Lignin Content in Coco Coir


Media Lignin Content Matters

Cannabis cultivators charged with developing facility operating procedures are having to choose between countless types of soilless substrates. Those who have made the wide choice to grow in coco coir are seeing an ever-growing range of coco coir options. The ramifications of this choice cannot be understated and it’s not just about quality, consistency, and supply. What ultimately drives repeated high-yielding cannabis crops occurs at a microscopic level, between the roots and the growing media.

What is Lignin?

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines lignin as a complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of many plants, making them rigid and woody.

This woody polymer is primary component of coconut husks, and is highly resistant to conventional organic degradation. It’s resilience influences soils microbial activity, providing four main benefits:

1) reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from soil

2) retaining soluble nutrients

3) promoting soil aggregate formation and stabilization, which reduces soil erosion

4) bioremediation and detoxification of natural and man-made organic pollutants. 


Role of Lignin in Hydroponics

Traditionally hydroponics connotes an inorganic growing technique. This is true for substrates such as stonewool, hydroton, or perlite. With coco coir, however, the high lignin content combined with precision fertigation creates a synergistic rhizosphere. Lignin is an important contributor to humus, by promoting fungal growth, and by improving soil aggregation and soil structure. Good soil structure is important for soil ecosystem services such as water and nutrient retention, cation exchange capacity, buffering functions, and protection of soil enzymes which are the engine of nutrient cycling (source).

Coco Coir Lignin Content

Individual coco brands have differing production methods which are directly contributing to the degradation of media lignin content. As previously discussed, most coco coir marketed towards cannabis growers is buffered with highly concentrated calcium nitrate. The practices are causing chemical degradation of lignin structure, reducing the air filled porosity and available water content of the final product. Furthermore, industrial coir production uses material sourced from the waste byproducts of the palm industry. Raw coir is stored in large mounds and left to age for months or even years until it is sold to the highest bidder. As time passes the lignin is slowly decomposing, reducing its beneficial properties.

Lignin in Riococo

Riococo owns and maintains vast acreage of organically cultivated palm throughout Sri Lanka. Our unique manufacturing process quickly uses all available un-aged material, preserving the naturally occurring lignin-rich fibers. Additionally, our coco coir is left unbuffered, allowing full control of the media EC by the end used and maximizing the microbial activity in your root zone.

Your attention to detail is of the upmost importance when growing high yielding, high quality, cannabis. Our attention to detail is driving RIOCOCO into its third decade providing the highest quality substrates. Our team stands ready to help bring your grow to the next level. Contact us for a quote today!