Ask a Question forum→Coconut Coir Mold

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Name: Demi Elder
Brooklyn, NY
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DemiArianna
Jun 4, 2020 10:49 AM CST
Hiya,

I recently propagated some monstera leaves, let them sit in water until they got proper little roots. By the time they looked good and ready for potting I had run out of soil, and I ordered what seemed like a viable compact option to be shipped to me. I hadn't realized it at the time but it's coconut coir. (Still new here.) It had pretty good ratings overall, but right before using it I noticed a few people said they had issues with mold. So I said I would try it out and just be mindful of it thereafter.

I potted the cuttings a few days ago, the "soil" is still super moist, and yes, a mold is juuust starting to form. Now I'm thinking I'll head over to a nursery and buy some regular potting soil, take the cuttings out and replant them in said different soil. They've been in the pot for four days now.

Is that doable? Would I shock the little babies to death? What would you all do?

(Also, I, being a noob, also mixed a bit of the coir with the soil in a Croton while repotting. I see no signs of mold there as of yet, and most of the pot is the original soil that was on the root ball in the plastic pot it came in but I'm pretty worried about it now.)
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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
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oneeyeluke
Jun 4, 2020 1:52 PM CST
Plain old Coconut Coir doesn't have any nutrients in it and must be fed with nutrients. If you mixed some other soil with it, thats what its living on. When you switch with potting mix made from peat the pH will be different from Coco. So you may want to mix the two together for the soil mix 50/50 mix.
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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Jun 4, 2020 2:04 PM CST
Just repot once your new potting soil arrives Thumbs up
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 4, 2020 2:10 PM CST
Ground coconut coir is a very dense and compacting medium. It needs to be cut with other stuff and then it is a very useful medium. Mixing it in equal parts with perlite, fir bark, good quality potting mix and coconut husk CHIPS would be the perfect substrate for your Monstera
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Name: Demi Elder
Brooklyn, NY
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DemiArianna
Jun 4, 2020 2:20 PM CST
Woo! Awesome! I can totally save these babies! Gonna get some diff soil. Grateful for the learning process. Thanks as always, guys.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 4, 2020 2:34 PM CST
A soilless, peat-based potting mix is a better bet. But there is another important consideration.

If you use a pot that is too large, the potting mix will stay damp for too long and suffocate the new roots. The pot should be just barely large enough to accommodate the roots and just enough potting mix to barely cover them. After the new roots fill the pot, the plant can be stepped up to a pot one size larger. Don't rush the process.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Name: Demi Elder
Brooklyn, NY
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DemiArianna
Jun 4, 2020 2:56 PM CST
WillC said: A soilless, peat-based potting mix is a better bet. But there is another important consideration.

If you use a pot that is too large, the potting mix will stay damp for too long and suffocate the new roots. The pot should be just barely large enough to accommodate the roots and just enough potting mix to barely cover them. After the new roots fill the pot, the plant can be stepped up to a pot one size larger. Don't rush the process.


Can't express how grateful I am for the super attentive WillC.

Okay so perhaps since these are just new cuttings (they grew rootlets that perhaps got about 4-6 inches long) the pot is too large? I may have also overestimated how deep to put them in the pot, essentially I was concerned with making sure they'd be supported enough to stand up in the soil.

I have been SUPER concerned with how long the soil stays damp on a lot of my new, freshly-repotted plants. Is 4 days of moisture normal and acceptable? A lot of resources say "water until they leak from the bottom" but then I feel like I have over-watered as they stay moist on the surface for 3+ days which some of my older, thriving plants do not.

Since these roots are merely 4-6 inches long, would you recommend a smaller pot for now? I am propagating these for a friend and I want to make sure they are ready to be handed over when I do curbside drop-off. I'll be driving to the nursery tomorrow and I can certainly pick up a smaller pot while I'm there if need be.

And to reiterate, the mold I'm experiencing is because the coconut coir is not mixed with nutrient-rich soil?

Thanks again for all of your help! The sense of community here is heartwarming.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 4, 2020 3:06 PM CST
Based on your description, a 6-inch diameter pot is probably about right. It looks like it is in a 10-inch pot now. Keep the roots snug in the pot so the soil dries out sooner.

The stems may need a stake for support initially until the roots fill the pot sufficiently for it to remain upright. You may also want to insert a stake permanently to support it as it grows taller.

When potted and watered properly, the top quarter of the soil should get almost dry to the touch after about a week.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Demi Elder
Brooklyn, NY
Image
DemiArianna
Jun 4, 2020 3:19 PM CST
WillC said:Based on your description, a 6-inch diameter pot is probably about right. It looks like it is in a 10-inch pot now. Keep the roots snug in the pot so the soil dries out sooner.

The stems may need a stake for support initially until the roots fill the pot sufficiently for it to remain upright. You may also want to insert a stake permanently to support it as it grows taller.

When potted and watered properly, the top quarter of the soil should get almost dry to the touch after about a week.


Gotcha! I'll get a stake at the nursery and a smaller pot too! Plus the new soil. Thanks again!
[Last edited by DemiArianna - Jun 4, 2020 3:19 PM (+)]
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