What is Leca Balls and How to Use it For Plants?


Leca balls are baked at high temperatures and made from natural clay. They are lightweight and porous, they're used in gardening to improve drainage and soil aeration. They also manage water content in your soil, which is important for keeping plants healthy.

You've heard of or used Leca balls if you're a gardener. But what exactly is Leca, and why did we decide to make it? Leca is an acronym for lightweight expanded clay aggregate essentially a compound made up of calcium carbonate and clay. It's great for plants because it retains water well. 

Leca is a great way to give your plants roots to grow easily. Leca Balls come in all shapes and sizes, and they're made from natural clay.

This article will talk about What is Leca for plants and why it is useful for plants. Let's Get started.

What Are Leca Balls?

what is leca balls

Leca Balls are a great way to grow plants. They are made of a special mix of clay, which can be molded into shapes that suit your growing needs.

Leca is a plant ball that uses clay, which allow plant to get water and oxygen easily. Leca balls can be used to grow houseplants. They're also useful for helping plants grow in containers and self watering head planters.

What is the Process of Making Leca, and How Does It Work?

Leca (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) is an inorganic, lightweight, porous, and highly absorbent material made from natural clay. Generally, the production of leca is carried out by heating clay in a rotary kiln so that it melts and warms, resulting in small balls of clay being released. 

During the heating process, these expand and burst, creating small air pockets throughout the pellets as they expand. Consequently, the clay pebbles produced from this process have a round shape and a porous surface. 

It delivers moisture to the roots of plants without putting them at risk of overwatering because of these characteristics. The Leca balls draw water upwards through their capillary systems, also known as wicks.

 Through the pores, the water's surface tension propels the liquid upward as it adheres to the materials in the cavities. The porous material can draw about 6 inches of water.

 This means that there will be plenty of space for the roots of the plants to establish themselves among the clay balls and absorb the water they receive. Leca also helps to improve drainage and aeration, as water and oxygen can pass through the material’s pores. 

This benefits plant growth as the roots can access oxygen and water from the particles. It also allows for air to circulate the roots, preventing root rot. Its lightweight, porous structure is suitable for all plants and is resistant to stretching and compressing. It is economical and can be reused many times. 

Overall, Leca is a highly versatile and beneficial material that has helped to revolutionize the agricultural field. Thanks to its lightweight nature, ability to provide superior drainage and aeration, and inert qualities, it is an ideal choice for various purposes.

How to Take Care of an Indoor Fern

How to Use Leca Clay Balls for Indoor Plants?

how to use Leca balls

Leca clay balls are a great way to improve the soil in your garden. Leca clay balls are used to improve the quality of soil, which can be especially helpful for plants. 

They're made from a combination of clay and other natural materials; By adding these leca clay balls to your garden, you can improve your plants' health by allowing them to absorb nutrients from the soil and moisture. 

The best way to use leca clay balls is by mixing them into your garden's top layer of soil. You can do this with a shovel, or if you have a large amount of leca clay balls, you can drop them directly onto your lawn or garden area. 

Once they've been placed in place, water them thoroughly so that they settle into the soil. Leaving leca clay balls out in direct sunlight will cause them to deteriorate quickly—so make sure they're completely covered with dirt.

How Do You Need to Boil Leca?

When it comes to growing plants indoors, one of the most important components of success is having the right soil. LECA, or Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregates, is an excellent substrate for hydroponic systems and other indoor gardens. It’s lightweight and offers excellent drainage, aeration, and water retention. 

But when should you boil LECA? Boiling is an important step in the preparation of LECA before use. 

When you boil LECA, you’re killing any potential pathogens and pests in the soil. This is especially important if you’re reusing LECA from a previous plant or buying it from a supplier. Boiling also helps to remove any dust or dirt that may be present. 

The simplest way to boil LECA is to place it in a large pot, add enough water to cover it, and then bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it’s finished boiling, drain it in a colander and allow it to cool. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s cool to the touch. 

When preparing LECA for gardening, it’s important to note that boiling will not all sanitize the soil. For this, you’ll need to purchase a hydroponic nutrient solution and use it to soak the soil some time or prepare a hydrogen peroxide solution and soak the soil for one hour. 

Boiling LECA is a simple step that takes only a few minutes, but it is an important step in preparing it for use. It helps to ensure that your substrate is free of pathogens and pests and retains its structure and drainage capabilities. Boiling LECA is an important step in preparing your indoor garden soil.

Leca for Plants

leca for plants

The porous structure of Leca balls also means that they can be used to help the roots of your plants grow stronger. Leca can be used in any container with holes in the bottom.

They're typically used in pots with drainage holes on the bottom to drain excess water when you water your plants and help prevent root rot by keeping their roots cool and moist. 

Leca is a great material for planting because it provides your plants with the balance of water and air they need to thrive.

What is the Best Way to Prepare Leca as a Growing Medium?

You will find that the clay agglomerate is dusty and dry if you purchase lightweight expanded clay. Planting is not yet possible. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare it for planting. 

After rinsing the leca balls, please place them in a large bowl covered with more water .it should be soaked for at least 12 hours to allow the pellets to expand and become completely saturated. 

By doing so, the clay pebbles can absorb the water completely, thus ensuring their longevity. After this, the LECA can be drained and used as a growing medium. 

Leca for Plants: Why Is It So Popular?

leca balls for plants

People have become increasingly interested in using LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) for their plants in recent years. This is due to its many beneficial properties, which make it an ideal choice for growing plants. 

There are many reasons why people are so interested in LECA for their plants. Here are a few of them: 

  • It is lightweight and easily transportable.
  • It is very easy to control and maintain, as it can be reused over and over again.
  • LECA is non-toxic and safe in any garden, making it suitable for even the most sensitive plants.
  • It is highly absorbent and acts as an excellent growing medium for plants.
  • LECA is stable, meaning it can last for years without losing effectiveness.
  • It is an excellent plant drainage medium, allowing the roots to breathe and stay healthy.
  • It is ideal for creating a perfect environment for hydroponics and aquaponics. 
  • It’s resistant to bacteria, fungi, and other pests, making it a great choice for those who want to keep their plants safe and healthy. It is important to remember that wet soil is home to fungi, microbes, spider mites, and fungus gnats. Because Leca balls are made from inorganic materials, there is little chance that bacteria could survive on the inorganic material since there is nothing to feed on. 
  • Leca allows you to water plants less frequently, so you need to water them less frequently. Leca watering systems keep your indoor plants sufficiently hydrated by preventing overwatering, one of the most common indoor plant problems. 

LECA is becoming increasingly popular among gardeners and plant enthusiasts due to its many beneficial properties. It is a great choice for creating a thriving garden, as it can provide the perfect environment to keep plants healthy and happy.

Pros and Cons of Leca Balls

Why use Leca instead of soil? When used as an alternative to soil, leca balls can help you grow healthier plants. They provide plants porous medium that doesn't compact over time.

pros and cons of leca balls

This means your plants get all the space they need to breathe and grow without being smothered. These little balls can help plants grow better. 

Here are a few pros and cons to using them.


  • They help with water retention 
  • They improve aeration for plants growing 
  • Leca balls are easy to use and don't require special equipment or tools. You drop them into your pot, add water, and that's it! 
  • They're good at improving drainage so that water can flow through the soil instead of pooling on top, which helps prevent overwatering or under-watering. 
  • They help prevent root rot by allowing air pockets between the ball and the soil—this helps your plant breathe better and prevents fungus from forming where it shouldn't be growing.


  • They take longer than traditional potting composts to break down. 

Benefits of Leca Balls

benefits of leca balls


LECA balls have many benefits for both your plants and the environment. Here are just a few: 

  • They're lightweight and easy to handle and don’t create a mess. This means you don't have to worry about dropping them on your toes! 
  • They help aerate your plants' roots, which is especially important during drought or if you have many plants in one area. This helps reduce root rot and mold growth. 
  • They allow more water to reach plant roots than traditional soil, so your plants won't suffer from drought as much when it comes time to water again.
  • Leca pebbles are great for self-watering pots you can use them indiffrent types of pot very easily.


If you're growing plants in containers, I think it's good to use Leca balls for plant to promote a healthy root system. There are a lot of benefits you can get from using them that could improve your gardening skills. 

They're lightweight, add to drainage, provide aeration, and manage moisture content. It is very useful for improving how your plants take water and nutrients from their soil. 

Whether you're a seasoned professional or a beginner at gardening, leca are an awesome way to improve your plants.


Can plants live in LECA forever?

Yes! Plants can live in LECA for as long as you want them to.

How do you grow plants in LECA?

It's easy! All you need is a Leca ball. Plant your seeds, then place the Leca ball around them. The Leca will make sure your plants stay watered.

How long does it take for LECA to absorb water?

The Leca balls take some hours to absorb water.

Do LECA balls float?

No, LECA balls do not float. They are very dense and will sink to the bottom of any container they are placed in.

Can I put LECA balls on top of soil?

Yes, you can put LECA balls on top of soil to improve drainage.


  • Admin

    As a general rule, you can add a layer of LECA balls at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage and prevent water from accumulating in the bottom. The depth of this layer can be about 1-2 inches, but it can vary depending on the size of the pot.
    It’s worth noting that LECA balls are an optional addition to a potting mix, and their use can depend on the type of plant you’re growing, its water needs, and the environment it’s in. Some plants, like succulents or cacti, may benefit from a more well-draining mix, while others, like ferns, may prefer a more moisture-retentive mix.

  • Trudy Draves

    How many LECA balls should I use when repotting my plants?

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