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Sansevieria in Leca

How to make your soil drain water quickly?

A great living environment is the most important thing to help your house plants thrive. One of the things that makes or breaks the living environment for your house plant is its soil. Some plants love to have their roots in moist soil all the time, like a Peace Lily. However, not all plants like this kind of soil and they prefer their soil to be dry most of the time.

If you have one of those dry-soil-loving plants, you'll have to give your plant the soil it loves: well-draining soil. You can buy well-draining soil in most plant shops, but can you also improve the soil you already have? Can you make soil drain water more easily than it originally did? That's what we're going to discuss in this plant care guide!

We're going to look at a few different things you can add to your soil to improve its drainage:

  1. Perlite
  2. Leca
  3. Pumice
  4. Wood chips
  5. Rocks

Let's get right into the first topic of this plant care guide!

1. Perlite

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Perlite in the soil If you've bought a well-draining soil mix before, you might have noticed small white stones in the soil. These white stones are the small perlite particles.

Perlite is vulcanic glass that looks like a rock and is very lightweight when you buy it in the gardening shops. This vulcanic glass has huge air pockets, which it can uses to store moisture, fertilizer, and oxygen for your plant. It soaks up water very well and is a great way to add drainage to your soil. As Perlite doesn't compact like soil does, it keeps the soil from becoming too dense. This helps to drain away water very easily, but also allows for oxygen to reach your plant's roots.

Perlite is a few cheap way to improve the drainage of your soil and making it a great place for plants that like to be dry. It's also very easy to work with. All you need to do to use it, is mix it with your soil and start using it for your plants.

2. Leca

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Alocasia Zebrina in Leca Leca is a collection of baked clay pebbles. These clay pebbles are amazing for use in hydroponics gardening. But you can also use them to improve the drainage of your soil mix. By adding Leca to your soil, you create pockets of air inside of your soil. These pockets of air help your soil to get more oxygen to your plant's roots.

Leca is designed to regulate the moisture levels for your plant's roots to water your plants perfectly. It's also great for plants that like to dry out, because Leca only retains about 30% of it's own weight in moisture. The other 70% of moisture is drained away to the bottom of the pot. Soil would retain a lot more of that moisture, so Leca helps your soil to stay light and dry.

When watering your plant, plain soil will compact over time. This compacting of soil makes it difficult to let water drain or let oxygen through. Leca helps to give the soil some structure without letting it compact.

3. Pumice

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Pumice, like perlite is a product of a vulcano. Where Perlite is a vulcanic glass, Pumice is a vulcanic rock. Pumice is a great growing medium for a hydroponics gardening setup. Like Leca, you can also mix it with soil to improve the air flow and shape of your soil.

Pumice is very similar to perlite in their ability to absorb excess moisture to help your plant. It provides great drainage and airflow. Because pumice has a lit of air pockets, it can retrain fertilizer quite well, which makes it great for feeding your plant. Where pumice outshines perlite is maintaining the soil structure. Pumice is much better at maintaining the soil structure than perlite.

With this enhanced ability to keep the structure of your soil intact comes a price tag though. Pumice is more expensive to use for your plants, more expensive than perlite or Leca.

4. Wood chips

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Wood chips in soil Wood chips, are a great way of breaking up the soil for your plants. These woods chips are large chunks that don't change in size very much. Because these larger chunks don't really change in size when you water your plant, it helps to maintain the shape of your soil. These chunks help to drain water away quickly and only allows the soil to hold onto a small amount of moisture.

When your soil can't compact because of these larger chunks in it, it dries out more quickly. It dries out more quickly, because any excess water is drained away quickly. The wood chips themselves also absorb a small amount of moisture, which your plant can absorb.

Wood chips are a very inexpensive way to improve the drainage of your soil. However, it's made from organic material, so it can't be in moist soil for too long. Like your soil and roots, the wood chips can rot. To avoid this, you can combine wood chips and perlite to improve drainage and avoid rotting.

5. Rocks

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Rocks for drainage If you need a way to keep your plant in a dry environment at all times, rocks might be the perfect way to go. Rocks don't absorb any moisture and have the only job of keeping the structure of your soil.

Rocks are also great for draining moisture away, because it doesn't absorb any of it. The other ways we've described absorb some amount of water, so it keeps some of that moisture in the soil. Since rocks don't absorb the moisture, the soil is the only part that does. The rocks simply make sure the soil is stable and tries to let the moisture drain to the bottom quickly. This makes it great for plants that need to be dry most of the time, like cacti and succulents.


In this guide, we talked about several ways you can help your soil to drain water more quickly. Not all plants like to sit in soil that's moist for a longer period of time. We need to help these plants to sit in soil that dries out more quickly. To do this, we can add perlite, leca, pumice, wood chips, or rocks to the soil. This helps the soil to drain water more quickly and dry out sooner. Your plants that love dry soil will be very happy with the extra drainage that you can give them.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: dry, leca, pumice, perlite, soil, growing-medium

Posted on: Feb 20, 2021 Last updated on: Jun 18, 2021

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Frequently asked questions

Can you mix Leca with soil?
You can mix Leca with soil to improve the drainage of your soil. By adding Leca, you're adding particles to your soil that absorb less moisture than the soil and allowing oxygen to get to your plant's roots.
What is the difference between Perlite and Pumice?
Perlite and Pumice are both vulcanic material. The difference between Pumice and Perlite is that Pumice is harder and can maintain the structure of your soil much better. This means it can prevent your soil from compacting over time.

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