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What is Leca?
Leca stands for lightweight expanded clay aggregate. To put it simply, Leca comes in baked clay balls that soak up a little water, after which they expand slightly. It’s a growing medium like soil, used to grow plants. Unlike soil, Leca is a collection of clay soils and doesn’t contain any nutrients, making the plant grow without the nutrients. Plant owners also know it as expanded clay or exclay.
Leca makes for a superlative growing medium for most house plants. It’s odorless, eco-friendly and reusable for starters. These little clay pebbles can hold up to 4 times their weight in water. And they allow air and water to move freely throughout the growing medium so that your plants can breathe. Growing plants in leca eliminate
What are the Benefits of Using Leca?
It’s an Extremely Porous Medium
Leca’s porous nature makes it an excellent drainage material for your growing medium. Clay pebbles are designed to wick up water and drain it out into the bottom of the pot while allowing air to move freely throughout the soil mixture. This ensures that roots get enough air to stay healthy while remaining fully saturated with water.
When you’re using Leca for the first time, it’s covered in dust. This is not something we want to expose our plants to, so we should wash this off.
Leca is a porous material that absorbs water and air into its internal structure. This helps promote healthy root development by allowing the roots to easily breathe even as they sit in a constantly moist environment. Roots tend to rot when oxygen isn’t able to circulate throughout the growing medium. Leca helps prevent this from happening by keeping the soil aerated and allowing the roots to fully exchange CO2 for O2. There is also less risk of root rot because the leca leaves a lot of air gaps between the leca balls. This helps to get the needed oxygen to your plant’s roots. Lack of oxygen is the main cause of root rot, and Leca solves this problem once and for all.
Leca’s porous structure enables it to hold onto nutrient solution and support your plants with its few large air pockets instead of many small air pockets like most crushed rock has. It is about the size of marbles, perfectly smooth spheres made to withstand the weight of heavy baskets without breaking.
Leca is Environmentally Friendly
When you compare Leca with potting mix, there is one aspect that Leca will always win. Leca is reusable and durable. Even without considering the environmental impact of peat moss, the fact that you can reuse leca makes it a more ecological sound medium than potting soil. Unlike potting mix, which breaks down over time, you can use leca over and over again. You can reuse potting mix, but you need to bake it in the oven to ensure all the nasty beasts are dead, but leca needs to be rinsed thoroughly with boiling water.
Unlike soil, leca requires much less water than potting mix and doesn’t become a grimy mess while you’re repotting your plants. Leca is also easier to spill, thanks to its lightweight properties.
Despite its appearance, leca is more lightweight than either soil or potting mix, which means that you can use less to fill your containers no matter how large they are.
The Risks of Getting Pests are Reduced
One of the most common problems with soil-based potting mix is that it’s so easy for pests to become established in it. The warmth and moisture present in the soil make it perfect breeding conditions, while the organic matter provides lots of nutrients for pests to thrive on. In leca, the plant also chooses when to drink water and avoid being overwatered. This means that bugs won’t be attracted to the rotting roots and soil.
If your trove of trays has drainage holes, they may not work well with leca because it’s too draining. You’ll probably have to buy new pots designed for hydroponics use to grow with Leca.
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