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Posted 4w ago by @AmusingRedhill

Thoughts on Philodendrons in LECA?

I have three El Chocos and I love them! I saw on Instagram a post by PlantsbyMelissa about how she struggled with her El Choco and brown spots on its leaves until she transferred it to LECA. I took a screenshot of the video (second photo) because I would love for mine to turn into something even close to what she’s done for hers!

I guess my question is, would it be worth it? Is LECA easier than dealing with soil? What are the pros and cons of it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! #Philodendron #leca #semihydroponics #PhilodendronElChocoRed #VelvetLeafPhilodendron #help
I can’t answer as I’m new to all this but I have to say your plant is gorgeous omgoodness
I just started using Lechuza Pons, it’s very similar to LECA. I heard plants will grow faster in these growing mediums.
💰They cost more than potting soil, but they’re both recyclable or re-useable and they will last for years.
▫️Pons is smaller and heavier than LECA. Pons look like pebbles.
▫️You’re less likely to overwater your plant or have pest infestation if your plant is in LECA or Pons. No more fungus gnats. 🙂
▫️LECA requires hydroponic fertilizer and Pons will fertilize your plant for up to 6 months.
•If you use LECA or Pons you can grow your plant semi-hydroponics or you can use them for a soil amendment.
•LECA requires monitoring the hydroponics pH level and using chemicals to lower or raise the pH level. Pons have a neutral pH so you don’t have to monitor the pH level. This is the main reason I choose Pons over LECA.
▫️If you purchase the Lechuza Pons-self watering pot, it will provide you with everything you need to re-pot your plant in pons; it’s a starter kit. (see the images)
🙏 I hope your oasis will live long snd prosper. For more info: https://greg.app/pon-vs-leca/
Tropical plants do not like traditional soils. I would say… hardcore research what else she did because she may be sponsored and didn’t add the extra details.
@TexanExpat has some very impressive philodendrons not in soil… can’t recall if pon or leca, but tagging him for his wealth of knowledge.
@NewbieSprout thank you!!🤗
@Ada3 oh my gosh, thank you so much!! I will definitely look into this and Pons definitely sound like the way to go!
@GaryPoopins thank you!!
@PlantJedi I was wondering the same thing. I figured there may be more to it than she’s saying, especially since she didn’t show a before of her plant😅
@AmusingRedhill @Ada3 @NewbieSprout thanks for the shout out @GaryPoopins I haven’t been on lately because I’ve unplugged from basically everything but I was going to harass you just for all time sake and lo and behold. You had sent a shout out. I have done extensive research on this topic and I do have a lot of input I generally with @Ada3 and I am a die hard Lechuza fan. Unless you were going for something with particular inked, artistic merit for your pottery, you can do better than Lechuza. It is a German company and well their reputation speaks for themselves as far as manufactured goods goes unfortunately the company has had a panic attack. They had a loss the last quarter or so and they totally let their hair on fire has nothing to sell. It looks like they went out of business, I did a rumor with no bases to believe it’s anything than just speculation that things are going to get better given they hired some consultants to fix their problems, but they took it out on their plan which is bad because it damages the brand. fungus love.Pon. They absolutely love it. I mean for them. It’s probably like swimming in an infinity pool and instead of having to get salt water Luka requires vessels that aren’t really on the market. I mean, you basically have to make your own and there’s no real way to make pleasing containers. It’s also not as good as in my opinion given has the right air to water ratio and promotes very vigorous roots, there are a lot of steps, including acid in a lot of other things that I’ll detail on here later the question is more maintenance. It makes fabulous fruits and the plants. The aids at least respond very well to it. It would be prohibitive to do your collection if you have, but for your plants, it sure worksdrawback is that it’s so hot here in San Antonio that they’re not really suitable for outdoor patio plants because they lose water too quickly. I will write more later, but in the interim, I would check# highly recommendthelecaaddict.com
@TexanExpat I missed you. I learn about Lechuza Pons from you. I’m now a die heart Lechuza fan too. I hope you’re back. 🙂
You’re so right about this German company. There is something going on.
•When you place an order for their products on Amazon, it may take 2-3 weeks for its arrival. ☹️
•The prices of some of their smaller self watering pots have been reduced to 42% off and they’re a great starter kit. 🙂
fungus gnats eggs are ALWAYS in new potting soil. One little mistake ( overwatering) and it will quickly activate a pest infestation. Unfortunately, all the soil manufacturer don’t purify their soil.
🙏 Good to hear from you John.
@TexanExpat Oh, I get the whole taking time to unplug from everything and I do it often. Everything in moderation. Always a pleasure and no surprise you have a wealth of knowledge on this subject as well (along with most others ✔️). Glad you’re well, sir!
@TexanExpat thank you so much for all the information! I will definitely check out the website!
Some reasons plants survive well in semihydro is much more consistent access to nutrients and water and much higher ratio of air reaching the roots!

It looks like her plant is in pon! I personally like pon > soil type substrates > leca. But it’s worthwhile to experiment on a variety of substrates so you find what you like. Pon has been a bit hard to find but just started coming back in stock, so it would be a good time to try to purchase before it sells out.

I like leca the least, since the pH balance is more sensitive and I can’t remember to flush plants. The grain size of leca and pon are quite different, so that could also influence how it works with certain plants.

I usually clean my pon before use, but leca definitely needs processing before use which may be tedious if you don’t have access to the outdoors to dump dirty liquid or a hose.

Hope that helps a bit.
@Alinaa it does!! Thank you so much!! I am definitely looking at Pon! I ordered one of the kits that @Ada3 posted above to try out as well!
@Ada3 @Alinaa @AmusingRedhill @GaryPoopins @NewbieSprout @PlantJedi sorry if I’m missing someone in here. @Ada3 thank you for your kind worlds. I have a lot of trauma I struggle with sometimes more so than other times and isolation is a symptom of that. I miss everyone on here so I have started to dip my toe back into it. I’d like to add on to some of the comments made. Any substrate we use for potted plants is —to the plant—artificial. Real soil doesn’t work for container cultivation. Because it’s too dense among other reasons. In the ground any water can drain away. In containers there needs to be a balance between moisture retention and air to the roots. Whether is coir perlite LECA pon it’s alll just like using artificial turf for a lawn. The issue breaks down to what is going to be most sustainable for you to manage. I do like reusing pon and I disinfect ir with Pysan -20. Some plants do better in pon than others. Pon is a lot more weekly maintenance ensuring nutrition and not nutrient lockout. Pon maintains its integrity and ensures that pockets of compressed mix doesn’t occur so that is a big plus. Roots can grow more extensively and that’s a big plus. If you forget to water it won’t go hydrophobic. The downside is that nobody but Lechuza makes containers suited for it. Which is very limiting. LECA even more so. I recommend thelecaaddict blog on this sub just because she goes into a lot of helpful detail. One thing I am frustrated on is what fertilizer to use. Dubs-grow foliage Leo is what I have been using but it has a hormone commoner to it that I Dorns like. Foliage focus is expensive. Very few are complete. General hydroponics are too complicated. Does anyone use fox farms ?
@TexanExpat I use dynagro foliage pro…that one doesn’t have hormones I know of unless I’m missing something?

I wasn’t aware fox farms has a hydroponic version. I’ve never heard of anyone using that.
@TexanExpat thanks for the info!
@AmusingRedhill
There are pros and cons to everything. I just started using pons 2 or 3 weeks ago, so I’m still learning.
▫️. @TexanExpat What do you think about Liquid Gold Leaf fertilizer? It can be used in ALL types of soil mediums; including hydroponics and semi- hydroponic. It also acts like a water filtration, purifying tap water. It’s pricey in the USA on Amazon but its cheaper in the UK. ☹️
@Ada3 thank you for the recommendation for the liquid gold leaf. I like their approach seeking to provide complete nutrition of all macro and micro nutrients, including soluble calcium and I think the use of bio stimulants is promising however, there are a few things that stood out to me, which I was not expecting. The first is that there’s no transparency for what the ingredients are or even the NPK. It is true that this information is proprietary and trade secrets. It’s also true that there’s a difference between a fertilizer company, which is kind of like a vitamin company versus something like Coca-Cola. You expect to transparency on the vitamins you give your children, but you don’t know what the secret formula to Coca-Cola is because it’s all about taste and that is self evident.  if you’ve tried it and you love it then I guess it doesn’t really matter what the NPK ratio is necessarily, unless you start having problems with nutrient deficiencies or too much of a nutrient. Because there’s no transparency you wouldn’t know where to start necessarily. I guess you could do a soil test, but maybe not with pon. Next, as I understand their claim about calcium, it seems to me like they have developed a technique that has overcomes a technical challenge regarding calcium solubility just because something fertilizer doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s accessible or will be taken up by the plant. They seem to be claiming that this is some sort of innovation on their behalf. They seem to allude to it without outright, making the claim which I chalk up to a marketing ploy, a clever one. Yet it is categorically false when they claim that no other liquid fertilizer contains soluble calcium. It’s a very common plant ingredient. I mean just look at CALMAG. Leslie, I don’t fault them for touting bio stimulants, but there’s a little research or actual evidence as to their efficacy For anyone considering this fertilizer, I would encourage them to go off of what your recommendation would be in your experience and then cross reference that premium someone may have to pay, for example, for fancy bio stimulants Seems like it’s pretty efficient and economical I think dynagrow foliage pro is 1/4 tsp per gallon vs .5 ml per liter for liquid gold. @AmusingRedhill trying out a given plant in pon I think is worth experimenting for anyone. The Lechuza Deltini tabletop planter comes with ending substrate to put a 4” plant completely In pon. Transitioning a collection, like I did for much of mine, is expensive time consuming, but it can be great if you can get all the factors right. I do love Lechuza planters but no one else really makes anything high end compatible with pon worth using and as my small plants have gotten bigger I’ve been moving some of them back to normal soil bc Lechuza planters are too expensive on that scale. Do read everyone on lecaaddict.com because this is not a case for “winging it” lol.
@Ada3 @AmusingRedhill Lechuza make for great visual appeal but it’s a commitment !
@TexanExpat thank you so, so much for all of the information!! You’ve given me a ton of insight and resources to look into. I will definitely think about which plant to try the lechuza pon with and see how I do with it. Based on your suggestion, do you think more of a slow grower would be best just so it will have time in the pot before needing to be repotted again?
@AmusingRedhill my recommendation is to try one of the climbing philodendron in a deltini planter. When I say climbing i do not mean the vining kind. Philodendron brasil for example has a growth habit like golden pothos. I call these “vining”. For some reason, these do not transition as easily to pure pon. You have to grow them in water until they have new roots then move to pon. Or you can take some pon put a little in the bottle the planter then slide the plant out of the nursery pot and leave all of the potting mix on it and fill in around it with pon. This works because the roots have the soil and over time they will develop new roots to grow into the pon. To use #plantproper as an example #PlantProperFanClub they have philo Florida green, Billie, sorodoi, ring of fire, or paraiso verde which are the kind that transition to pure pon more readily. If you are risk- averse just keep the soil on the roots. It’s been a few months since I’ve been looking aroid but wow what deals they are having. Their syngoniums would be good roo
@TexanExpat good to know! I actually just got a baby reverted Florida Beauty I could transition to it!

They really have had some amazing prices on their plants, and you can’t beat the condition of the plants with the way they package them. I’m a huge fan of #plantproper
@AmusingRedhill that will quickly outgrow the deltini but the cubico 22 it would grow into nicely. They have them for $50 on Amazon but $80 at Lechuza own site. When you use pon you don’t need to worry as much about the container being too big. The pon being a mineral substrate through which water more uniformly travels by osmosis doesn’t present the risk of asphyxiation of the roots like happens when potting mix is over saturated. I’m kind of hoping this thread gets on their radar because I bought the most gorgeous rattlesnake plant from them—-I mean it was one of the most gorgeous plants I’ve ever seen—-the proportions, symmetry, the angles the leaves radiated outwards from—it was a masterpiece in classicism as much as it was a botanical marvel, but sadly this was before I knew what I was doing with plants and it succumb to the great fungal outbreak of 2020–like when I was running a humidifier during the winter merely because it was winter and I thought I needed to run a humidifier. Rarely have I ever felt so…feckless many plants died. And yet I have never seen a specimen like it offered for sale at #plantproper nor anywhere else for that matter. It was humongous too. #PlantProperFanClub
@TexanExpat 🙏Thanks John
You’re the best
@TexanExpat I agree with you. I wish I had ordered the larger size Lechuza pot. The plants in pons will develop water (or hydroponic) roots. So you don’t have to worry about the size of the pot.
@Ada3 you’re very welcome. When you say the size of the pot doesn’t matter, there is one issue that I haven’t quite figured out; namely: if the roots have grown into the water resevoir, is it time to pot up ? Generally, planter designs incorporate a mechanism for capillary action to draw water from the resevoir towards the roots. Either a wick or as with most Lechuza models, vented hollow feet where the capillary action occurs vis-a-vis the pon that fills up these feet. I’ve noticed the air ratio of pon leads to extensive root systems with explosive growth. I have a habit of posting my #rootporn for some reason, not sure why, but next time I repot something from pon I will tag it #rootporn. I bought a 6” Pholodendron McDowell and had I gone by roots, it would easily filled out a 16” maybe 20” container within one year. The roots will grow into water resevoir, which makes sense, but what I haven’t figured out yet is whether any “air pruning” occurs to the roots as a result of the changing water levels in the resevoir and whether this has any impact on the health of the roots. I think it is true that you can get by with repotting less frequently if roots grow into the resevoir and continue to have room. It’s not wasted growth in this scenario like roots growing in circles in a normal is. However, whether the growth is affected by being root bound in a self watering planter with a resevoir by virtue of the roots being in the resevoir is the same as with a general planter setup, is something that doesn’t really come into play until the roots take up most of tbeu physical space in the resevoir. Given that the self watering planters dedicate much of their “real estate” to the resevoir, I think it’s important to you’re not under potting because putting a Florida beauty beyond the size they are when sold in 4”in a deltini might technically fit, but there is no room for growth. The nature of the pon substrate allowing for such freedom of movement of water through capillary action means that going a size or two beyond what is necessary doesn’t pose the risk that otherwise would be there for traditional planters
@TexanExpat I can’t wait for the roots of my only plant in pons (a Dracaena) to grow into the resevoir. I wish the inter-pot was clear so I could actually see the explosive root growth.
▫️I’m waiting for the arrival of my Lechuza pons pot. [FYI: Some colors and sizes are 43% off on Amazon, but it will take 3 weeks+ for its arrival]
▫️ I’m a pons-newbie. I just started using pons one month ago. 🙂 And I have the same concerns about roots in the reservoir. Semi-hydroponics plants have both water roots and soil roots. But experts claim the roots will adapt to being in the water reserivor, just like they do when you’re propagating them. 🙂 But, Isn’t it harder to repot or remove a plant out of the pot, when the roots get too thick in the reservoir? 🤔 Will the frequency of filling the reservoir increase if the roots are too thick in the reservoir?
▫️ A larger Lechuza self watering pots will retain more moisture. And since semi-hydroponics have both aquatic roots and soil roots, a pot too big may cause the soil roots to rot. So, I better not but it in an oversized pot.
▫️🤔 Do you put a small amount of LECA at the bottom of the inner pot and Lechuza Pons on top? One expert claim it helps stop pons from getting into the water reservoir. This will also reduce the amount of pons use.
▫️Do you stop using the water reservoir in the wintertime, to avoid having an overwatered plant?
▫️ Some expert say the slow release fertilizer in Lechuza pons is too slow. The plants will need a mild fertilizer. What do you think?
🙏Thanks in advance for your help.
@AmusingRedhill @Alinaa @Ada3 @NewbieSprout PARTY IS OVER!!!! Rumor is Lechuza is closing down us operations. Since when does that make sense. That’s like sawing off the good hand ….
@Alinaa yes it has hormones in it. I can pull up the research if you’re interested. I still don’t know what to make of it
@Ada3 So there are several principles to keep in mind when using pon. the first of the three going to use it for the first method is to put a layer at the bottom of the irrigation system so that the irrigation system does not get clogged up with gunk in the roots have access to perforate that barrier. The second is to take the plant out of its nursery pot. Don’t take any of the potting mix out of it and just put it in the in pot and fell around with paw, the purpose of this decided to risk of first that the plant will have the opportunity to develop the right breeds once it grows into the concept without the risk of it dying for lack of the appropriate roots. The third method is 100% pon. each method has its pros and cons and some suitable to some plants better than others. For example, any Pothos will not do well in 100% pond and should instead be transitioned. You know the substrate comes in filled with. The explosive root gross is result of the oxygen that gets to the roots in the fact that there are many pathways for the roots to expand. This is due to the structure of the substrate have some pictures I could probably dig up to show you. Well actually there are a few months grown. Unaware of anybody having similar results with something else. When they get so extensive, there is a wrist that when they go down into the reservoir that they get damaged and you have to be very careful however, when they have so many roots, it’s an issue. When dealing with the sort of substrate which is basically uniform and size and structure, the capital action works differently than it does with. For example a potty mix and a potty mix can pockets of the substrate that becomes dry and hard and so capillary action doesn’t really go across the entirety of the substrate unhindered With pon the mineral structure of the substrate ensures that the capillary action is uniform so there is less risk of the roots, drowning for two reasons one because the provides the right amount of oxygen second because the capillary reaction is more consistent and you’re not worrying about pockets of dry substrate getting in the way as to plants normal potty mix transplanted into the action of the going to be equalizer of the hydration content of the substrate regardless of whether it’s the paw or the stuff the plant came that I’m less concerned about the roots, choking off as soon as the roots grow into, it becomes less of an issue I understand your concern and I think the most prudent thing to do often is to start plant big enough to get it started and its own substrate and growing into roots and then transition into a larger size. I think that’s the most effective but I’ve never had a problem witha plant except a jewel alocasia It’s just because I don’t understand that they are fundamentally divas. When you first start out with the Luso, what you were supposed to do is not fill the reservoir up. You’re supposed to just water the plant. Let a little bit empty into the reservoir and do this for a while until the roots grow down and find the way into the reservoir That occurs then you are encouraged to fill the reservoir to the top however, even though the provides plenty oxygen, it is recommended that you allow the substrate to dry out and go through a period of at least a few days when the reservoir empties let the substrate dry out perhaps the riskiest part of using pon. Larger container is going to take more time to empty out his reservoir and therefore there is a higher risk that drawing up. Doesn’t come soon enough that’s why having an adequately sized plant is ideal. However, if you have a plant McDowell, I should’ve planted it in a 20 inch planter instead of five different sizes in the same year I don’t like mixing LECA. It is a completely different animal for one there are no uniform standards so whatever vendor you get is a whole different mystery addition is basically a bunch of trash that you have to soak for two days to get it to not be trash so that’s suitable at least the substrate be used as the bottom Does not provide stability or oxygen upon. I just think it’s more economical option. You have a lot of plants and the fact that I think is going to stop operating in the US. Our options are limited cannot be used in the same way requires a container without a drain and control more so than an irrigation system. One of the ingredients In pa I believe it is the zeolite effective, absorbing the nutrients that are not needed and then releasing them when they are needed. So pretreated pom will release the nutrients as needed. If your plant has special nutiinrn needs like a n aroid I think a good idea to give to give it what it needs and let the zeolite regulate it. Did I cover everything. ?
@TexanExpat Yes and thank you 🙏