Definition - What does Clay Pebbles mean?
Clay pebbles, often referred to as 'expanded clay' are a type of soilless grow medium popular in cannabis cultivation. Clay pebbles are used to anchor plant roots in a container or a grow bed within a hydroponics system.
Clay pebbles are lightweight and come in a variety of shapes to accommodate several different types of hydroponic systems. Clay pebbles are specially designed for horticulture use; it is best to avoid construction-grade clay, as this could lead to pH issues in your grow room.
Hydrolife explains Clay Pebbles
Expanded clay pebbles look like oddly shaped, semi-rounded pieces of clay-colored popcorn.
This type of soilless grow medium is known for its micro pores, which provide plants with large amounts of oxygen and leads to fast-growing roots. In addition, clay pebbles hold enough moisture to allow for healthy water and nutrient retention from the roots all the way to the top nodes.
Clay pebbles allow for excellent drainage when using top drip or ebb and flow growing methods while still allowing roots to draw water out of the clay’s pores.
When using clay pebbles for your marijuana plants, rinse and soak them before first use, and add a small amount of nutrients at the start. Once you're up and running, periodically rinse the clay pebbles, and never let them dry out!
Clay pebbles can be reused with new growth cycles, but make sure you properly sterilize them in between uses.
Alternatives to clay pebbles include additional soilless grow mediums such as rockwool, perlite, gravel, and coco coir. Before deciding on a grow medium for your cannabis plants, always research the needs of your chosen system and read up on watering requirements.