How to use cocopeat for your carnivrous plants.

Carnivorous plants often expect the substrate merely for the physical base to keep them grounded, significantly as a source of clean water & and for the roots to dig in away from the light. some pings and droseras do produce roots upwards, but that open for another conversation.

Its is often safer to have one such substrate with rinsed sand / perlite that can help in water and air mobilization/drainage inside the substrate.

Cocopeat as we all know is commonly being used everywhere for garderning and is affordable given the massive quantity a 5kg compressed brick can expand into. Except for a few fuzzy cps, majority of the others can be kept in chemically sterlized cocopeat and most nepenthes can straightaway be potten in a decent quality cocopeat without sterlizing them atall.

Sterlizing them saves a tonne of ₹₹₹ ( money ) and they last long ! its fairly straightforward as below – (I’m writing this with a 5kg brick as a volumetric constant. if you use a 1kg brick, pl tone the volumes down proportionally)

This has worked out just fine for me although it might seem harsh on the cocopeat. My cocopeat now is still super stable after 2 years.

A. Materilas required :

1. a tub – use something at home (~free)
2. 15 lits of tap water – free aswell
3. 5 lits of RO water – guessing free, or use distilled water (Rs. 100-200)
4. 5kg cocopeat brick – Rs. 150
5. hydrogen peroxide 500ml bottle – Rs. 75
6. bleach powder (Calcium hypochlorite) 100gms – Rs. 25
7. safety gloves and facemask (there can be co2 emmisions – do it in an open space / balcony) – ~Rs. 50 ?

B. Procedure :

1. Dissolve 3 table spoons of bleach powder in 5 lits of tap water.
2. Drop the cocopeat brick in a tub with 10 lits of tap water and let it all upand expand as much as it can.
3. Add the 5 lits of bleech dissolved water to it after its stable. (guess it takes about 30 -45 mins).
4. Wear your gloves and mix them upto down for a min
5. let it sit for half day (10-12 hours)
6. Drain the water out by putting a cloth over the tub and tilting it or pouring the contents on a tray with holes.
7. Drain the water out as much as you can, have the gloves on w/o fail.
8. Some flush it with tap water again but you can skip that step if you dont feel like, some do it to make sure all the bleached out content goes away, its not really needed.
9. Pour 100ml of 100% hydrogen peroxide (h202) solution into a tub with 5 lits of RO/rain/distilled water. soak the entire content in it for 1 day. – h202 helps in unlocking loose bleach particles that might have remained unreacted.
10. Drain the water out as much as you can, h2o2 has a high decomposition rate when not contained in a stable environemnt, in less than one more day 99% of the excessive h202 that might be left out in the substrate would have broken down to water and oxygen.
11. Voila – your substrate is ready and residue free with nearly no ph change in them for however long they are kept in water.

C. Total method cost : Rs. 400-500 + 2 days time = ~25 kgs of substrate. ( 60% water weight )

D. wt/vol Equivalent moss cost : 1kg of decent live sphagnum moss (60% water wight ) will be anywhere between Rs. 600- Rs. 800.00 ; Sphag Peat – Rs. 200- Rs. 400/kg

for 25 kgs : moss :: Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 18,000
for 25 kgs : coco :: Rs. 500.00

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