Gardening Ideas forum: Article: Extending The Life of Your Coir Hanging Pots

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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Sep 6, 2017 9:58 AM CST
When it comes to coir hanging pots, prior to this season, you wouldn't have found my name in the column of "Big Fan". Keeping annuals alive in them, for an extended length of time, is really an uphill battle! Yes, they possess natural charm, in a rustic kind of way, but they leak like sieves, before irrigation can soak in to the soil, and when you've managed to water well, the coir dries out fast and wicks that moisture from the soil faster than you can say, "My plants are dying!", which is bad news for anything other than succulents!!

Well, I've developed a couple tricks, throughout the years, to keeping annuals healthy in your coir hanging pots! This year (2017), I had no choice but to use mine, and the final tip, which I discovered just this year, has moved my name over to the, well, "Fan" column! Not sure my name will ever make it to the "Big Fan" column, in all honesty, but mine are less likely to wind up in the trash, now, and perhaps these tips might change a few of your minds, permanently! Smiling With these helpful tricks, my New Guinea Impatiens and Creeping Jenny lasted until mid September! Thumbs up

First off, before adding soil and plants, cut down the height of a plastic grocery bag, such that it will cover at least 3/4 up the sides, if not all the way to the top, when placed inside the coir pot in order to help maintain moisture in the soil. I have found the easiest way to accomplish this, is by cutting off the handles of the bag, place the bag over the overturned coir pot frame, on a flat surface, and cutting all the way around, while holding the bag in place. No perfection necessary, but it's way cheaper than the new coir pot linings, showing up in the garden centers! Then cut 2 or 3 slits (depending on the size of the basket) in the bottom of the bag, for drainage, place the bag in the coir basket, spreading it open, add your soil and plants, as usual, and water very well!

Secondly, water daily! When the soil is kept moist, all that's needed is to use the mist setting and generously mist the soil. If you don't water daily, no worries, because the plastic bag acts as a barrier between the soil and the coir material, but if the bag only covers the coir part way up, you'll get more than desirable drainage, once the soil soaks to the top of the bag, and any coir exposed to the soil, will wick that moisture from the soil. I highly suggest not to go more than two days between watering. If you water every other day, obviously it would take more than the mist setting to adequately soak the soil. If part of the coir is exposed to the soil, it wouldn't hurt to thoroughly mist the outside of the coir pot, to aid in retaining soil moisture, as well.

Third, I use the "weight" test. Once it's watered well, and after the pot is hung, gently "lift" from the bottom, just to feel the weight of the entire pot. That will be your gauge, if you will, to know it's watered thoroughly. The pot will be good and heavy if the soil is well soaked. You can then check the weight each time you water.

Finally, and this is key, folks! Of course nothing is foolproof, so I've found that soaking the entire pot in a tub of water for several hours, every week or every two weeks, is an excellent way to assure the entire container of soil is good and irrigated! Just be sure the water level, in the tub, is about an inch or so above the soil.
Thumb of 2017-09-06/bloominholes2fill/dd67fc

So, my friends, if you love the coir hanging pots, but refuse to use them due to bad experiences with them in the past, try out these tips, and your name just might move right over to the "Fan" or even the "Big Fan" column!!

Happy Gardening! Smiling

"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
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[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Sep 14, 2017 3:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Sep 9, 2017 6:03 PM CST
Love this! Lovey dubby
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Sep 9, 2017 7:32 PM CST
Thank You!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
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Name: Sandy B.
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Weedwhacker
Sep 10, 2017 1:20 PM CST
I admit I've never used the coir pots -- but if they are that much hassle, what exactly is the point of them? Just for the way they look?
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
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Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Sep 13, 2017 5:40 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:I admit I've never used the coir pots -- but if they are that much hassle, what exactly is the point of them? Just for the way they look?


Sandy, you don't have to be 'sold on the idea'. Really, it takes longer to explain than it does to perform these tips, except for soaking them, but to each his own! Smiling Smiling Thumbs up
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
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[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Sep 13, 2017 5:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Sep 13, 2017 5:44 PM CST
I use coir liners in planters that are just an open metal frame and need something to keep the dirt contained. I suppose something else could work, but the coir is a nice look to me. I just water them daily and try to hang them where the overflow will benefit plants below. They do leak easily and dry out quickly.
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Sep 14, 2017 8:25 AM CST
Dana ~ I love this idea. I did this earlier this spring for coir baskets of bromeliads. The only addition I did was slice a few drainage holes in the bags before adding soil. That way when the 15 inch monsoons hit, the plants don't drown.

I am pleased with the way the plants seem to like this. Thanks for sharing a great idea! Lovey dubby
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Sep 14, 2017 2:24 PM CST
pod said:Dana ~ I love this idea. I did this earlier this spring for coir baskets of bromeliads. The only addition I did was slice a few drainage holes in the bags before adding soil. That way when the 15 inch monsoons hit, the plants don't drown.

I am pleased with the way the plants seem to like this. Thanks for sharing a great idea! Lovey dubby


Kristi, thank you! I put a couple drainage holes/slits in the bottom of the bag as well! My gosh, I forgot to include that, so I'll edit the post!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Sep 14, 2017 3:06 PM (+)]
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