Mother Earth is a reputable US-based company that offers a range of professional-grade growing media and amendments for all purposes. Its Coco Plus Perlite Mix has been specifically designed as either an indoor or outdoor alternative to potting soil that reduces the risk of—and, therefore, worry about—overwatering.
Unlike many other potting soils on the market that are recommended for cannabis growing, this contains a very simple mixture: 70% coco coir and 30% perlite. While both certainly help when growing marijuana plants, the complete lack of mineral additions and/or soil amendments is a little disappointing—although these can be added using other products for an additional cost.
The Mother Earth Coco Plus Perlite Mix is pre-mixed and ready to use straight out of the bag, which eliminates the need to spend time measuring and mixing ingredients yourself—plus, this makes it perfect for first-time growers to use. It comes in a 50-liter bag priced at a little more than $40, which is quite reasonable for the size, although the company could have included at least one natural fertilizer for that price—or lowered the cost. Many other marijuana potting soils on the market cost about the same but include a plethora of ingredients that promote and support plant growth and overall health.
Base and Composts
As the name suggests, the ingredient used for the base of the Mother Earth Coco Plus Perlite is coco coir (of the finest quality available, according to the company). Coco coir enables nutrients to get to the roots of the plant easily, thereby improving overall drainage as well as aeration. It is a fairly recent, but increasingly popular, ingredient in pre-mixed marijuana soils, with many growers using it to replace peat. This is because coco coir takes a lot longer to break down naturally, which helps to keep growing costs down and means less maintenance is required as it doesn’t have to be replaced as quickly or as often.
Aeration and Drainage
To improve water drainage and aeration by providing spacing between particles of soil, perlite has been included in this mix—which, again, is obvious from the product name. Originating from volcanic glass, perlite is a coarse substance that is ground down and mixed with soil to help to create an optimal environment for growing plants. It effectively makes it very difficult to overwater the plant—consequently, the risk of the roots or the soil around them rotting is minimal. As overwatering is a quick and easy way to kill any plant and ruin its overall yield, perlite is a great addition to any soil mix—and with such a high percentage in this particular product (30%), it’s sure to be effective at protecting the plant against overwatering.
Unfortunately, Mother Earth has not included any mineral additions in this potting soil. Of course, these can be manually added using different products. However, this will raise the overall price.
Again, Mother Earth has not included any soil amendments in the Coco Plus Perlite Mix, but it’s not difficult to use a separate fertilizer to provide additional beneficial ingredients when growing a marijuana plant. Again, though, this will raise the overall cost.
Quick Summary—Pros and Cons
- Made by a reputable company known for its high-quality products
- Contains two high-quality ingredients that help water retention, drainage, and aeration
- Ready to use straight out of the bag
- Reasonably priced
- Only contains two ingredients, with no mineral additions and/or soil amendments
- Some of the company’s alternative potting soil products contain a more extensive mix of ingredients