Lightweight expanded clay aggregate, also known as hydroton balls, expanded clay balls, hydroton balls or simply LECA
We love that it's eco-friendly as it's made purely from clay so it's non-toxic. LECA is very easy to clean and reuse. While using it for our plants, we noticed that roots grow faster and stronger, there's very minimal chance of root rot, it's great in preventing pests, so overall it yields a healthier, more stable plant. An added bonus is seeing the plant's roots and be able to thoroughly assess growth.
How to Use
For a semi-hydroponic setup, there are 2 methods: First, clean your plant and remove all potting media from the roots by washing them off with low-pressure water or by soaking them in water. You don't have to remove the potting media in the roots entirely because you will risk damaging small roots. Just take out what you can.
TO DOUBLE POT: Use an inner pot with the plant on LECA and house it in a decorative planter without drainage holes.
TO DIRECTLY POT WITHOUT DRAINAGE HOLES: Pot your plant on LECA as usual instead of a regular potting medium. Slowly add water, at least 10-20% of your pot's volume. TIP: using a pot with a water reservoir will be handy in this method
FERTILIZING: This step is optional. We have tried using only rainwater and LECA for most of our plants without any problems. If you plan to use fertilizer, a general hydroponic or water-soluble fertilizer is good to use.