Leca is a grow medium that’s been trending in popularity in the gardening industry. We love using leca in gardening for a couple of reasons. It helps beginners regulate the amount of water their plant gets. Its also a reusable growing medium, making it a more sustainable option compared to traditional soil.
Today, we’re covering the best brands of leca for beginners. For more resources on how to use leca as a growing medium, check out our complete guide on how to use leca.
What is Leca?
The name leca is actually an acronym that stands for lightweight expanded clay aggregate. In short, leca is a growing medium made up of small clay balls. You can use them in place of soil or in addition to soil to add extra drainage.
Pros of using Leca
There’s a lot of pro’s of using leca. For one, its a reusable medium. So as long as you wash the leca in between uses you can keep reusing leca from plant to plant.
Second, Leca is a great growing medium for beginners to start with because it helps regulate the amount of water your plant gets. Since leca is made up of clay, it absorbs a lot of the water and essentially allows plants to pull the water from the clay as it needs it. This means that your plant’s roots wont sit in water, which can often lead to root rot. This process of absorption helps prevent overwatering, which is a common pitfall of new gardeners.
There are a number of other perks and considerations when determining if you should use leca as a growing medium.
Related read: A Full Guide to Using Leca for Propagation
Where Can I Buy Leca?
Leca is a little more niche than traditional potting soil, so it may not be available at every big box chain. For convenience we recommend purchasing online, where you can purchase varying quantities according to what you need. Amazon is a great resource for this, although you can find them on other sites as well through a quick google search.
Best Brands of Leca
Best Overall: Hydroton Leca from Mother Earth Products
Our number one pick for leca is the hydroton leca from mother earth products on Amazon. This company is made up of a crew of chemists, biologists, and horticulturists that are dedicated to high quality ingredients and providing rich growing mediums and fertilizers.
Mother Earth offers packages of leca in 10, 25, and 50 liter options. User reviews note this brand as easy to use and easy to clean, which will be important when you rinse the leca before its first use. Reviewers also note that this brand arrives with minimal dust on the leca.
With over 3,800 reviews and an average 4.7 star rating on Amazon, this is our top overall pick for Leca for beginners.
Best in Small Quantity: 2lb pack of Leca from xGarden
Depending on what you’re trying to plant, you may only need a small amount of leca. Or, if you’re just getting started and want to try a small quantity out, you may not want to purchase a large 50 Liter bag before you know if it works for your plants.
Our second pick for top leca brands is from xGarden. They offer a 2lb bag for under $20. This is the perfect option if you only need a small amount and dont want to have any extra left over. Keep in mind you can reuse leca from plant to plant so whatever you purchase you wont need to throw away at the end of a season.
xGarden’s leca has over 2,600 reviews and an average 4.6 star rating on Amazon. Reviewers note it as easy to use and the pebbles are very uniform in size. Keep in mind it is a small amount, so if you plan to use a lot of leca it will be more cost efficient and easier to purchase from either Mother Earth or hydrofarm.
Runner Up Option: Hydrofarm Leca
Our third pick for leca for beginners is very similar to our first one. Hydrofarm is another brand that is very highly reviewed for both its quality of ingredients and ease of use for beginners.
This brand comes in 10, 25, and 40 liter options so depending on how much you need this could be a superior option than Mother Earth or xGarden.
The main difference between this option and Mother Earth is that reviewers note this leca as less uniform in size. So depending on what look you’re going for you may choose this one for an added quirky look, or Mother Earth if you’re looking for uniformly sized pebbles.
This brand also advertises itself as pre-washed, however during transit leca will still produce some dust just from the friction between the clay pebbles. We recommend still washing as normal before planting.
Considerations When Purchasing Leca
In truth, there’s little difference in qualifying factors between brands of Leca. They’ll all have the same basic qualifications, which makes it hard to determine which one is the best product.
To determine the best brand, we’ve scoured the reviews and looked for a few key factors listed below.
How easy is it to clean?
The first factor we evaluated, and you should evaluate when selecting your brand of leca is how easy is it to clean. Leca comes with dust on it from the clay particles, and its something you have to wash off before your first use.
The ease of cleaning and how much dust comes on it are two good criteria to evaluate, as some brands can be more difficult and arrive dirtier than others.
Are the pebbles uniform in size?
This is more of an aesthetic choice. Leca is never totally uniform inside because of how its produced, but some are much more uniform than others. However, both types work fine so its really up to you as to whether you want a uniform brand or more varied shapes and sizes of your leca.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to use fertilizer?
Yes! Unlike some brands of potting soil, leca does not come with any nutrients added in. You’ll need to add fertilizer specific to what your plant needs or what you’re trying to achieve.
Do you use leca for your plants? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments below!