If you’re like me, a plant enthusiast always on the lookout for the perfect plant, then you’ve probably heard of the ZZ plant. It’s a tough cookie that can thrive in low light and infrequent watering, making it a popular choice for busy plant parents. But what about growing it in Leca?
Leca, or hydroponic clay balls, is an alternative to soil for growing plants. It’s a clean, lightweight, and efficient way to water and provide nutrition to your plants. So, can the ZZ plant grow in Leca? Let’s find out!
Leca is short for “lightweight expanded clay aggregate.” It’s made from clay that’s fired in an oven at high temperatures, which causes it to puff up like popcorn.
This creates small, porous balls that are great for growing plants. Leca has a neutral pH and doesn’t contain any nutrients, so you’ll need to add fertilizer to the water you give your plants.
But the big advantage of using Leca is that it allows for excellent drainage and prevents overwatering, which can be a death sentence for many plants.
Can ZZ Plant Grow In Leca?
The Pros of Growing ZZ Plants in Leca
As mentioned, Leca provides excellent drainage, which is great for the ZZ plant. The ZZ plant is sensitive to root rot, and Leca helps prevent this by keeping the roots dry and healthy.
Easy to Water
Since Leca is lightweight, it’s easy to water your ZZ plant. You can pour water into the pot, and the Leca will absorb the water, keeping your plant hydrated.
Leca is clean and doesn’t break down over time like soil can. Plus, you don’t have to worry about bugs or pests hiding in the soil.
The Cons of Growing ZZ Plants in Leca
Unlike soil, Leca doesn’t contain any nutrients, so you’ll need to add fertilizer to the water you give your ZZ plants.
Leca doesn’t support the growth of beneficial microbes, which can be found in soil. Microbes are essential for breaking down organic matter and providing ZZ plants with essential nutrients.
Can Dry Out Quickly
If you don’t water your ZZ plant regularly, the Leca can dry out quickly, which can stress your plant.
Transitioning ZZ Plant From Soil to Leca!
Let’s say you have a ZZ plant that’s been growing in soil for a while and you’ve decided to transition it to Leca. Here’s what the process could look like:
Potting the ZZ plant in Leca
Start by taking your ZZ plant out of its soil and brushing off any excess dirt. Next, pot the plant in a container filled with Leca balls, making sure that the roots are surrounded by the balls and that the base of the plant is level with the top of the container.
The Shower Method
This method involves giving the plant a thorough rinse to help it get used to its new home. Fill up a basin with water, place the potted ZZ plant in it, and let it soak for about 30 minutes.
This will give the Leca balls a chance to absorb the water, and the roots will start to grow into the balls. After 30 minutes, take the plant out of the basin and let it drain completely before returning it to its container.
Repeat the Shower Method
Repeat the shower method for 4-6 weeks, allowing the plant to dry out completely between waterings. During this time, you can also give the plant a rooting hormone solution to help encourage new root growth.
Once you’ve noticed new root growth and the plant seems to be adapting well to the Leca, you can start watering it regularly. Leave a small amount of water in the reservoir each time you water, around 1/4.
After the first month, you can start fertilizing the ZZ plant with a balanced fertilizer, making sure to follow the recommended dosage on the packaging.
Let’s say you have a ZZ plant that’s about 8 inches tall. You pot it in a container filled with Leca balls, and start the shower method. After 4 weeks, you notice new roots growing into the Leca and the plant has started to produce new growth buds.
You start watering the plant regularly, leaving a small amount of water in the reservoir each time, and start fertilizing it with a balanced fertilizer. Within a few months, your ZZ plant will have fully adapted to the Leca and will be thriving!
The Bottom Line!
So, can the ZZ plant grow in Leca? Yes, it can! But, like with any plant, it takes a bit of work to keep it healthy. You’ll need to water your plant regularly and add fertilizer to the water to make sure it gets all the nutrients it needs.
But overall, Leca is a great option for growing the ZZ plant if you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to keep it healthy.
Also read: How Fast Do ZZ Plants Grow?