Have you ever heard of something called Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA) balls? Some of you might be wondering exactly what this term is referring to but if you like to grow houseplants, there is a better than average chance that you have at least heard of them. If you haven’t used any of them yourself just yet, it might be time to seriously consider doing so. As it turns out, people have been using them a great deal to effectively grow houseplants.
More importantly, there are a number of reasons why they like them better than traditional potting soil. Chances are, all of this has your curiosity going. That’s why it’s time to dive deeper into the world of LECA balls in order to find out exactly what they are and why so many people love them.
What Are They?
LECA balls are clay balls that have been fired in a kiln (typically a rotary-style kiln) at very high temperatures. The clay in question has a rather low density, making it the perfect medium for houseplants that need just the right amount of water. Another benefit of these small clay balls is that you can purchase them almost anywhere. Like most things, they can easily be found online but you don’t have to go looking for them in cyberspace if you don’t want to. Fortunately, they can be found at almost any home improvement store.
There’s even a decent chance that you could find them at a small, local and independently-owned home improvement store that only carries a limited number of supplies. One thing is certain, if they don’t already have them in stock they can certainly order them for you or at least point you in the right direction. As long as you’re choosing a name brand, you can’t hardly go wrong with them so it’s not as risky as purchasing certain types of potting soil and then wondering if you’ve ended up buying the wrong type of soil for your plant.
Benefits of Using LECA Balls for Your Plants
There are a lot of benefits to using these pebbles for your plants instead of traditional potting soil, not the least of which includes the fact that it’s easier to grow plants with LECA balls than almost any type of potting soil out there. Have you tried growing plants, yet you always end up frustrated because they don’t tend to do well and they eventually end up dying? If that’s the case, don’t give up on growing plants altogether.
Instead, try using this type of system and see if that changes things in your favor. More than likely, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s a lot easier to keep plants alive using this particular type of growing system than with traditional potting soil. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes with watering your plants too often or not often enough. The LECA balls will hold excess water until your plants need it, at which time it will be released to the roots. This makes it hard to over-water your plants.
Water Less Often
It also means that you can water less often because you can give each individual plant more water to begin with. In addition, this particular planting system allows oxygen to reach the roots of the plants much more easily, meaning that they’re more likely to sprout sooner and grow stronger. Last but certainly not least, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re choosing the right type of planting system like you do with traditional potting soil. As previously mentioned, you have to have some knowledge about the particular type of soil that your plants need when using potting soil.
Some have certain nutrients and others have something completely different. Depending on the plant in question, you have to know which potting soil to choose in order to get your plants off to a good start. If you’re not that great with plants or you’re just starting out, this is extremely difficult to do. When you use LECA balls, you don’t have to worry about any of that because they can be used for practically anything. Another huge benefit is that this type of planting system is neater and it even looks more attractive, giving you more options about how you choose to display your plants.
Variations You Can Use
Maybe you’re wondering if you can use LECA balls and traditional potting soil at the same time. The good news is that you absolutely can. This is especially important to people who are just starting out or who have tried growing plants several times in the past with little or no success. LECA balls do not provide nutrients so if you’re using them exclusively, you also have to use fertilizer. Choosing the right type of fertilizer and knowing how much to apply and when can feel overwhelming at times.
If that’s the case, you can try using traditional potting soil that already has fertilizer in it and mix it with LECA balls. In that case, you’ll want to make sure that you have pots that don’t have drainage holes and you’ll use about 75% to 80% potting soil, with the rest being comprised of LECA balls. That way, you can successfully regulate how much moisture you give your plants and make sure they’re getting nutrients all at the same time. All in all, it simplifies the entire process.
Works well for Houseplants
This type of system works well for houseplants, your garden, and even for different types of herbs that you might decide to incorporate on your front porch or balcony. As a matter of fact, the system works exceptionally well for these types of systems because it doesn’t make as much of a mess and it allows you to more easily regulate how much water your plants are getting without forcing you to become a slave to some type of watering schedule that may or may not always fit everything else you have going on.
If you’ve practically given up on growing plants successfully or you’re looking for something that gives you some more flexibility, this is a system that you really should consider trying. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did.
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