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Pros & Cons Of Different Growth Mediums for Plants

November 30, 2022 3 min read

Pros & Cons Of Different Growth Mediums for Plants

How NOT To Send Your Plant To An Early Grave
Growth Medium | Serial Plant Killer 101

Part 1 - Overwatering & Underwatering
Part 2 - Lights

You are here -> Part 3 - Growth Mediums


You’ve made it to the final part of our Serial Plant Killer 101 series!

Our final lesson in this series that will help you be the best plant parent ever is...

Golden Rule Number Three: Know your growth mediums!

Now you might be thinking I already know my growth medium, it's soil obviously, what else do you grow plants in? That isn’t always the case!

Yes, soil is the most common growing medium used for house plants. However, there are so many other and potentially better options out there. Let's go through some of the pros and cons.


Soil is the OG way to grow house plants and it has many pros.

🪴 It naturally has the nutrients your plants need to stay healthy and alive. Soil has all the essential minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that you’d have to add otherwise.

🪴 It keeps the roots moist and prevents them from drying out.

🪴 Soil is affordable, accessible and pretty easy to use.

Now some of the cons:

🪴 Soil is messy and has a limited amount of nutrients in it.

🪴 Overwatering and underwatering are the biggest killers of our beloved houseplants and soil can make it difficult to monitor these environments.

🪴 It can attract pests! One of the most frustrating things about soil is that it is where pests normally breed and lay their eggs 🤢.

So, what are some of your other options?

Expanded Clay Balls or LECA

Expanded clay balls or LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) are a semi-hydroponic growing medium.

How it works:

The set-up of a house plant using expanded clay balls is simple and usually requires two pots. The first is where your clay balls will rest and the pot will have small holes in the bottom. The second pot will be slightly larger and have a small amount of water in the bottom of it. Our Hydropots are the perfect design for this technique.

So, what are the pros and the cons?

Pros of expanded clay balls:

🌱 They help to oxygenate your plant, preventing root rot and other diseases.

🌱 Because of its watering system, you’ll never overwater or underwater your plant again.

🌱 They keep away pests! Without soil, pests have nowhere to lay their eggs and breed so, your plant can be pest-free.

Cons of expanded clay balls:

🌱 Unlike soil, expanded clay balls don’t naturally have the nutrients and minerals that soil does so you have to add them to the water.  This can be more maintenance but it's so easy once you incorporate it into your routine by using our Hydroponic Nutrients.

Another good alternative to soil or expanded clay balls is vermiculite. It has very similar properties to expanded clay balls and offers similar solutions.

If you want to be really radical, you can skip the growing mediums altogether and go straight to water! There are plenty of resources on our website with how-to guides and Hydroponics 101.

Thanks for joining us for our Serial Plant Killer series, you are now equipped to be the best plant parent there is! Follow for more series like this and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date!

By Charlotte Sheridan

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