Leca | What is Leca & Why it is Useful for Plants (Ultimate Guide)
This article’s primary objective is to educate us on the meaning of leca, why it is useful for plants, and other necessary sub-topics discussed.
What is Leca?
Leca is an exceptional breeding ground for most indoor plants. It is odorless, ecological, and recyclable. These small clay pebbles will help you avoid guessing when to water your plants.
Leca is an abbreviation for Light, extended sound aggregate. It doesn’t seem easy, but it is very easy to explain. Leca is a soil-like cultivation medium on which you can grow any plants. Leca is a set of baked clay balls that expand when placed in water. The water absorbed by the clay can be used to water and take care of plants.
In contrast to the earth, however, Leca is just a collection of baked clay balls that contains no nutrients. They take a little water and expand accordingly. You must need to add all the nutrients your plants need to the water.
Benefits of Using Leca as a Nutrient Medium
- It is an extremely porous clay balls environment – this means that too much oxygen can reach your plant roots. The lack of oxygen causes root rot and diseases that often lead to plants’ death, especially house plants.
- Does not degrade – Unlike other means of cultivation, Leca does not degrade or harden over time. Soil compaction increases the risk of root rot and disease. As it is not decomposed, its nutrient system and growth quality do not change over time, so there is no need to replant the plants.
- In the end, it pays off – it can be reused. Simple and straightforward, no more shopping. You don’t have to remember the last time you changed floors or bought more each year, which will ultimately save you money.
- It is environmentally friendly – Leca can be washed and reused as often as you wish. They are safe to remove and have no negative impact on the environment, unlike potable soil mixtures, which generally contain synthetic fertilizers and non-degradable materials (e.g., perlite).
- Allows monitoring of the root system. With Leca, you can visually monitor the growth of your plant’s roots. This will prevent the roots from reaching the plants and let you know when to grow the pot.
- Unwanted for insects – Due to the neutral pH and the distance between large aggregates, this environment is undesirable for pests. This prevents your plants from being infected, unlike any other culture medium.
- Anti-allergic – Leca is sterile, that is, free of fungi and bacteria. This means that people with sensitive allergies can finally grow house plants.
- Hair properties – Leca is the only one that clay removes water and nutrients from the lower reservoir and nourishes the root system. This will help you to avoid overflowing or flooding the plants.
Why Leca is Useful for Growing Plants
Now that you know that Leca is just an expanding set of clay pellets, you may be wondering how it will benefit your plants.
Plants are easier to water properly
The most important part of growing your plants in Leca is that the roots don’t have to stay in the water. Thus, you can create a raised soil with Leca and lift your plants’ roots from the bottom of the pot. You can add water until it is under the roots of the plants. Now your plants can choose the amount of water they need. As they don’t stay in the water, they can drink water soaked in clay balls. If your plants are thirsty, they will grow to the water at the bottom of the pot and drink from it immediately.
The difference between the plants that grow in Leca and those that grow in the soil is that the plant chooses when to drink. Suppose using soil, water when the soil is dry or when the plant looks certain. It is much easier to use Leca because you pour it when there is no water in the pot. The plant drank everything, or the clay balls soaked everything. Adding more water will prevent the plant from being over-watered, even if the clay balls are still full of water because the plant chooses when and how much. Adding more water while the soil is still damp can kill the plant and overflow.
The chances of infection by parasites are reduced.
The flora in Leca know when to drink and prevent underwatering when you water them since there is no more water at the bottom of the pot. Root rot is exceedingly unlikely since it is so difficult to irrigate the plants. This implies that decomposing soil and plant roots do not attract insects.
Leca eliminates pests since it is not a living crop, unlike soil. Organic, nourishing, and “alive” substances make up the soil. As a result, it could also include insect nutrition. In most cases, insects transmit diseases that kill plants. Therefore, the likelihood of curing a sick plant will be lower if you fully ignore them.
The only time you will see the roots of a plant grown in soil is when you transplant the plant. The roots’ characteristics and appearance are unknown between seeding and transfer. But if you cultivate your plants in Leca, you have the option of daily root inspection.
Take care of the nutrients
Leca is not providing his plants with the nutrients they need to grow properly. Leca only takes care of watering his plants. Therefore, you need to add nutrients to the water yourself. The most popular hydroponic fertilizers also work, but there are specific types of fertilizers that you can use to help your plants. This can range from growth hormones to fertilizers that help the roots to grow faster and stronger.
How to Grow Monstera Plants with Leca Balls
Step 1: prepare the Leca balls. Rinse the new Leca balls with clean, warm water to remove dust. Then soak the balls for 6-24 hours until none of them floats on the surface. It may be necessary to use a heavy object to hold them during this process.
Step 2: Move your Monstera. Take the Monstera out of the pot and massage the dirt from the plant’s roots. If the soil is fragile, soak the root in warm water. Then, add a 1-inch layer of Leca beads to a new, clean plant container (choose a waterproof plastic or an enameled ceramic vase to do this). Place the plant in a container and fill the remaining space with clay pebbles. Then, add another inch of Leca balls, leaving about 0.6 slithers of water space at the top.
Step 3: Water and treat when the Leca is dry. At the point when the Leca balls are dry, water and prepare the plant. Leca is completely sterile, so it is important to add fertilizers to the water to provide your Monstera nutrients. Monstera vegetable foods are perfect for that.
Note: If you cannot remove all of the soil from your Monstera roots, you will need to remove the Monstera from the pot the first 2-3 times and then rinse the roots and Leca to remove any remaining fungus or bacteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Leca good for all plants?
Yes, Leca is ideal for regulating humidity throughout the pan. This functions admirably in light because the plant would now choose how much water it needs to endure. Therefore, you can use Leca for plants that are very thirsty and for plants that need to be kept in dry conditions, such as succulents. So, yes, Leca is suitable for all plants. The difference is that thirsty plants need to be watered more often, but this also applies to the soil.
Can Leca be mixed with soil?
If you want the water to flow around the roots and ventilate them, leave the granules intact. You can use hydroton alone or mix it with the soil.
How do plants grow from clay balls?
It is obtained by heating the clay to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit using a rotary kiln, which gives it its distinctive stone shape. This process fills the clay with small air bubbles, making it ideal for retaining oxygen and moisture around the plants’ roots. It can be mixed with the soil or used alone.
Leca means light expanded clay. This means that they are baked clay balls that expand when you submerge them in water. They are ideal as a nutrient medium for plants, as they make it much easier to water your plants, reduce the risk of pest infestation, and you can easily “save” your plants. The most important thing to keep in mind when growing leca is to never leave the roots in the water later and add hydroponic fertilizers to the water. That way, your plants get the nutrients they need and drink them when they’re thirsty.