What is the Arlita?

When we need to improve the drainage of our pots or to decorate a corner of our garden in a very original way, it is highly recommended to get some bags of clay , which is a very cheap material that we can use to have a very elegant space. decorated.

It is also very easy to find , being sold in nurseries, garden stores and even in agricultural stores, so that we will not have any problem acquiring the amount we need.


  • 1 What is the arlita?
  • 2 What uses does it have?
    • 2.1 Keeps soil moist for longer
    • 2.2 Decorate pots and keep plants upright
    • 2.3 Prevents roots from rotting
    • 2.4 Improves soil drainage
    • 2.5 Protect your plants from the cold
    • 2.6 Have a corner free of weeds
  • 3 Clay soil

What is the arlita?

expanded clay

Arlita, also called expanded clay, ripiolite or leca, is a ceramic aggregate that weighs very little . With a granulometry between 5 and 16mm, and a density that ranges between 325kg/m3 and 750kg/m3, it has multiple uses in the field of gardening and construction.

The color varies depending on what use it is intended for: if it is going to be used by the gardener, the clay will normally be red , which is the color of the dye that is put on it, and the metals that could affect the balance of the garden will have been removed. pH; On the other hand, if it is going to be used by a bricklayer, it may lack color.

What uses does it have?

As we have mentioned, it is a material that can give us a lot of play. In construction it is used to create slopes that will conduct water on flat roofs and also to make light concrete, with low densities (about 500kg/m3). But we are going to focus on the uses it has in gardening, which are many and varied:

Keeps soil moist for longer

If you live like me in a place where the sun is very intense in summer and temperatures rise quickly to 30, 35 or 40ºC, you will know how little the earth stays moist. Sometimes and depending on what type of plant it is, it is necessary to water every day, or twice a day as is the case with vegetables.

Well, to save a little water it is advisable to place a layer of clay balls on the surface of the pots that are in semi-shade (never put it on a plant that is in the sun, since doing so could cause the roots to burn ). This way, the plants will have more time to collect the water they need.

Decorate pots and keep plants upright

Pots with clay

Image – Nexusbuildcon.com

Expanded clay is great for decorating pots that are semi-shaded or shaded. Therefore, if you would like the plants to show off much more than they already do, it is highly advisable to put clay balls on the surface of the substrate . In addition, if we have any that do not finish staying straight, with the arlita we will get it to have a good development again.

Prevents roots from rotting

One of the mistakes we make the most is putting a saucer under the plants and never removing the water. The roots, being in almost permanent contact with the liquid, end up suffocating and dying. The problem is that, of course, if we have plants inside the home, if we didn’t put anything under them, the furniture would get dirty every time we water it, something that we don’t like.

Fortunately there is something we can do, and it is the following:

  1. The first thing is to get a pot without holes that we like, in which the pot fits well.
  2. Then, we put a layer of clay of about 5cm.
  3. And finally, we introduce the pot.

Of course, we have to bear in mind that this is a solution, let’s say, temporary, in case we ever have an oversight. Even so, it is very important to remove the excess water to prevent the plant from weakening due to excess watering .

Improves soil drainage

As a general rule, universal cultivation substrates have the nutrients that plants need, but they also have a major drawback: poor drainage. Of course, there are substrates and substrates, but it is very common to acquire a bag of earth that does not allow the water to drain properly .

A very simple and economical way to solve it is by mixing it with clay . The proportion will vary depending on the type of plant it is. For example:

  • Indoor plants : 65% substrate + 35%
  • Horticultural plants : 70% substrate + 30%
  • Plants grown for their flower : 80% substrate + 20%
  • Seedbeds : 60% substrate + 40%

Protect your plants from the cold

If we have recently bought plants and put them in the ground, it is possible that, although they are very resistant, they will have a little hard time during the winter because they are not acclimatized. This is something that often happens and should not worry us too much, as long as these plants have been acquired in the outdoor facilities of the nursery and not in a closed greenhouse.

Thus, to try to help them a little, it is advisable to put a padding of clay balls , which will absorb as much heat as they can, which will allow the roots to be more protected.

Have a weed-free corner

If we want to prevent weeds from growing in a corner of our garden, we can choose to put an anti-weed mesh, or a clay soil, which will be very good because it will give a different touch to the space.

clay price

plant clay

This is a material that is very cheap. The expanded clay used in gardening is sold in bags of six or more liters, and costs 1 or 2 euros per liter . Taking into account that you only wear one layer, it is very worthwhile.

What is the Arlita?

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