there have been advances in the ways that people can grow plants in
mediums besides soil and other standard potting mixes. Hydroponic
growing, or growing plants in a liquid without any soil, has become a
common and rather well-known alternative method, especially in the
growing of vegetables, herbs, and edibles. However, there is another
method that has become popular recently – hydroculture.
Hydroculture is similar to hydroponics in some ways, but instead of
using a solution or water as the growing medium, it uses an inorganic
solid. These inorganic solids are typically rock-based and called
“expanded clay aggregates.” This is sometimes called “passive
hydroponics,” meaning that the plants are grown without the use of bark,
soil, or peat. The clay aggregates, often called LECA (Lightweight
Expanded Clay Aggregates), are typically small pieces of clay that have
been heated to extremely high temperatures in a kiln. Similar to what
happens to popcorn in the microwave, the clay expands, loses density,
and then develops air pockets. As a growing medium, LECA is extremely
porous, which provides space for air and oxygen in the rootzone. It also
absorbs and wicks water upwards to help the plant and will not decay or
compact in time.
Hydroculture has three main advantages over traditional growing mediums:
- Easier and more effective watering – Watering indoor plants
and office plants can be a tricky process. If you water them too much
or too often, they will develop root rot and die. If they are not
watered enough, they will dry out and die. The LECA growing medium is
much more forgiving than traditional soil, as it allows for an abundant
amount of air to reach the roots. While overwatering is still a
possibility, this is a much more forgiving medium.
- Longer watering periods – The average amount of time that a 6-inch
indoor plant could go between being watered is approximately 2 weeks.
Hydroculture nearly triples that number.
- Plants last longer – Hydroculture can actually help plants keep their roots healthier to support longer-lasting plants.
At Everything Grows we use a reservoir system that utilizes a combination of soil and the hyrdoculture growing medium that allows our plants to go extra time between watering and reduces the likelihood of plant failure.
For more information on office plants or indoor plants, Contact Everything Grows today!