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The Complete Guide To Lechuza Pon
Lechuza-Pon is the new product in the houseplant world. This gardening in Canada article breaks down what makes lechuza pon unique. We will also be dissecting the issues and what kind of maintenance is involved with using lechuza-pon for your house plant set up. This is the complete guide to Lechuza Pon.
If you are new to the Gardening In Canada blog & YouTube welcome! My name is Ashley, I am a soil scientist and Canadian house plant person. On the Gardening In Canada platform I take science and apply it to all things plants both indoors and outside in the garden. If you want to grab some Lechuza Pon for your plants check out this link here.
What is Lechuza Pon?
Lechuza Pon is a hybrid between LECA and a very porous soil mixture. It is a name brand, not a soil type. The Lechuza Pon brand uses pumice, volcanic and zeolite mixture coated in fertilizer. Let’s break down the important aspects of each of these amendments.
The pumice in Lechuza Pon adds micropore spaces into the system. Micropores in this soilless growing medium are plentiful but tiny in size. This is important because the pumice itself is what adds the CEC to the growing medium. The CEC is the magnet that attracts and holds onto important soil nutrients for the plants. Pumice in this mixture is not meant for providing the added air flow in the system.
The volcanic rock in Lechuza Pon adds macropore spaces into the system. These macropores are larger but fewer in total quantity. This means the volcanic rock is the source for air within the Lechuza Pon growing medium. The volcanic rock also serves as a battery of micronutrients needed for healthy plant growth. The micronutrients in the volcanic rock are suspended within the rock and therefore mechanical weathering is the only way to release ions.
The zeolite in Lechuza Pon is the pH buffer of the mixture. Zeolite is similar to pumice and volcanic rock because it is a mined rock that is crushed. The zeolite products main role is pH but also allows for water absorption and nutrient capture.
Since we know what is involved in the making of Lechuza Pon we can make a DIY Lechuza Pon Mixture. If you are looking to make your own Lechuza Pon be sure to check out our blog post all about How To Make Lechuza Pon At Home For Less. If you are looking for a soil scientist approved potting soil recipe check out this article here.
What Makes Lechuza Pon Unique?
There are two things that make Lechuza Pon unique when compared to other soilless growing mediums. The first one being the high cation exchange rate combined with macro porosity. These two words in most cases are not used in the same sentence.
The CEC of the Lechuza Pon is at a level that is high enough to help with the nutrient capture and retention. CEC is a chemistry component of any soil or potting soil. The higher the CEC the better the growing medium is at providing nutrients to the plants
The macro porosity of the soil plays a role in providing adequate air porosity. This is what allows the roots to breathe while also capturing nutrients and water. This means Lechuza Pon can be used in a hydroponic or semi hydroponic system. This also makes a Lechuza Pon mixture perfect for overwatering and underwatering plant people.
Who Should Use Lechuza Pon For Their Plants?
The perfect candidate for using Lechuza Pon is everyone. This is because we are able to manage our plants easily with this system. If you’re an over watering personality then Lechuza Pon will help eliminate this issue though the macroporosity. If you under water your plants the solution is a semi hydroponic setup. This will give you a consistent supply of water without the issue of an anaerobic environment.
How To Transfer Plants To Lechuza Pon?
The complete guide to Lechuza Pon would not be complete without talking about how to transfer plants over properly. When transferring potted plants to Lechuza Pon you want to make sure you take some precautions. This will be in hopes of eliminating any anaerobic environments and potential die off. When changing potting mediums some transplant shock is completely normal. To help reduce this be sure to check out our article on Transferring A Plant To Lechuza Pon.
Pick the proper plant to grow in Lechuza Pon. While any plant can grow in a semi hydroponic system not all plants transfer over easily. Some plants will go through a transplant shock after going into a new system.
This is why you want to pick a plant that is still young in nature or a rooted cutting. This will reduce the potential transplant shock because of the smaller root volume. If you choose a larger plant with a large root biomass you can expect some signs of transplant shock.
The transplant shock you will see when transferring plants to a Lechuza Pon setup will come in the form of slowed growth, wilting, yellow or lost leaves.
After you choose the proper candidate for transplanting into Lechuza Pon you will want to begin cleaning off the existing roots. If your plant was in a potting soil or even a moss you will want to clear away any build up that has occurred. This is an important step because if you leave organic material around the roots of your plant root rot can set in.
We have spoken about root rot in past articles, but the main reason for root rot in an anaerobic environment. This means if the soil around the roots is not properly cleared away root rot can settle in. This will increase the negative side effect of transplant shock.
Once you have selected the proper plant and cleared away any organic debri you will want to place the plant in a recovery area. This means a location that is not in direct sunlight or near any sort of rapid air movement. Intense sunshine and rapid rates of evaporation caused by air flow will cause transplant shock to increase. You will want to leave the plant in a recovery area for approximately two weeks before putting it into its permanent area.
This step is completely optional but adding a fertilizer to the system that is high in phosphorus and potassium will help with recovery. These two nutrients are important for root development and counteracting transplant shock. For more on fertilizers be sure to check out the post on fertilizer and nutrients.
Maintenance For Lechuza Pon
The only real maintenance for Lechuza Pon is rinsing the system out. This will help expel any build up of salts in the soilless medium. Lechuza Pon is made of inorganic compounds and therefore will not compact or loose structure. This means fluffing and structural maintenance is not needed.
However, with the higher CEC of the soil you will want to rinse the system out. This can be done on a monthly basis and is particularly important if you are not using distilled water or are adding fertilizers. This will eliminate any build of salts and micronutrients.
What Fertilizer To Use With Lechuza Pon?
When choosing a fertilizer for any setup there are a few things to take into consideration. The biggest one being how much microbial activity is happening within the growing medium. With the Lechuza Pon system it will be mostly sterile and therefore organic compounds will not be easily broken down into bioavailable nutrients.
With an organic system it is important that nutrients are cycled by a group of microbes. This is why I suggest using inorganic fertilizers for a lechuza pon setup. The first 6 months of fertilizer will be easily supplied by the build in reserves of the product. After the first six month however it is a good idea to use fertilizer with your Lechuza Pon system.
For a how-to fertilize semi hydroponic plants check out this article here.
Mixing Lechuza Pon With Potting Soil
Lechuza pon has the ability to provide air porosity to a soil system for a long period of time. This means using a lechuza pon in place of the perlite is an awesome alternative. It will last longer than perlite while supplying identical results in a potting soil.
You may also choose to incorporate Lechuza Pon in an orchid bark mixture to help supply nutrients. Due to the CEC of Lechuza Pon the product in a bark mixture will allow for a source of nutrients to the plants.
What Not To Do With Lechuza Pon?
We have touched on this a little bit throughout the entire article but the main Do Not Do’s with Lechuza Pon include:
- Do not use organic fertilizer. The sterile nature of Lechuza Pon means that the water can quickly become anaerobic in the presence of organic fertilizer.
- Avoid over fertilizing. This means we need to rinse on a semi regular basis to avoid an over abundance of salt build up. Salt build up can happen overtime due to the CEC of the product.
There you have it the complete guide to Lechuza Pon for your houseplants and outdoor containers. Remember the key to using Lechuza Pon is reducing transplant shock and keeping an optimal level of water and nutrients. Let me know in the comment how you reduce transplant shock when transferring to Lechuza Pon. And as always be sure to check out Gardening In Canada on Facebook Groups for help, Instagram and YouTube.