What is leca? “LECA” stands for “Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate”
This makes leca a natural, chemical-free, soil-free planting substrate for your houseplants. Removing the element of dirt from your plant collection may be one of the best things you can do if you are having gnat or other pest problems due to your urban jungle.
If you would like to do a lot of hanging plants, leca is a lightweight solution for that as well, even for large plants like the monstera or Burro’s donkey tail, which itself becomes a very heavy plant as it gets bigger.
It’s Far More Difficult to Drown A Plant That’s In Leca
If you belong to the plant drowning club or “Overwaterers Anonymous” as I like to call us, leca might just be the solution for you. Since leca works by sucking water up like a straw, but slowly, through its natural clay, there is always airflow available to the root systems closer to the surface of the planter. It has also been found that with many plants growing in leca, that they will use water more quickly, which means faster growth for the plants.
Plants grown in leca can use transparent containers for their planters which allows a plant parent to be able to look at their plant collection and see that the plants are in need of watering. For people who dislike having to “test” the dampness of the soil to decide when to water your houseplants, this visual cue is easy to see and reduces overwatering in this way.
How Do I Fertilize My Leca Plants?
Leca plants can be fertilized by using a water soluble plant fertilizer that can simply be added to your indoor watering can and poured into your leca plant whenever you water. For this method, use far less than the recommended amount of fertilizer to give your plants a constant source of nutrition.
Other methods of fertilizing your leca plants include topping them off with worm castings or compost. In this way, for people who do not like the look of leca, you can have the more traditional look of potted plants without fear of drowning your plants. Then, you can water whenever your plant is in need.
For many people, making the switch to leca has made their living spaces a little less dusty, completely destroyed any gnat problems…as there is no longer any soil for them to nest in, and given a more lightweight option to hang their plants.
The last tip for using leca as a soil replacement? Don’t knock them over. 😭😭😭 While they may be easy to clean-up, easier than soil, anyway, many plants don’t like being uprooted over and over as this can stress, and ultimately kill them which would be very sad after all the hard work of moving your plants into leca.
Though there are planters being created specifically for growing plants in leca, there’s also no need to limit yourself to traditional planters for this non-traditional plant substrate. Nearly any water-resistant container can be used to grow houseplants in leca if you are willing to try something a little off-road. Vases, decorative bowls, pickle jars, olive jars, all of these make wonderful planters for semi-hydroponic plants.
Using a clear container for your leca plants also allows you to be able see when your plants need to be watered instead of relying on having to touch the soil.
Now that you are happily on the trail to a soil-free, leca-loving existence, here you may find some planter ideas for your leca semi-hydroponic plants.
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