Leca is a hydroponic growing media. Leca stands for ‘Lightweight expanded clay aggregate.’ This product is formed by heating pieces of clay to 1,200C or 2,190F. The heating process encourages gas bubbles to form and creates a honeycomb like structure within the pieces of Leca. When using Leca, I soak for a few hours in a Super Thrive and water solution. Soaking allows for the clay to absorb the solution and expand a little bit, then the roots of your plants can attach to the Leca and absorb nutrients and water. Leca is commonly used in self watering systems, or as a soil additive for aeration.
The Pros and Cons.
There’s pros and cons to using Leca as your only potting media, as with any other medias. On the upside, you’re likely to deal with far less pests as they can’t nest and breed in the clay. Leca is also reusable, and can be easily sterilized by boiling it in water. When planting in clear or netted containers, it’s easy to see the progress being made without actually disturbing the root system of the plant.
On the downside, Leca doesn’t contain any nutritional value on their own for the plants, so this means you need to fertilize regularly to make sure your plants are having their nutritional needs met.