What are Leca Pebbles?
The Leca potted plant enables complete water distribution throughout…
…the entire container and helps to deliver just what the Sansevieria needs.
In a Sansevieria, where Leca pebbles are used, the plant receives…
….all of the moisture it needs from the clay balls in the pot…
…instead of the very large amount of water it gets from the bottom of the pot.
Whenever it needs more water, your Sansevieria’s roots will just grow larger to seek out more.
When they reach a certain size, they’ll eventually reach the bigger water pool at the bottom of the pot.
When it is really thirsty perhaps it will drink the water, whereas when it is not…
…it will not grow as large a root system.
I know what you’re thinking:
But wouldn’t soil do the exact same thing, but also help to feed Sansevieria?
Yes, it does, but there is a subtle difference when using Leca pebbles. Let’s get into that.
Leca vs. Soil for Snake Plants
Leca is one of the best ways to care for Sansevierias because of its consistency…
…and ability to hold water.
Is it better than using soil, though?
The answer to the question is: it depends.
If you prefer a more consistent medium for your plants, Leca is great.
Leca has the capability to adjust the water level in the pot…
…allowing it to keep a consistent watering schedule.
When your plants are watered in soil, they dry out and then need to be watered again, in a cycle.
Leca allows plants to be watered exactly to what they need.
This is what Leca excels at over soil.
The soil, on the other hand, is much better at feeding Sansevierias.
Because Leca doesn’t have any nutrients on its own, you need to add these.
Growing plants in soil nourishes them by watering and feeding them…
…at the same time without you having to think about adding fertilizer to them.
Because Sansevierias thrive in a very dry environment, you need to find the right kind of soil.
Then you use soil to grow them: a very well-draining soil.
Leca is just as efficient as soil, but it’s far more consistent, so you can stop worrying about this.
How to Grow Snake Plants in Leca?
Sansevierias thrive best in Leca, as it helps you water your plants consistently and carefully.
But how do you actually grow them in Leca?
In order to get started, two things are essential when planting a Sansevieria in Leca pbbles;
Make sure the roots are never below the water level;
And add a hydroponic fertilizer to the water.
Watering your plant with Leca is great, since Sansevierias are tough plants and Leca takes care of everything related to this.
There is only one thing to consider: how much sunlight to expose the Sansevieria to.
But Sansevierias thrive in both low-light and direct sunlight, so it really is the ideal low-maintenance environment.
Step 1: Clean the dirt off the snake plant
You’ll want to remove all dirt from your Sansevieria before you start using Leca.
When you use Leca, your Sansevieria should be free of dirt.
Take your plant out of the pot and carefully remove the dirt from its roots.
The dirt does not need to be perfect as long as you get as much as possible off your plant.
Step 2: Preparing the pots
The Sansevieria roots are mostly cleaned, so it’s now time to prepare your pots for use with Leca.
You can use pots previously used with soil, or you can sign up for a new pot set.
The waterproof pot and the nursery pot must be thoroughly cleaned before reusing.
Wash them both with soap and water to remove all dirt and dust.
Step 3: Preparing the leca
It is important to clean the Leca of all dust before planting Sansevieria in it.
If you are using previously cleaned Leca, it skips this step.
Cleaning the Leca you’re going to use for this project is very important.
Get a bucket and use some clay balls to fill your pot up to about 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the top.
Take a second, clean bucket and fill it with water.
Then, fill the bucket with the Leca again with water and thoroughly wash the clay balls.
Once that’s done, move them to the second bucket, leaving the dirty water in the bucket you used to clean them.
You will need to repeat the process until the leftover water is (almost) clean.
This could take several cycles.
Once it has been cleaned, you are ready to plant the Sansevieria in pots and Leca.
Step 4: Planting the snake plant in leca
After the Leca is clean, put a little layer of it in your nursery pot.
We want the roots to never sink below the level of water in your pot, so we added this layer used as a false bottom.
A false bottom will keep the water in the top of the pot away from the roots.
At the same time, it also makes sure that the Leca at the bottom can absorb the water in the waterproof pot and regulate it throughout the pot.
Once you have a nice base of Leca in the pot, you can easily add the Sansevierias and fill up the pot with Leca until the pot is full.
As Sansevierias don’t need a lot of water, their roots typically won’t grow as large as other plants.
Because of this, you can plant many plants in the same pot.
Of course, it is up to you if you want to do that.
Step 5: Watering the snake plant
Now comes the most significant step of this process, watering our Sansevierias.
Remember that false bottom we added at the beginning of this process?
That is going to be the highest level of the water in our pot.
It’s important not to add more water than that level, as the roots of the plant will sit below the water level and root rot is likely to occur.
To take care of a sansevieria, you need to remember that they are very sensitive to overwatering.
The way we water the plant will be the same as the way you will need to water your Sansevieria from now on.
We will water the Sansevieria by adding water to the waterproof pot and placing the nursery pot with the Leca and plant inside of it.
Leca pebbles plants will take up water from the water in the nursery pot because the bottom part of the pot is sitting in water.
Hydroponics fertilizer should be added to the water as Leca pebbles do not contain any nutrients.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the label since different fertilizers can be used differently.
Put the water with the fertilizer in the waterproof pot.
After you have placed the nursery pot with the holes in the bottom back into the waterproof pot, the Leca will begin to soak up the water and regulate it throughout the pot.
The plant should now start to get the moisture and fertilizer it needs from the Leca.
It is crucial to repeat this last step when the Leca has absorbed all the water it can reach.
Don’t be afraid to keep adding water if the Leca pebbles are still wet; it only absorbs additional water after leaching the clay balls.
Will Leca Hinder from Overwatering?
When growing Sansevierias in Leca, they won’t be drowned or overwatered since Leca is designed to absorb water and allow them to absorb moisture as needed.
There are pros and cons to using Leca over the soil.
In the end, it’s all your choice.
Choosing leca pebbles over soil can still be great and easier to take care of for some people.
Have you ever tried planting snake plants using leca pebbles?
If you have, share your experience in the comment down below!
Your story matters a lot for many people, and us too.
Frequently Asked Questions Around Leca Pebbles
Are Leca Pebbles Good for Plants?
Leca pebbles are a great way to improve the soil content and texture in your garden,
but be sure to read the product label carefully before using them.
Leca pebbles are not recommended for use with plants due to their high levels of calcite.
Calcite is a nutrient-deficient mineral that can cause plant toxicity.
How do You Use Leca Clay Balls for Plants?
LECA clay balls can be used to improve the health and appearance of plants in a number of ways.
For example, they can help to remove toxins and impurities from the soil, increase humidity…
…levels within the plant nursery, and promote better absorption of nutrients by plants.
They are also great for improving drainage in gardens or planting areas…
…reducing water needs during drought conditions, controlling pests and diseases that affect plants…
…preventing weed growth near trees or other vegetation, discouraging erosion on slope sides…
…or banks adjacent to rivers or streams, and hastening mineralization processes.
Are LECA and Clay Pebbles the Same Thing?
While they are both made of clay, LECA (Liquefied Earth Clay Aggregate) is a type of clay that has been liquefied and then dried.
It is denser than traditional clays and therefore better suited for use in products like flooring and wall tiles.
Clay pebbles, on the other hand, are smaller pieces of clay that have not been liquefied or dried.
They are commonly used as a soil amendment because they help to improve plant growth…
…absorb nutrients, act as erosion control agents, and reduce water retention.
What Plants Can’t Grow in Leca?
In general, plants that can grow in the LECA cannot typically be grown outdoors.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
For example, if you live in an area with cold winters or summers, some species of apple trees might be able to survive inside.
Additionally, palms and other tropical plants may do well when planted in pots and then brought into the house during cooler months.
Should I Mix LECA with Soil?
There is no single answer to this question as it depends on a variety of factors, including…
…the type and amount of LECA you are using, the soil texture and condition, and your gardening goals.
However, mixing LECA with soil can help to increase its uptake by plants…
…improve drainage abilities, reduce water usage in gardens/orchards ,and resist weed growth.
Additionally, LECA may act as a organic amendment that helps boost nutrient levels in the soil.
So if you’re looking for ways to enhance plant health and performance while…
…reducing costs related to inputs like pesticides or herbicides; mixing Leca with your soil might be an ideal solution!
Do I Have to Soak My LECA?
The answer to this question depends on the type of LECA you have.
If your LECA is mineral-based, then you don’t need to soak it.
However, if your Leca is clay-based or contains other additives, then soaking…
…may be necessary in order to remove any impurities.
Soaking can also improve the absorption and effectiveness of the ingredients contained within the LECA.
Can Plants Grow Big in LECA?
Yes, plants can grow big in LECA if they are given the proper environment and care.
For example, trees will typically grow larger in moist environments like rain forests or wetlands.
Likewise, plants that need lots of water such as cacti or succulents will do better in a wet climate.
And finally, some types of plants prefer hot weather while others prefer cold weather—so be sure to factor that into your planting decisions as well!
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