. Often this substance is an integral part of the substrates. The compact compressed fiber packaging is called the “Coconut Briquette”.
Another method of processing peel nuts eliminates fiber extraction. In this case, it is cut into fractions of various sizes. Slices of peat and fiber are called coconut chips. They are used as a supplement to substrates, including when growing exotic plants, including orchids.
Benefits of Coconut Chips
Chips as a medium for growing have several advantages:
- Elementary disposal. Plant breeders almost always face the problem of utilizing mineral wool. Coconut chips, on the contrary, after use, you can simply bury in the soil and in this way use to improve its structure.
- Optimum pH. Coconut does not need additional acid regulation, due to the suitable pH level for most crops in the fiber.
- Increased air capacity. Coconut fruit has the ability to provide optimal proportions of water and air in the root area. Only mineral wool has this ability, so these substrates are the undisputed leaders in hydroponic applications. An excess of moisture in mineral wool leads to an insufficient amount of air in the root part, which significantly inhibits its growth and development. Chips, on the contrary, saturate the rhizomes with the necessary oxygen, even with excess water. This effect is a consequence of the high porosity of the fiber.
- Water retention properties. The sponge-like structure allows coconut chips to hold an amount of moisture up to 5 times their own weight. In this parameter, they surpass peat and compete with mineral wool.
- Sterility. There are no pests in a coconut substrate. This property will be appreciated by flower growers, who still have to use a lot of tools to eliminate plant diseases and the attack of pests.
- Hydrophilicity. Unlike its counterparts, the nut is extremely water-loving. Dried chips easily recapture water.
- Resistance to decomposition. The unique characteristics of coconut can be maintained for a long period. Lignin in its composition slows down all processes associated with decomposition. As a result, the chips are not deformed, the air capacity and moisture capacity remain at the same level.
- Buffering. Chips can accumulate nutrients and transfer them in case of insufficient entry into orchids.
- High quality. The properties of the chips depend on the area of coconut cultivation and the method of processing the peel. Initially, it is characterized by a high content of chlorine, sodium and potassium. Bringing indicators to normal is achieved by soaking the peel in fresh water. The longer this process, the less salt remains in the coconut. As a rule, soaking lasts several months.
Coconut chips are thoroughly sterilized before use. Before planting orchids, the substrate is soaked and heated in boiled water. It should be at room temperature and placed in a kind of greenhouse (pots or special seedling cassettes).
The swollen substrate is thoroughly washed, after which it is filtered with gauze or a tulle curtain. Rinsing in clean water should be done at least 10 times: this will eliminate salts. Dried chips are ready for planting flowers.
In Asian countries there are orchids planted in parts of coconuts nailed to trees.
Due to its advantages, coconut chips are the optimal substrate for orchid cultivation and a real find for gardeners.