Are you considering using LECA for your plant, and wondering if it can be mixed with soil. If so, keep reading to find out!
Yes, this substrate can be used; however, it must first be prepared.
Additionally, you must give your plants a special hydroponic fertilizer to ensure that they get all of the essential nutrients and keep their roots healthy.
It is a nutrient-rich substrate
Can leca be mixed with soil?
Leca as a substrate for plants is an excellent way to ensure they get all the essential nutrients they require, reduce pest issues and make watering your plants simpler. It also ensures your houseplants get all they need nutritionally.
Leca is an acronym for light weight expanded clay aggregate, which is a type of porous clay heated to high temperatures before baking. This process causes the balls of clay to expand and absorb water, giving them an incredibly porous texture with lots of tiny air pockets ideal for roots.
Leca’s porous structure helps prevent root rot, which can occur when waterlogged roots are exposed. Plus, its ideal air/water ratio reduces your plant’s likelihood of developing diseases and fungi.
Before transplanting a plant from soil to Leca, you must first thoroughly rinse both the plant and its roots with clean water. Once clean, place them onto arranged clay pellets and wait an hour or so until they dry out completely.
Once your plant has established a root system that can easily transfer into Leca, it’s time to transplant it onto the substrate. For best results, select young plants with less dense root systems so they can be transferred more easily without experiencing transfer shock.
Once your plant is in the LECA, you can begin adding liquid hydroponic nutrients to the substrate. Be sure to test the pH of this solution for your plants needs and adjust accordingly.
In some instances, you may need to add a pH balancer. These help adjust the acidity of your hydroponic solution so it is compatible with the root pH level of your plants.
Some people opt for clear plastic containers when setting up their Leca systems, so they can easily monitor how much water needs to be added. This makes it simpler to determine how often a plant requires watering and you can create an organized routine for all your plants at once.
Leca is an ideal soil substitute for houseplants, as it requires minimal upkeep and keeps things cleaner than carrying around a bag of soil. Plus, its nutrient-rich composition means your plants will grow healthier and faster!
It is easy to clean
Mixing leca with soil makes cleaning much simpler, as it is odorless and eco-friendly – you don’t have to worry about attracting pests or other unwanted visitors.
Maintaining your plants’ health with LECA is simple, as you won’t need to purchase additional soil unless they require repotting. This saves money in the long run.
Before each new use, always clean your leca to eliminate any fungus or disease that could negatively impact the plants in its container. Do this by taking it out and washing in hot water; rinse again, let air dry for a day, and then reuse as usual.
When mixing leca with soil, it’s essential to ensure both types of substrates are compatible. Doing this will guarantee your plants get all of the essential nutrients without being overrun with either too much or too little food.
Mixing leca with soil can lead to overwatering, which is the most common issue that may occur. Overwatering a plant causes compacted soil around its roots and deprives them of oxygen, leading to root rot or other issues.
Overwatering can clog pipes, so it’s essential to select a location where you can quickly drain the leca and eliminate excess water. Sinks or bathtubs with drain holes are ideal, or purchase pots with built-in drainage plugs for convenience.
You could also reuse old plastic take-out containers with slits cut in the sides for cheaper gardening supplies. Not only are these less expensive than purchasing pots with drainage holes, but they’re easier to clean than other potting options too.
When mixing leca with soil, use a nutrient solution suitable for the substrate type. There are various concentrates designed to be mixed with water and used as liquid nutrients.
Many concentrated solutions require you to add a specific number of milliliters to one liter of water in order to reach the desired strength. Start by using a small amount and gradually increase it over time.
It is a low-maintenance growing medium
If you’re searching for a low-maintenance growing medium, LECA is an ideal option. Not only does this growing medium provide your plants with improved aeration and drainage, but it can also reduce pests.
One of the greatest advantages to growing with LECA is that it enables a wide variety of plant types. It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
It’s an ideal medium for orchids and hemi-epiphytes, as the porous clay balls allow oxygen to reach their roots – especially beneficial to epiphytes, who require plenty of oxygen to thrive.
For optimal results, create a water reservoir by pouring fertilizer-infused water into 1/3 of a pot. This water must be changed twice monthly to provide your plants with oxygen and essential nutrients.
LECA can be used as a soilless medium or mixed with other types of soil. Add perlite, pumice, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, horticultural charcoal, coco coir or orchid bark for additional benefits.
The primary distinction of LECA soil from other soils is that it lacks organic matter, necessitating supplementation with liquid hydroponics fertilizer. While this can present a challenge, finding the appropriate hydroponic nutrients for your particular plant can be done.
Another advantage of LECA is its versatility; you can reuse it multiple times. This makes it a great option for cultivating various kinds of plants, saving you money in the long run.
Before using LECA as a medium for your plant, it’s wise to do some research into its individual requirements. Doing this will guarantee your plants receive the correct type of nutrients and give them the best chance at flourishing in their new environment.
If you have a large plant that you would like to transition from soil to LECA, it’s best to do it gradually. Start by taking a cutting from the mother plant and placing it in an appropriately prepared Leca pot with fertilized water.
It reduces pests
LECA, or lightweight expanded clay aggregate, is an ideal substrate for houseplants. It provides aeration, drainage and superior water retention and can be used both indoors and outdoors; making it perfect for terrariums too!
Mix leca with soil in your garden or potted plants to provide them with a nutrient-rich substrate. Doing this can improve the absorption of essential nutrients from the soil and reduce the need for additional fertilizers.
However, you must ensure the pH of your soil remains neutral when mixing leca with it. Doing this helps avoid potential mineral burn for your plants.
Additionally, when using this growing medium you must ensure your plants receive enough moisture. The leca absorbs water and then slowly releases it to your plant’s root system, decreasing the amount of time you need to worry about watering your plant and encouraging its flourishing.
Another advantage of LECA is its potential to significantly reduce pests attracted to your garden. For instance, it can prevent fungal gnat infestations by interrupting their reproductive cycle and also helps keep spider mites and mealy bugs away.
Be aware that even though LECA can significantly reduce pest risks, it does not guarantee complete eradication. Unfortunately, insects will still find a way to feed on your plants.
However, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of pests becoming an issue by selecting your plants carefully. For instance, opt for plants with shallower root systems or those less likely to develop fungus.
While you can grow many types of plants in leca, it’s recommended that you select one which can withstand the environment. Pitcher plants, for instance, are perfect for leca as they can withstand a wide range of temperature and humidity levels.
You can grow a wide selection of succulents in Leca, such as Burro’s donkey tail – an attractive plant that thrives well there due to its unique root structure. This succulent makes an excellent addition for any leca garden.