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Soil or Coco Coir: Optimize Cannabis Growing with the Right Medium

Let’s say you have decided to grow your own cannabis, bought your pots but cannot decide which cannabis growing medium to use, Soil or Coco? Let’s look at the differences between growing in coco and soil to assist you in making a decision.

Growing in Soil

Growing cannabis in soil is the most well-known and used way. With a good soil mix and the right nutrients, you can grow delicious cannabis. If you are growing indoor do not bring soil from outside! There is a good chance that you will bring insects or other critters into your indoor garden. Choose a potting soil that has been specially designed for cannabis plants. Potting soil  isn’t just “dirt.” It’s usually made of some blend of compost, peat moss, and perhaps other organic material and beneficial bacteria. Many growers say that soil-grown cannabis tastes better, although soil-grown plants can’t get as big as plants grown in coco coir.


  • Nutrient Content: Good-quality potting soil for cannabis often contains useful nutrients, reducing the need for frequent fertilizer additions compared to coco coir.
  • pH Self-Correction: Soil has a natural ability to self-correct its pH to some extent, making pH management less challenging than with coco coir.
  • Slower Drainage: Soil typically drains more slowly than coco coir, which means less frequent watering for plants.
  • Easy going: Growing in soil is the easiest method, which makes it a great choice for beginner growers.


  • Mineral Salt Buildup: Slow soil drainage can lead to the accumulation of mineral salts. This buildup may result in nutrient lockout, requiring periodic flushing of the soil to prevent issues.
  • Cost: Soil is little bit more expensive then Coco in Thailand

Coco Coir

Coco coir is a substrate made from processed, recycled fiber from coconut husks. It’s better for the environment than peat moss (the main ingredient in most potting soils), because those coconut husks are a completely renewable resource, and husks that aren’t used as a substrate are usually just thrown away. Coco coir is a growing medium that doesn’t contain any nutrients on its own and is rather used as support for the plant’s roots. So, you’ll need to add nutrients yourself from the beginning.

You can find coco coir in two basic forms: pre-mixed coco coir that comes in a plastic bag, just like soil, or compressed bricks of coco coir that you will have to rehydrate before using. These compressed bricks will expand after rehydrating up to 10x in size!

Pressed coco bricks are the cheapest option, and due to their small size and weight, they’re also the most convenient since they can easily be ordered online and delivered by mail. However, you’ll have to do more than just rehydrate your coco before it’s ready for planting.

Rinsing: When you start with compressed brick coco, you need to rinse before use. This brick has tiny bits called coco peat that don’t let air and water flow well. If there’s too much of this in your mix, your plants might get too much water and not enough air. So, rinse the coco through a screen or colander to get rid of the smallest bits.

Buffering: Now, the coco needs a special treatment called buffering. Before you plant anything, you have to soak the coco in a solution that has nutrients in it. This is like preparing the coco to give the right nutrients to your plants.

Use tap or reversed osmosed water, mix 1ml of BiG Plant Science Grow and 1ml of BiG Plant Science Calcium Plus per liter of water, check electrical conductivity (must be 1.2-1.5) and pH (must be 5.8-6.2) and soak the coco for at least 8 hours. This makes sure the coco is ready to help your plants grow well.

Adding Perlite: After the soak, add some perlite to your coco mix. It helps the coco get air and water better. A mix of 75% coco and 25% perlite is good.


  • Fast Growth: Plants grow quicker in coco coir, almost like how they would in a hydroponic setup.
  • Easy to Order: You can easily buy coco coir online, even if it’s not readily available in local stores, and it is cheaper then soil.
  • Control Over Nutrients and pH: Coco coir is like a blank slate, so you have full control over what nutrients and pH your plant gets. This helps create a perfect diet for your plant, leading to healthier and bigger growth.


  • Chemical Treatment: Some coco coir might be treated with saltwater or chemicals. It’s a good idea to rinse it before using to be safe.
  • More Nutrients: Coco coir itself doesn’t have nutrients, so you need to feed your plant more often and closely watch nutrient levels.

    Growing in coco coir is like being the chef for your plant – you get to choose exactly what it eats, but you need to be careful about the ingredients you start with!

Soil vs. Coco Coir: Which is the better cannabis growing medium?

Now for the real question: between soil and coco coir, which substrate is better?


  • Great for Beginners: If you’re new to growing plants, soil is a good choice.
  • Tasty Buds: Soil tends to produce buds with excellent taste and aroma.
  • No Fuss: If you don’t want to bother with rinsing and buffering like you do with coco coir, soil is hassle-free.
  • Low Maintenance: If you’re busy and can’t give your plants a lot of attention, soil is a more forgiving option.
  • Outdoor Growing: If you’re growing outside, soil is a suitable choice.

Coco Coir:

  • Bigger Harvests: If you aim for a larger harvest without the complexities of hydroponics, go for coco coir.
  • Time and Attention: Coco coir needs more time and attention, but it pays off with quicker growth and bigger yields.
  • Choose Wisely: Both soil and coco coir have pros and cons. Soil may give better-tasting buds, while coco coir offers faster and larger growth.

Whether you pick soil or coco coir, BiG Plant Science nutrients have the perfect formula just designed for your cannabis plants needs. Enjoy your growing experience! Happy growing!

Find out how much nutrients you need for your grow

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