LECA vs Lechuza Pon vs DIY Pon – Which is Cheapest?

Hey plant enthusiasts! Ever wondered which growing medium gives you the most green for your green? We’ve crunched the numbers on LECA, Lechuza Pon, and DIY Pon to help you make an informed choice.

From local buys to online deals, we’ve got all the cost details you need to know. Let’s dig in!

I looked into three ways to get your hands on these substrates:

  1. LECA – bought locally or via Amazon.
  2. Lechuza Pon – directly from their website.
  3. DIY Pon – mixing the ingredients yourself.

Quick Tip: Always aim to shop locally. Online prices often include hidden shipping costs, even when they say “free shipping.” For instance, a 50L bag of Hydroton LECA costs $36 locally, while online prices range from $72 to $100. Big difference, right?

LECA vs Lechuza Pon vs DIY Pon Which is Cheapest

TL;DR: LECA vs Lechuza Pon vs DIY Pon – Which is Cheapest?

For those who aren’t math enthusiasts, here’s a quick rundown on costs.

I calculated everything in liters to make it apples-to-apples. This way, you know how much it costs to fill the same pot with different substrates.

LECA Costs

  • Local 50L bag: $0.72 per liter.
  • Amazon 50L bag: $1.42 per liter.
  • Smaller bags like Odela from Ikea: Expect around $1 to $2 per liter.

Lechuza Pon Costs

  • 18L bag with free shipping (buy 4 bags for this deal): $2.3 per liter.
  • 6L bag plus shipping: $4.2 per liter.
  • Amazon Resellers: Around $200 for an 18L bag, or $11.12 per liter.

DIY Pon Costs

  • Bulk buying from the right places: $3.121 per liter.
  • Small quantities (not recommended): Up to $13 per liter.

LECA wins the price battle, even if you end up paying twice as much. It takes up more space, making it a cost-effective choice. If you’re a Lechuza Pon fan, buying four 18L bags is your best bet. DIY Pon can get pricey, especially in small quantities, so go big or go home.

If you’re in a pinch and need just a bit of Pon, my go-to is PlantyQueens.

Extra Tip: Mix some LECA into your DIY Pon to cut down costs. It’s a smart move, especially for plants that love a good air-to-substrate ratio.

So there you have it! Now you can make an informed choice and maybe even save some green—both the leafy and the paper kind!

Detailed Comparations & How to Get Affordable DIY Pon

Alright, let’s get into the math and where you can snag some budget-friendly DIY Pon ingredients.

Most DIY Pon ingredients are sold in pound bags, unlike LECA and Lechuza Pon which are sold by volume. So, I used a conversion of 1 liter of gravel equaling 3.36 pounds. It’s a close enough estimate for our purposes.

LECA Costs

Simple math here. A 50L bag for $36 gives us $0.72 per liter.

LECA prices are a bit unpredictable these days. Your local hydroponics store is usually the best bet, but even they’re raising prices due to supply chain hiccups. If you find a 50L bag for over $110, that’s when Lechuza Pon starts to look like a better deal.

Lechuza Pon Costs

Another easy one. An 18L bag costs $40 (you need to buy 4 bags for free shipping), which works out to $2.22 per liter.

For those who don’t stockpile, a 6L bag plus $5 shipping costs you $4.17 per liter.

DIY Pon Costs & Recipe

  • Zeolite: You can buy a 40lb bag meant for icy sidewalks for $36.73. It’s the same stuff used in Pon, just way cheaper. That’s $3.11 per liter.
  • Lava Rocks: These are also used for traction and cost $4.37 per liter.
  • Pumice: This one’s actually for gardening and costs $2.50 per liter.

If you mix 1 liter of Zeolite, 2 liters of Lava Rocks, and 4 liters of Pumice, you’ll spend $16.84 for 5 liters. That’s $3.121 per liter.

Note: I didn’t include the cost of osmocote because I don’t use it in my DIY Pon. I like to keep my nutrient mix consistent for both LECA and Pon setups. While I tolerate osmocote in Lechuza Pon, I don’t add more of it. But it’s great for outdoor plants!

One member of a Lechuza Pon Facebook group counted the rocks in a small Lechuza Pon bag and came up with a mix that they claim resembles the original: 4 parts pumice, 2 parts lava, and 1 part zeolite.

So there you have it! Now you know how to get the most bang for your buck, whether you’re going for LECA, Lechuza Pon, or DIY Pon. Happy planting! 🌱

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About the author

I am a devoted plant lover who's mastered the art of growing houseplants in semi-hydroponic setups. Passionate about LECA potting, I enjoy sharing expert tips and insights through this blog to help fellow plant enthusiasts thrive. When not watching my indoor jungle, I am busy experimenting with new, sustainable ways to achieve plant perfection.

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If you only mix small batches for home use, and don’t have the storage space, I find it cheaper to make your own using stones from Amazon. I have 80 plants in a mix of Leca and Pon and all are doing well. There is a product called ZooMed that is very small Leca type balls used in terrariums that works well in the mix, or can be used alone.