Recommended Semi-Hydroponic Products

Discover the best pots and growing mediums for your semi-hydroponic plants. From budget-friendly DIY options to deluxe self-watering pots, we’ve got the perfect solutions to help your plants thrive.

Standard LECA by HydrotonStandard LECA by HydrotonGo-to LECA in term of price and quality.
Hydrocrunch LECALess absorbent for dry-loving plantsLess absorbent, for dry-loving plants
lechuza ponLechuza PonBest Pon Substrate for the price.
Pumice by Gantessa StonePumice by Gantessa StoneVersatile, boosts wicking power
General Hydroponics FloraSeriesGeneral Hydroponics FloraSeriesSolid nutrient solution for all houseplants.
rapidstartRapidStartPromotes root growth and reduces transplant shock
calimagicCalMagProvides essential calcium and magnesium for plant growth
ph up downpH Up / DownUsed to raise or lower the pH of nutrient solutions
TDS MeterTDS MeterUsed to check nutrient water PPM.
k liteK-LiteCombined fertilizer and CalMag
OrcaOrcaContains beneficial bacteria for a healthy root zone
Mr. FulvicMr. FulvicEnhances nutrient absorption in plants
Self Watering PotSelf-Watering PotLarge reservoir, budget-friendly
Transparent Self Watering PotTransparent Self-Watering PotTransparent, easy algae cleanup
deluxe self watering potArtistical Self-Watering PotsStylish, sturdy, water-level window
hanging self watering potHangable & Compact Self-Watering PotsVersatile, great for tight spaces
wick free self watering potWick-Free Self-Watering PotsNo wick, budget-friendly, easy to check water level.
wick free self watering pot bigThe Big PotsLarge size, multiple colors
24oz Deli Container24oz Deli ContainersBudget-friendly, DIY orchid pot
32oz Deli Containers32oz Deli ContainersVersatile, great for repurposing
net pots3″ Net PotsIdeal for small plants and cuttings
Clear Storage BinClear Storage BinFor storing your LECA/Pon/Others

Non-Organic Growing Medium Products

Standard LECA by Hydroton

  • Widely available and versatile.
  • Supports local hydroponics stores.
  • Ideal for a variety of plants.

This is my go-to LECA, easily found in the U.S. I’ve noticed that it’s pretty much the same as other brands, just with a different label.

Take IKEA’s LECA, for instance—it’s a spitting image of Hydroton. While you can snag some on Amazon, I’d recommend hitting up your local hydroponics shop. Not only will you likely get a better deal, but you’ll also be supporting a local business.

Hydrocrunch’s Special LECA

  • Designed for plants that prefer less moisture.
  • Special coating reduces absorbency.
  • Available at Home Depot and local stores.

If you’re growing plants that prefer less moisture—think succulents or hoyas—Hydrocrunch is your best bet. The LECA beads in this brand have a special coating, probably added post-firing. This makes them less absorbent than Hydroton, perfect for plants that like it dry.

I keep a stash of both Hydroton and Hydrocrunch to meet the varied needs of my plants.

You can find Hydrocrunch at Home Depot, but again, consider shopping local.


  • Excellent for boosting wicking power.
  • Comes in various sizes.
  • Great for customizing your LECA mix.

Pumice is another non-organic medium that’s great for plant growth. It shares many of LECA’s qualities but comes in different sizes, affecting its wicking ability.

The larger chunks are what I usually go for, but you can find smaller ones at your local hydroponics store.

These smaller pieces are great for boosting the wicking power of your LECA or for rooting new plants.

Budget-Friendly Self-Watering Pots (4″ and 6″)

  • Unique dual-pot design.
  • Clear inner pot for easy monitoring.
  • Large water reservoir for less frequent watering.
  • Budget-friendly and widely available.
  • Easy to inspect and mess-free.

The LECA Addict Perfect pot. It features a clear inner pot and an opaque outer one, offering a unique design you won’t find anywhere else.

These are my top Amazon finds, and most of my plants call them home.

What’s to love? First, the large water reservoir gives me peace of mind when I’m away. Second, they’re mess-free and easy to inspect.

The only drawback is they’re not transparent. But a little squinting and swishing will reveal the water level.

Just note, they run a bit small due to the reservoir.

See-Through Self-Watering Pots

  • Transparent design for easy water level checks.
  • Sturdy material and good design.
  • Monthly cleaning required due to algae.

If you’re forgetful about watering, these transparent pots are for you. They’re pricier but well-designed and sturdy.

One caveat: the clear design can lead to algae growth. But thanks to the wicking system, cleanup is a breeze. Just flush and scrub once a month.

Deluxe Self-Watering Pots

  • High-quality construction and stylish design.
  • Transparent window for water level.
  • Suits 4-6″ plants comfortably.

These are the crème de la crème of my pot collection. They’re robust, stylish, and come with a see-through water level window. At $5.8 each, they’re roomy enough for 4-6″ plants.

Hangable & Compact Self-Watering Pots

  • Designed for hanging or tight spaces.
  • Versatile and stylish.
  • Ideal for IKEA greenhouse setups.

Designed for pegboard hanging, these are perfect for IKEA Milsbo or Fabrikor greenhouses. They’re also versatile—I sometimes just prop them against a window. Ideal for tight spaces!

Wick-Free Self-Watering Pots

  • No wick design for direct LECA-to-reservoir contact.
  • Budget-friendly and versatile.
  • Requires careful plant inspection.

These are good but not my first choice. You can’t easily lift the plant to check it, but at $4.5 each, they’re a decent middle-ground option. Just make sure the LECA touches the bottom reservoir for proper wicking.

Wick-Free Self-Watering Pots (Big)

  • Large size for bigger plants.
  • Multiple color options.
  • Compatible with IKEA cache pots.

These are upsized versions of the previous pots, priced at $6.5 each. They house my largest plants. While I haven’t found anything cheaper for big plants, IKEA cache pots work well as an alternative. They fit standard net-pots perfectly, thanks to Europe’s love for hydroponics.

24oz Deli Containers

  • Budget-friendly and DIY-friendly.
  • Perfect for orchid growers.
  • Easily customizable with a soldering iron.

Who knew deli containers could double as plant pots?

With a soldering iron, you can easily create drainage holes at the bottom. Pair it with a 32oz deli container, and you’ve got yourself a DIY wicking pot.

These containers are a game-changer, especially for orchid enthusiasts who like to monitor root health.

Instead of splurging on a clear orchid pot, you can get these for just 58 cents each.

32oz Deli Containers

  • Versatile and great for DIY setups.
  • Can be repurposed from local eateries.
  • Compatible with 24oz for wicking setup.

These work great as standalone pots or as companions to the 24oz containers. Just add a drainage hole about a third of the way up from the bottom. Priced at 70 cents each, they’re a steal.

Pro tip: Check out your local Pho or noodle joint. They often use these containers, and you can easily repurpose them.

While the 24oz size is rarer, you’ll frequently find the 16oz size, which can also be paired with the 24oz for a drainage setup.

3″ Net Pots

  • Fits into standard mugs or ramekins.
  • Ideal for small plants and cuttings.
  • Roots may grow through the netting.

Net pots are a fantastic option for semi-hydroponics. They fit snugly into standard mugs, ramekins, or even disposable cups. Ideal for small plants, orchids, and cuttings, these pots are a dream.

Just be cautious when your plant outgrows the pot; you might need to cut the net to free the roots.

There you have it—some clever potting solutions that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking for budget-friendly options, these hacks have got you covered. Feel free to add more sections, and I’ll keep rewriting for you!

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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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