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Expanded clay for gardening and building: here is what you need to know

Posted by Tonya Harrison on
Expanded clay for gardening and building: here is what you need to know

A versatile material with numerous fields of application, the expanded clay is very useful for garden and garden care.

Expanded clay is a material used in various sectors. The most useful and widespread ones are construction and gardening. In the context of the cultivation of do-it-yourself plants and flowers it is possible to evaluate the optimal use of this material for various purposes, including the decorative one.

One of its main applications is drainage inside vases and planters.

Definition expanded clay

A clay package of this type consists of porous and light balls. This aggregate material is usually used in insulating materials. It appears as very light and porous, but at the same time resistant.

Expanded clay chemical composition

Usually it comes in the form of balls produced through the firing of various types of clays at high temperatures. The latter are then ground and reduced to spherical grainy material.

Each ball inside contains a porous core that ensures the lightness of the material. More externally, however, a hard layer makes mechanical resistance possible.

Expanded clay what it is used for

It is used for garden and garden care by exploiting its drainage capacity. Among its applications there is also that in the field of construction, where it is used above all for its insulating capacity and capable of retaining liquids.

The expanded clay helps to avoid excessive water stagnation, a phenomenon that helps to make the plant roots rot.

Expanded clay where it is put

It is usually used inside planters, vases or in urban gardens and can be applied to any type of soil. Depending on the needs of the plant, it can be placed more or less in depth. For small plants it is usually distributed inside the pots.

It is particularly useful for avoiding the risks due to excessive water stagnation, often at the origin of root rot.

The use of this material may also be indicated to ensure the well-being of indoor plants. In this case it may also be indicated for ornamental purposes only.

In ideal conditions it would be necessary to add this material to another type of natural, such as sand, peat or gravel.

Expanded clay absorbs water

One of the noteworthy properties of this clay is the draining one, that is the ability to absorb and retain excess water.

It is therefore used in gardening precisely because of its ability to maintain the moisture of plants and flowers. This avoids the dangerous proliferation of fungi harmful to the various botanical species cultivated.

Expanded clay in gardening

For the care of the garden or of the plants in pots and planters, the presence of these clay spheres covers both specific practical functions and decorative purposes. In addition to having a draining and protective effect against the weather, the clay in question is a solution that can also be used for decorative purposes only.

Expanded mulch clay


One of the possible uses of this material is also for mulching operations. In this case the clay protects the plants from atmospheric agents typical of the winter period, such as cold, frost and ice.

For this purpose it is placed at the base of the plant. Moreover, the presence of these waterproof balls favors plant protection even in the event of temperature changes due to excessive heat.

In addition to the draining properties, in fact, this material is renowned for its insulating effectiveness. Thus it maintains an ideal microclimate for the healthy growth of botanical species.

Expanded clay in agriculture

Even in the agricultural field small urban gardens can foresee the presence of this useful material.

Organic expanded clay

Being a 100% natural material, its use is also allowed in the field of organic farming.

Alternative expanded clay

A curious alternative to the use of this material can be represented by creative solutions such as the use of baby diapers. Arranged on the pot with a preliminary thin layer of soil, they are able to maintain a constant moisture content for plants and flowers.

Expanded clay where you buy

It can be purchased at stores that specialize in DIY and construction or gardening. Alternatively, it can also be found through online purchase.

In any case, it is important to have in mind the intended use as the clay spheres for construction purposes