LECA Starter Guide

LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) is a porous and reusable material that is ideal for semi-hydro plant growing. This page is a brief introduction to LECA in hopes that you will experiment with this soil-less growing method. The benefits of LECA include making watering and care more streamlined. A LECA system will also support plant growth with readily available access to nutrients. This is an environmentally friendly option that helps to prevent pests who often live and reproduce in potting soil.

Ready to get started? Follow our step by step guide below! We also sell a LECA Starter Kit for easy access to the materials you need. 

*A note that this is just one way to get started with LECA, there are may other ways to use this inorganic growing material and we encourage you to experiment and do your own research* We DO NOT recommend you transfer your favourite or prized plants to LECA before fully familiarizing yourself with LECA routines and best practices. Transferring plants to LECA carries a risk of transplant shock.

To set up the semi-hydro system we are describing you will need:

* a cache pot
* a net pot 
* a 4L water container with a lid
* a small plant potted in soil or cuttings you have propagated/rooted in water
* Your nutrients: BLOOM, GROW, and MICRO
* a graduated pipette to measure your nutrients 

1. Prepare LECA

Rinse the LECA to remove any clay dust. Drain any excess water


2. Prepare Nutrient Mix

Make your nutrient solution by adding the nutrients to 4L of water in this order:

  1. Add 5.3 ml of MICRO PER 4L water
  2. Mix/shake well
  3. Add 5.3 ml of GROW
  4. Mix/shake well
  5. Add 5.3 ml of BLOOM and mix/shake.
  6. Optional step here to test your Ph. Optimal Ph is 5.5 - 6.5

You can store extra nutrient water for later use in a cool dark place.



3. Prepare Your Plant

  • Remove your plant from its pot and loosen to remove the soil. Sometimes soaking the root ball in water will help soften the soil and make it easier to remove. Be gentle but thorough.
  • Take your plant to the sink and rinse with water to remove all the of the soil from the root ball. Removing all potting mix is important to avoid root rot when the plant is in LECA.
  • Large plants can be divided or separated to fit into smaller LECA set ups. Cuttings rooted in water or propagations also tend to transfer into LECA well.

4. Putting it all Together

  • First, we need to determine the appropriate water level in your particular set up. To do this, place your net pot inside your cache pot and fill the net pot 1/3 full with LECA.
  • Add nutrient solution to just cover the LECA.
  • Now remove the net pot with LECA and mark the water line inside of the cache pot. This is the level at which your water should be filled/topped up. You can use a permanent marker, or make a physical scrape on the inside of your pot.
  • Return the net pot and hold the plant over the pot. Spread out the roots to allow LECA to fill in and around the root ball.
  • Fill the pot with LECA so all roots are planted. The stem and all above-ground growth should be above the LECA. Do not bury the stem of your plant.
5. LECA Care + Routines
  • The LECA will wick up the water and nutrients to your plants roots continually.
  • Check your water levels and top up weekly with plain water, not the nutrient solution to your marked water line. We opt for filtered or distilled water for our LECA plants.
  • Every 2-4 weeks, you will need to flush your LECA and replace the nutrient water.
  • To flush your LECA, take the plant to the sink and run water through the net pot to rinse thoroughly.
  • Discard water in the reservoir and rinse the cache pot. Refill to the marked water line with nutrient solution after the flush.
  • That's it! Repeat earlier steps by topping up with plan water between flushes.