LECA for Philodendron: Can It Grow in This Medium?

Philodendron is a popular houseplant known for its easy care and attractive leaves. While most philodendrons are tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, they can be particular about their growing medium.
In this article, we will see if we can grow philodendrons in a growing medium called LECA (Light Expanded Clay Aggregate). This ever-increasing media is often used in hydroponic systems. It is sterile, well-draining, and full of nutrients, making it a good option for many plants.

Can Philodendron Grow in LECA?

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Can Philodendron Grow in LECA?

Philodendrons can be grown in LECA or Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate. This growing medium is made of clay that has been heated and then expanded to create small, lightweight balls. The clay is then mixed with water and used as a growing medium for plants.

LECA has several benefits for philodendrons, including adequate drainage, aeration, and root development.

LECA also helps regulate moisture and temperature, making it an ideal growing medium for philodendrons.

Also, LECA is very moisture-retentive, so it can help keep roots moist and prevent them from drying out.

If you are interested in a case study of growing philodendron in LECA, watch the following video:

Case study of growing philodendron in LECA

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How to Grow Philodendrons in LECA?

To grow philodendron in LECA, you should prepare the growing medium, add water, and expose the plant to the sun. Preparing the growing medium can be done by rinsing the LECA, then soaking it and letting it dry. Then, we can add LECA and the philodendron to the pot.

LECA Balls

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide about how to grow philodendrons in LECA:

1. Rinse the LECA Before Use to Remove Any Dust or Debris: It is essential to rinse the LECA before use to help remove any residual chemicals that may be on the surface of the beads. Additionally, rinsing the beads can help to prevent them from clumping together.

2. Soak the LECA in Water for A Few Hours to Allow It to Expand: Many growers soak their LECA in water for 24 hours before using it in their hydroponic system. This helps to remove the impurities that remain in LECA after processing.

3. Drain Water from The LECA and Allow It to Dry Before Using it: this can be done by letting the LECA sit in the sun for a few hours.

4. Place the LECA In a Container: a transparent container is the best option because it makes the plant aesthetically pleasing by making LECA balls and the roots visible to the eye. Start by adding only half of the quantity of LECA in this step.

5. Place Your Philodendron in The Container that You Filled with LECA: once you place the plant inside the container, you can add the remaining half of LECA.

6. Add water to the plant: add water to the pot until it reaches the top, and ensure that water does not touch the leaves.

7. Place the plant in a sunny spot: providing the plant with enough sun will help get all the benefits of LECA and allow the plant to grow fast and healthy.

8. Change water: generally, when growing plants hydroponically, water changing frequency will depend on the size of the pot and the plant. If you are using a medium-sized pot to grow your philodendron in LECA, you will need to change the water once every three weeks.

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What Are the Advantages of Growing Philodendrons in LECA?

Growing philodendron in LECA has many advantages. This hydroponic gardening method reduces the risks of pests and overwatering, two of the significant problems you can face when growing philodendrons. Additionally, LECA can help save money when you use it long-term because it does not require soil and can be reused several times.

Here is a breakdown of all the advantages of LECA for philodendrons:

Reduces the Risk of Pests Significantly: LECA is made of inorganic materials that do not provide a food source for pests. Additionally, the small, uniform particles of LECA do not provide shelter for pests as the soil does.

Reduces the Risk of Overwatering: Soil can hold a lot of water, and it is easy to overwater plants when using soil. The roots can become easily waterlogged in the soil, leading to problems with the plant’s ability to take up nutrients.

Can Be Reused: If you decide that you no longer want to grow a plant and wish to replace it with another one, you will not need to buy a new pot or soil to do this. All you have to do is make use of the LECA you used previously.

Less Plant Maintenance: when growing a plant in LECA, there is no need to change the pot or soil. This reduces the time required to maintain the plant.

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What Are the Drawbacks of Growing Philodendrons in Leca?

More Expensive than Soil: Generally, LECA costs much more than soil. This price difference is justified by the material used to produce LECA and the sophisticated manufacturing process required to produce such a product.

It Takes More Work to Prepare It: As mentioned above, LECA needs to be rinsed, soaked, and drained before use. This may be too much work for a gardener who is used to easily mixing the potting soil and using it immediately to grow plants.

You Can’t Use Regular Pots with LECCA: when growing plants in LECA, you can’t use your old clay and ceramic pots or any other pot with drainage holes. Instead, you will need to invest in a pot that does not let the water drip from the bottom. The best choice, in this case, is orchid pots.

Requires a Specific Fertilizer: When you grow your philodendron in LECA, you can’t use any general-purpose fertilizer to feed your plant. Instead, you are restricted to using hydroponic fertilizers only. These fertilizers are liquid nutrients used to feed plants grown in water to replace the soil’s nutrients.

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Diana Cox

I'm Diana from thegardeningtalk.com. I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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