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Coconut Shell Chips (CSC)

This is a discussion on Coconut Shell Chips (CSC) within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Does anybody tried them for potting media before? I have a ready source of the ...

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  1. #1
    Tanya's Avatar
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    Default Coconut Shell Chips (CSC)

    Does anybody tried them for potting media before?
    I have a ready source of the stuff, and I was thinking, how about using them as an alternative for bark or CHC? They have a thin layer of husks still attached, and the inner side need to be scrape clean, that means soaking for few days. Is there anything else in the shell that I should consider about? harmful chemicals,etc? I used the shell as pots before, and it worked great.

    Any opinions ? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Some of the large CHC we use here for the Cattleyas still have pieces of outer shell attached, so I would imagine the same rules would apply. People have reported that the tannins in coconut can be detrimental to seedlings and young plants, and, of course, there's the salt issue. I would just make sure that what you're going to use hasn't been "washed" in sea water. And, like you said, definitely soak and rinse, soak and rinse in fresh water for several days before you use it. It should make a fine alternative to bark, I would think, especially for plants that need some moisture retention.

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    Ok, I am going to try and use some today for potting a catt type orchid growing outdoors. I found out its a hassle to scrape the shell clean, especially if they are already broken .

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    i grow many orchids in it!!!

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    One thing to consider with coconuts is that while the outer layer is like a sponge that can hold a large amount of water for a long time, the inner shell is virtually water proof. So it will not absorb any significant amount of water and will result in very fast drying pots.

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    I am surprised that this thread re-surfaced.

    I found out that the shells sans husks are excellent alternative for bark for growing orchids outdoors during wet summer. I do not recommend it if humidity is an issue because they dry out fast and you end up watering few times a day. I also put a thin layer of sphagnum on top to help retain moisture during the drier months but I remove them during summer.

    Coconut shell chips last a lot longer than bark. The ones I used since this thread was started are still good today. I also used coco shell as pots instead of plastic and the orchids love it!



    The young coconut shells (the one you buy from the supermarket as coconut drink) the size of man's fists, are good for miniatures.


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    Those are great, Tanya! I really like the ones in the first photo.

    Cheers,
    BD

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