If you’re a houseplant enthusiast I guess you would have heard about Leca by now. For those who are new, LECA stands for Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate.

In simple words when clay is heated to a high temperature it forms these super light, reddish-brown porous materials that have tiny air pockets. The air pockets provide excellent aeration and the clay helps in water retention making Leca a wonderful potting medium. Now Leca is a “soilless medium”, meaning they do not have any nutrition.



Before using Leca, it's very important to clean them thoroughly in order to remove dust and other residues. It’s a simple step. Just soak these airy balls in water for an hour, rinse and soak again for some more time. 

1. Propagating Plant Cuttings- Personally I have found propagating plant cuttings in Leca to be the easiest among the other methods. It’s non-demanding.  Take a clear glass container (this helps in monitoring water level and root growth). You can use glass jars, vases, wine glass, juice glass basically anything that doesn’t have a drainage hole and is see through. Add some Leca, place the plant cutting and fill the rest of the container with more Leca. Next add water to just one-third the container. Note that the water level should be below the cuttings. As the water dries up in the container you have to keep refilling. You can see plants rooting in it within a few weeks. You can continue to grow the plant in Leca or shift to soil later on. Do not add any fertilizer until you see some root growth. 

Plants that can be propagated- All aroids like Philodendrons, Pothos, Monsteras, Rubber Plant, Pilea, Snake Plant, Begonias, Spider Plant etc.

2. Grow Houseplants- Yes you can grow your houseplants in Leca. As mentioned earlier it’s a soilless potting medium and hence regular fertilization is necessary. To get started, gently remove your houseplant from the soil. Wash the roots thoroughly to remove all the soil particles. Check the plant for pests, cutout dead roots if any. Fill a clear glass container(without drainage hole) with Leca. Transfer the plant into the container, fill it up with more Leca. Add water to one-third the container. Note that the roots do not come in contact with the sitting water. For fertilization you can go with any liquid fertilizers available in the market. But dilute it down by half the mentioned concentrations. Be mindful to not over fertilize the plant. 


3.To Increase the Humidity around your plants. Although it's not the best method you can use Leca to slightly improve humidity levels around a plant. Place your moisture loving plant like Anthuriums and Ferns under a saucer of Leca Balls with a little bit of water. 


4. Orchid Mix- I have been using Leca balls in my orchid mix for a long time and my orchids are loving it. Add a handful of these balls along with your other Orchid media ingredients like Charcoal, Coir Husk, Perlite to make it chunky and well draining.

5. In Terrariums- Leca clay balls can be used at the bottom of terrariums to create a drainage layer. These in my opinion are better than pebbles. 

Now the question is do you need to switch your plants to this new trending thing? Well not at all but you should definitely give it a try for some of the plants. Like everything other potting mediums this too has its pros and cons. Gardening is all about experimenting and learning. So try out some Leca and see how it works for your plants. 

Check out a video on the same https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3FW0gZSI3V/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA== 

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