Potting Your Variegated Peace Lily in LECA

Kim Marson
Kim Marson
Gardening Writer

Kim is passionate about helping people create beautiful, healthy indoor spaces that are filled with plants. Kim believes that plants make us happier, healthier human...

  • A simple six-step process to potting a variegated peace lily in LECA (Hydroton™ pebbles)
  • Using the partially submerged nutrient stagnant method, a simple semi-hydroponic planting method 
  • Advice on using the right type of water for the nutrient solution

Potting your variegated peace lily (Spathiphyllum) in LECA (expanded clay aggregate) is straightforward. There are several different ways to use LECA (also sometimes referred to as Hydroton™ pebbles). In this guide, we will use the clay aggregate as a stand-alone medium, a semi-hydroponics method.

We will walk you through the various steps involved. You do not need many tools or materials other than the prepared clay aggregate, a pot, some clippers, and some diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.

Potting Your Variegated Peace Lily in LECA

What's Needed?

We will use the LECA as a stand-alone growing medium to plant the variegated peace lily using a semi-hydroponic method called the partially submerged nutrient stagnant method. The first thing we're going to do is to gather together all the items we will need for the process:

  • Prepared LECA
  • Fresh flowerpot (pot)
  • Variegated peace lily to be re-potted
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clippers
  • 25% hydrogen peroxide solution or rubbing alcohol

#1 Preparing the Pot

The first thing we’ll do is fill up the new pot with the pre-prepared LECA. We're going to fill it to around 1/3 full. The actual height you will fill your pot will depend on where your plant will sit.

This will depend upon the size of the plant’s root ball in relation to the size of the pot. Ideally, the base of the plant should sit level with the top of the rim when it’s been re-potted. So you'll fill your pot with clay aggregate to the required level.

#2 Cleaning the Root Ball of the Variegated Peace Lily

cleaning the roots of variegated peace lily before potting in LECA

The second stage is to prepare the variegated peace lily that we're going to re-pot. This means removing the plant from its existing pot or container, clearing up all the dirt and debris from the potting mix, and then inspecting and tidying up the plant’s root system if necessary.

It is essential to clean all the dirt off of the roots. Using a soft-bristled paintbrush can help brush the dirt off. Clean the roots thoroughly and rinse through with distilled water. Repeat the process until all the soil and debris have been removed.

#3 Check for Rotten and Dead Roots

The third stage is to inspect the roots and determine whether you need to clip off any rotten or dead roots. If you find you need to trim, do so using the clippers. Make sure you sterilize your clippers before you cut ant roots. This should be done by first spraying them with the diluted hydrogen peroxide solution (or rubbing alcohol).

#4 Sterilize Roots

sterilize roots of variegated peace lily before positioning in the LECA balls

The fourth stage is to sterilize the roots. This is done to ensure no pathogens are brought across from the previous potting mix. Again, spray the diluted hydrogen peroxide solution over the roots.

#5 Position the Plant in New Pot

positioning the variegated peace lily on top of the expanded clay aggregate

It is time to re-pot the variegated peace lily in its new surroundings. Carefully lower the plant on to the LECA already in the new pot. Next, gently arrange the roots. Variegated peace lilies enjoy tight root balls, so the pot should be between an inch and two inches bigger all the way around than the root ball.

Once you have the roots in place, you will gently fill in around them with the clay aggregate. Tuck in any stray roots as you go. Try to get the base of the plant central in the pot. This will allow the LECA balls to support it all the way around correctly.

LECA balls do an excellent job supporting the plant yet allowing the roots to force their way through the aggregate for further growth.

#6 Add Nutrient Solution

The last step is to add water or nutrient solution to the LECA. Fill until the water level reaches the bottom of the root ball. The roots will use capillary action to draw up the water. However, you don’t want it too low, or gravity will counteract the effect. One of the advantages of using transparent or semi-transparent pots is the ability to see where your fill level should be easily.

The re-potting is now complete. The re-potted variegated peace lily can be placed directly in situ. They don’t like overly lit areas, but it should now thrive if you have the correct lighting.

Nutrient Wick Method

If using the nutrient wick method, the instructions are the same as above, save to ensure the wicks are in contact with the bottom of the roots so the capillary action can work. Then, instead of adding the nutrient solution to the LECA, it is put in the reservoir below the pot. We have a detailed article on the nutrient wick method, which goes into greater detail.

Type of Water to Use with LECA

The type of water used when potting a variegated peace lily with LECA is important. It would be best if you always tried to use distilled water. Most household tap water has additives that can form mineral deposits on the aggregate over time. If you have a reverse osmosis system fitted, then this is perfect.

Kim Marson
Kim MarsonGardening Writer

Kim is passionate about helping people create beautiful, healthy indoor spaces that are filled with plants. Kim believes that plants make us happier, healthier human beings, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others so they can experience the joys of plant care for themselves. <a href="https://plantcaresimplified.com/kim-marson/">Read more</a>

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