6 Coco Peat Disadvantages You Should Know About

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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We all want the best for our gardens and so choosing the right thing to grow plants in is an essential consideration.

While many people opt for things like potting soil, more and more green-fingered gardeners are realizing the potential of coco peat. 

Coco peat most important cons
Coco peat cons

This substance has a lot of advantages in that it is renewable and you don’t need a lot of it so a little goes a long way.

Furthermore, it has been noted by many gardeners that coco peat absorbs water very quickly and holds a decent capacity meaning that there is far less chance of over or under watering your plants.


What to Expect: There are some disadvantages to using coco peat and these can often be the straw that broke the camel’s back. So, let’s take a look at some of the top reasons to avoid using coco peat. 


What Is Coco Peat?

Most people will opt for some sort of potting soil when planting anything.

It’s filled with nutrients, is clean, and not to mention is super easy to get hold of.

What Is Coco Peat
Coco Peat

But this does have ita disadvantages particularly when you consider that it doesn’t drain very well and, because of the way it is mined, it’s not the most eco-friendly product out there. 

Coco seat is nothing like your traditional potting mix and instead is made from the pith that is found inside of a coconut; hence the name.

This is an anti-fungal material which makes it good for starting seeds but it has a whole host of other uses.

You will often see coco peat being used to make things like:

  • brushes
  • rope
  • rugs
  • and many other items…

When purchasing coco peat for growing, you will normally find it presented as a block.


Don’t Forget: This block must be soaked in water in order for it to come apart and it’s commonly used when growing plants like orchids and ferns. 


Disadvantages of Coco Peat

Now, while there are some good points about coco peat, the disadvantages of this material can be enough to put you right off using it.

So, before you dive in and change the way you grow your plants, just consider the following downsides. 

1. You May End Up with Something Inferior

Coco peat has really risen in popularity in recent years and with this demand comes a need for increased supply.

Something Inferior coco peat
Coco peat inferior

However, this has meant that a lot of suppliers have been handing out very low-quality coco peat which just doesn’t have the same qualities as the good stuff and this won’t benefit anything you try to grow. 

But it can be difficult to tell the difference between good and bad which is why so many unsuspecting vendors have fallen into the trap of sourcing from untrustworthy suppliers.

2. It’s Prone to Creep

One of the most serious downsides of using coco peat is that you’ll need to get through it pretty quickly.

If it doesn’t get used within just a few months of being produced then you’ll find that it becomes prone to creep.

Since you need to wet the coco peat, this can make it very difficult. 

3. Plant Support Isn’t Great

Coco peat is popular due to its high porosity but there is a downside to this; the material simply isn’t enough to successfully support the weight of a lot of plants by itself.

Plant Support Isn’t Great with coco peat
Coco peat plant support

While this shouldn’t be a reason on its own to ditch coco peat, it does make life harder especially when you consider the support your plants would get from other products.

4. It’s Too Salty

We mentioned earlier about the importance of sourcing high-quality coco peat and one of the reasons is because this will contain less salt.

This will prevent the plant roots from being able to easily take water and in some cases, the plants are also unable to take the right amount of nutrients, therefore hindering their ability to thrive. 


Did You Know? The reason for this is that many suppliers will rinse the coco peat in salt water instead of freshwater which is another reason that you should do your research before opting for this product.


5. It’s Not Cheap

When there is a high demand for a product, it is only natural that the price will rise and that is certainly the case where coco peat is concerned.

Coco peat is not cheap
Coco peat expensive

This product has been talked about online with many people raving about it and so the prices have gone up.

Moreover, coco peat isn’t always the easiest thing to find so you may end up spending more time searching for it than you will be tending to your plants, which isn’t what anybody wants.

6. It Doesn’t Have Any Nutrients

One of the huge benefits of using potting soil is that it is bursting with nutrients that will help your plants thrive.

But that isn’t the case with coco peat.

While you can simply add fertilizer to your plants, this is an inconvenience for many modern gardeners who prefer to use an all-in-one product like potting soil.

Coco fiber, coco coir or coco peat
Coco Fiber

As We Mentioned Earlier: The coco peat has a tendency to hold onto any nutrients you put in which means your plants won’t be getting as much as they need.


Conclusion

Coco peat is a good choice of growing medium if you are looking for something that you can reuse and that is good for the environment.

However, while it does have its advantages, there are some downsides that you really need to think about before choosing this for growing your plants. 

This product is not widely available and where it is, the cost is much higher than other options.

Furthermore, coco peat may not provide your plants with as many nutrients as needed and there’s a chance it could contain high levels of salt.

These things combined mean that your plants won’t do as well as they would when growing them in something like potting soil.

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