Leca for plants provides a beneficial substrate for nearly all houseplants. Plants that need a lot of oxygen in their roots will especially thrive in this planting medium.
Are you sick and tired of fungus gnats? Looking for a low-maintenance way to keep indoor houseplants? Using LECA for your indoor plants could be your lifesaver! Growing your indoor plants in a clay pebble medium has many benefits, including fewer pests, a higher success rate with propagation and is generally easier to care for than houseplants that live in the soil.
What is Leca?
Leca (Lightweight expanded clay aggregate) has its advantages and disadvantages like any other growing medium. But even when you know what Leca means and how you can use it, you might still need to ask yourself: “Can my plant grow in Leca?”. In this post, we’ll find out which plants work well with Leca and which ones might not do too well. It isn’t easy to list every single plant that will do well with Leca, so let’s list some characteristics of plants that do well in Leca instead. When you use this list, you can compare it to what your own plant and see if it’ll do well in Leca or if you need to look for something else.
Think of LECA balls like a wick that carries water to the roots. They help the roots breathe because of all the airflow. Roots love oxygen!
You can find expanded clay pebbles at your local garden store or online (I generally find bigger bags are cheaper to order online)
Using Leca or clay pebble for plants
Clay pebbles are also much easier to maintain than growing plants in soil because you can replant them when they get too big and re-saturate the growing medium with more water.
LECA is a perfect growing medium for beginners who struggle with watering schedules or anyone looking to try plant propagation without killing their new baby.
LECA can be an excellent substrate for beginner plant parents because it makes monitoring symptoms easier compared to soil where overwatering may not always be the issue.
Benefits of using Leca for plants
There are a lot of benefits to using leca.
For one, it’s a reusable medium. So as long as you wash the leca in between uses you can keep reusing leca from plant to plant.
Best growing media for beginners:
Second, Leca is a great growing medium for beginners to start with because it helps regulate the amount of water your plant gets. Since leca is made up of clay, it absorbs a lot of the water and essentially allows plants to pull the water from the clay as it needs it. This means that your plant’s roots won’t sit in water, which can often lead to root rot. This process of absorption helps prevent overwatering, which is a common pitfall of new gardeners. There are a number of other perks and considerations when determining if you should use leca as a growing medium.
Examine the plant progress is quite easy
The soil obscures the root system completely. Whether you’re transplanting a cutting or tending to a fully-grown plant, you have to assume the roots are healthy.
Over time, you get used to this, and through experience, you’ll learn the signs that your plant needs more water versus less.
Growing your indoor plants in LECA always lets you check in on your plant. If there’s an issue with the roots, rather than wait until your plant’s leaves and foliage manifest symptoms, you’ll know right away.
This can provide peace of mind to many indoor gardeners, especially beginners who aren’t sure if they’re doing everything correctly. When you see white, healthy roots, you can continue caring for your houseplant and become more confident as you do.
Reduces pests infestation/ attack
The living organisms in your soil can also lure in other living organisms such as fungus gnats and the like.
The insects then notice your plant, which is full of yummy juices they can suck up to grow stronger and reproduce. Many insects then spread disease, not only to the affected plant but possibly to others as well.
When you take soil out of the equation and use a growing medium with no living organisms such as LECA, the number of pests you see will nosedive.
Lowered problems and risk f root rot
A houseplant grown in LECA balls only has so much water. The plant will drink some of that water, and the LECA will absorb the rest. When the water is gone, you know it’s time for a refill.
As you’ll recall, LECA provides excellent aeration too, so any water in the pot or container can easily travel, leaving room for oxygen.
List of plants that can grow well in Leca
Best Leca for houseplants
- The original Hydroton Brand expanded clay is a unique, lightweight expanded clay aggregate made in Germany
- This natural clay is mined, formed into pellets, then kiln fired at high temperatures to cause the clay to expand into tough, lightweight balls
- Clay naturally has balanced capillary action, with an ideal surface structure
- Hydroton Brand expanded clay is semi-porous and generally does not float as other products can
- For best results, rinse all expanded clay before use; It is reusable as long as it is thoroughly cleaned between uses; Size Specification is 15–25 mm
- The original Hydroton brand expanded clay is a unique, lightweight expanded clay
- Clay naturally has balanced capillary action
- This listing is for 4 Liters of Hydroton in the bag. Contact us with any questions,s, please.
- Original Hydroton range from 8-16 mm in size.
- [Care for Your Plants]:
- Encourage bountiful plant growth and nourishment with the 7Penn Clay Hydroponic Pebbles; These plant clay balls offer moisture retention, drainage, and aeration for healthy plant growth
- [How to Use]:
- Pour the clay gardening pebbles into your potted plants and add soil if desired; For outdoor plants, we recommend pairing the planting clay balls with soil; Rinse and re-use the hydroponic clay pebbles; Initially rinse the pebbles before use
- [Just Add Water]:
- Use the plant pebbles with your existing soil as a substitute; Semi-porous hydro clay balls are ideal for areas where water is scarce and will keep your plants hydrated; Provide a constant stream of water without fear of overwatering your plants
- [Fit Your Needs]:
- Both functioning and beautiful, our decorative growing clay pebbles are great for soil replacement, or any hydroponic or aeroponic applications; Anchor indoor potted plants including orchids, succulents, bonsai, terrariums, and more
- The package includes a single 2lb (32oz) of clay potting pebbles; Each clay aggregate rock measures 2-3cm
Leca balls how to use?
First, fill the bucket with the Leca with water and wash the clay balls thoroughly. When they’re clean, move them into the second bucket, leaving the dirty water in the bucket you used to clean the clay balls. Throw the dirty water away and repeat the process until the leftover water is (almost) clean.
When you use LECA, you make a false bottom to lift the roots of your plants from the bottom of the pot. After you’ve added the pebbles, fill with water until it reaches just beneath the plants’ roots. While keeping the roots away from the water, your clay balls will begin to soak up the water in the container.
Can you mix leca with soil?
LECA added to the soil will help to improve soil aeration and drainage while also retaining water. To spur the growth of roots, it can be a good idea to mix clay pebbles into your special repotting soil mix to about 10% of the total volume. Decoration – For all your indoor plants, but also for outdoor garden boxes and pots, clay pebble is extremely ornamental.
Where to buy leca?
Here above I have provided all the best leca fertilizers for your plants. Check these products on Amazon. These all are my favorite leca fertilizers for plants. I also have used these products for my own plants and found very amazing results. You must go ahead and check them out for the good health of your plants.