Orchids Growing Medium : Sphagnum Moss vs Coconut Husk – Analysis and Comparison

For orchid enthusiasts, in order to have orchids that are not only beautiful but also well-grow and healthy, finding an appropriate growing substrate is the key point. There are different types of media for orchids such as coco husk, sphagnum moss, fir bark, charcoal, perlite, or even some mixes of these substances, etc. However, sphagnum moss and coco husk are the common and most-used growing media for orchid growth. Let’s check some features of these media with EnvironSoil in this article.

1. About Coco husks

Coco husk is considered an organic substrate that is widely used nowadays. When it comes to growing orchids, coco husk chips and coco fiber are 2 ingredients that are more well-known and widely used. Coco fiber is ground and shredded from coconut husks that have shaped like long strings. Coco chips are also made from coco husk but are cut into small pieces. These substances are usually mixed together or with other substances according to specific types of orchids to have the best results.

2. About Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss is a moss with a rough texture that forms flat colonies living in freshwater swamps. This slow-growing plant is often found deeper in the swamps of the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the swamps of southern Chile, from the Nahuelbuta Mountains to Cabo de Hornos. Currently, it is possible to cultivate to supply large quantities to meet the needs of consumers.

3. Sphagnum Moss vs Coconut Husks – Analysis and Comparison.

The analysis below will clarify the pros and cons of these 2 substrates:
Coco husk
Sphagnum Moss
Cheap, easy to find
   High cost
Aesthetics value
Water retention capacity


Since coco husk is absorbent, they are able to absorb large amounts of water quickly



   Has fast absorption and hydration



Coco husk has the ability to ventilate and retain gas even when containing large amounts of water without causing waterlogging of crop roots 



  If orchids are not equipped with airy pots, it will lead to waterlogging because of the high hydration function.

Prevent pathogens
The good antibacterial ability of harmful microorganisms after proper treatment
   Easy to absorb salt if not washed properly


    Easy to generate pathogens

Ability to maintain the original morphology


Due to a large amount of lignin and fibrous  structure, coco husk does not shrink and retain its original shape



It will gradually shrink. Also, when too much water causes waterlogging, it will decompose and become unusable

Shelf life
 About 2 years


After a period of use, coco husk chips will gradually decay into coconut peat and can still be reused with many other crops that still retain their inherent properties

 Average 1 year


Because sphagnum moss has a topology, when reused, the roots of the previous crop will stick to it and there will be no breathable place for the latter to grow

Treated products
Can be used immediately for plants because the ideal pH is from 5.8-6.5
Have to soak with water for 24 hours to clean again, which is more inconvenient and time-consuming
Benign and safe
Contains fungal spores that cause health problems


After this reading, you can choose your own appropriate medium that will suit your orchid plant as well as your specific demands. However, it can be seen that choosing coco coir, especially coco husk, is gradually becoming a trend among orchid lovers because of its convenience and affordable cost. It can be said that coco chip is a quite suitable option for even newbies or longtime orchid growers.

Open chat
Scan the code
EnvironSoil Live Chat
Hello ????

Thanks for reaching out to EnvironSoil™. I am Raj.

Are you seeking Coco Coir for any of these?

1) Gardening - Leisure

2) Soil Amendment / Peat-based Growing Medium

3) Animal Bedding / Reptile Substrate

4) Greenhouses

5) Mycology Needs (Mushroom Growing)

5) Cannabis - Growing/Cultivating

6) Other - Let's chat about it!