The world of succulent plants has always fascinated us with its unique colors, beautiful shapes, and full of vitality. Therefore, succulent plants become one of the most popular ornamental plant categories, and learn about how to grow.
As you know, succulents are very fond of habitats that are dry, low in the water, and like the conditions in the deserts of the world. Therefore, many people always question creating the ideal habitat for succulent plants.
How to best stimulate the growth of succulent plants? Are there any suitable methods for succulent plants? Is LECA good for succulents? Let’s find out more details in the article below.
Is LECA Good For Succulents?
Before learning about whether LECA is suitable for succulent plants, you need to understand the nature of this model. What compound is LECA composed of? How benefits can LECA offer to succulent plants?
What is LECA?
Light Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA) is a lightweight aggregate formed by heating clay at a temperature of more than 1000 degrees Celsius. This heating process causes the clay to expand and become porous. Initially, people used LECA to make lightweight concrete products, later, they were also used as the soil in farming or hydroponic modeling. LECA has a round brown shape resembling a chocolate candy. It is also known as Hydroton or Clay gravel. You can buy them easily in the store or garden.
Is LECA Good For Succulents?
The answer is YES!
LECA will be a great choice for you to start growing with succulent plants. This method promises to bring sustainability, and safety and save time to care for plants. Because LECA can simulate the natural arid environment favored by succulent plants.
These chocolate candies will have the job of drawing water from the reservoir to evenly distribute moisture to the root system without suffocating it and causing fungal root rot. LECA also helps improve drainage and increase oxygen levels to promote healthy root growth. Therefore, this method will stimulate a healthy root system, and fewer pests and diseases by limiting waterlogging and creating good air circulation for the root system.
Some of the key benefits of growing succulent plants in LECA are as follows:
- Stimulate a healthy root system.
- Prevent fungal diseases caused by the humid environment.
- Enhance better air circulation.
- Improve drainage system.
- Limit waterlogging that causes root rot.
- Minimize pests and molds.
How To Take Care Of Succulent Plants In LECA?
The LECA environment is well suited to succulent plants because it provides a suitable living conditions for them. However, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when caring for succulents in a LECA environment. Some common problems include watering, fertilizing, or ensuring the ideal pH for plants.
As you know, LECA is a porous material and can store a certain amount of water enough to make the environment moist but not wet. Therefore, this method will be an ideal choice for plants that prefer dry environments such as succulents. In particular, succulent plants grown in the LECA environment will also limit waterlogging due to the unscientific watering habits of growers.
Watering succulents in a LECA environment won’t leave you wondering about watering times and the amount of water in each watering. Because LECA little balls will inflate when they are full of water or shrink if they lack water. You just need to observe them and make sure there is water in the tank and avoid running out.
This method is especially suitable for those who tend to water a lot or water erratically. So succulent plants will not be waterlogged and cause root rot in the long run.
LECA is an inorganic component for plant growth and development. Therefore, you need to provide nutrients to plants to stimulate their growth. However, to keep succulent plants small and maintain their original shape, you should use a fertilizer with a low nitrogen content.
If you use fertilizers that stimulate rapid leaf growth, your succulent plants will have long, thin leaves. As a result, succulent plants will lose their vitality due to their thin and long leaves. You can use Chempak or Formulex fertilizers to provide nutrients for succulent plants. Because they were developed to suit the hydroponic environment of succulent plants.
In order for succulent plants to grow and thrive in LECA environments, horticulturalists recommend adjusting the pH of your water to promote healthy plant growth. The ideal pH of plants is between 5 and 6.5 degrees PH.
However, if you are watering succulents with tap water, the pH can exceed this ideal number due to a large mix of chemical components. Rainwater would be a better choice for succulents in LECA environments. To test the pH level in the water, you can easily buy a PH Down solution and PH level testers.
Can I Mix Soil With LECA?
The answer is YES!
You can completely mix soil with LECA to grow succulent plants. Alternatively, many people can use this mixture as a drainage layer in the bottom of the pot. Because when you add LECA to your potting mix, it improves air circulation and drainage.
As you know, succulent plants all prefer a dry environment and good air circulation. So, a soil mix that incorporates LECA would be a smart solution to avoid waterlogging for succulent plants.
In particular, the weight of LECA will be lighter than when you add perlite or gravel to the potted plant. It will make a lot of sense if you grow a variety of succulent plants on the shelves in your home or office. You will not have to worry about the weight of the potted plants and the possibility of falling in the event of a negative impact.
Is LECA Suitable As A Hydroponic Medium For Succulent Plants?
Semi-hydroponics or hydroponics is a method of using inorganic media to replace the soil and other organic matter. Both of these methods bring great benefits to the growth of succulent plants due to good air circulation and limited waterlogging.
Many semi- and hydroponic growers also often use LECA to stimulate root system growth. LECA will create an environment with ideal humidity and help the root system cling to grow faster. In particular, semi- or hydroponic methods are also favored by many people because they can see the growth of the root system. However, strong continuous light will not be beneficial for root growth because it will be weak and thin.
In particular, the semi- and hydroponic medium with LECA is an inorganic medium. Therefore, you need to make sure to provide adequate nutrients for succulent plants. Using fertilizers that are manufactured for hydroponic environments will be a reasonable choice.
LECA will create an ideal environment for plants, especially succulents with more stability and safety. LECA environment will help you limit waterlogging, excess water, or fungal attack due to a wet environment. In addition, this environment will also promote the growth of succulent plants better as it stimulates air circulation and maintains the ideal humidity for plants.
In addition, LECA is an inorganic component, so you still need to make sure you are providing adequate nutrition for the succulent plants. Do not forget to use low-nitrogen fertilizers to maintain the small size and original appearance of the succulent plants.