How to Use Clay Pebbles for Houseplants

What Are Clay Pebbles?

Have you ever found out how to grow plants without using soil? Fortunately, with the help of modern research, it has been made possible. You can use Clay Pebbles instead of soil and potting mix. Clay Pebbles are also called Hydroton.

Clay Pebbles, also known as Hydroton, are baked clay balls, that soak up, hold the water, and increase moisture surrounding the houseplants. They prevent the plants from completely drying out, yet still provide good drainage.

How To Use Clay Pebbles for Houseplants?

Instead Of Soil and Mix, Let’s Discuss How to Use Clay Pebbles for Your Houseplants:

Rinse and soak. Rinse the Clay Pebbles before use to remove the debris from the factory. Rinsing them tends to provide a clean start that will minimize future problems.

Then, soak the Clay Pebbles for at least six hours or up to 24 hours, most likely the better.

You will notice the Clay Pebbles become heavier, and It seems that your houseplants will not work hard to get the water they need most.

It helps the roots not to travel far to find water.  Generally, 3 inches radius of Clay Pebbles around the plants is always fully saturated.

Add several nutrients. After rinsing and soaking the Clay Pebbles, place them in a container and add a small nutrient solution. Use a base-grown nutrient at one-quarter strength.

You can also use hydroponics plant enzymes to ensure a clean transition during transplant.

Set a tray filled with wet Clay Pebbles and your plant pots. These pebbles are ideal air moisturizers.

Evaporation takes place, and Clay Pebbles absorb a lot of water when drenched.

For almost every houseplant, air moisture is essential, and these pebbles can increase it.

Set up the Clay Pebbles and layer them an inch or two thick (3 to 4 centimeters) at the bottom of the container.

Most likely, this will increase air circulation, protect the roots and plant growth.

As part of maintaining Clay Pebbles, wet the tray twice a day in the morning and the evening.

Clay Pebbles can raise moisture levels from 40% – 50% to a more comfortable 80% moisture.

Drain the excess water out. Clay Pebbles would release moisture if directly in contact with air.

Using Clay Pebbles for extra moisture, resting your pots atop of these pebbles is an excellent way to prevent root rot.

The bottom of the pot is never in contact with water by protecting the roots inside.

You can use Clay Pebbles or Hydroton and mix them with soil, 30% of Clay Pebbles, and 70% soil.

This combination works well in improving the water holding capacity of the mixture.

Some other plants need to retain water rather than aerate the soil and roots.

Here are some precautions of using Clay Pebbles:

  • Clay Pebbles should not be allowed ever to dry out.
  • Clay Pebbles should not be used in a regular pot without a reliable water source.
  • Clay Pebbles should not be reused without properly sterilizing them.

Tips on cleansing the reuse Clay Pebbles. 

  • To remove the used Clay Pebbles from the container.
  • Submerge the Clay Pebbles into hot water.
  • Mix the pebbles around.
  • To strain the Clay Pebbles and then repeat the procedure.
  • Bring the Clay Pebbles to a boil in a large cauldron or kettle for 8 to 12 minutes in normal water.
  • To strain the Clay Pebbles and rinse them a few more times with hot tap water.
  • There is nothing to add to the water but heating the Clay Pebbles is good enough to kill bugs, algae, and fungus.
  • Let them dry for about 24 hours.
  • Seed Germination. It is necessary to crush the Clay Pebbles into smaller pieces from their original size to create a texture that holds more water, perfect for seeds to germinate.
  • By using a disposable bag to contain the Clay Pebbles take a hammer and break them into pieces.
  • Then, place the soaked Clay Pebbles in a pot and put the seeds on top of them. Then, cover it with a couple of loose Clay Pebbles to stabilize.
  • Replenishing water for the Clay Pebbles. How often? Replenish water on your Clay Pebbles twice a day, morning, and evening.

Furthermore, let’s check out the benefits and functions of Clay Pebbles to your houseplants.

Retains Moisture 

Clay Pebbles are great to retain the water and keep your plants hydrated. Hydroton – also known as Clay Pebbles – is very good at retaining moisture. Retention of water is essential for plants to survive.

Adding Clay Pebbles to your plants is a great way to regulate and maximize the efficiency to maintain soil moisture. At times when the soil is dry, water is released to nearby plant roots.

Clay Pebbles help your houseplants survive drought and for young trees to start in their first few years.

Increased Aeration 

Clay Pebbles are porous and lightweight. It increases aeration to the plants’ root systems. Plants grow better when they receive proper air, water, and sunlight.

Provides Reliable Drainage 

Pour a layer of Clay Pebbles an inch or two thick (3 to 4 centimeters) at the bottom of the container, increasing air circulation and protecting the roots and plant growth.

Clay Pebbles help improve the drainage system, which is significant in maintaining the health of the root systems and preventing rot. Clay Pebbles are great for water drainage and water absorbers.

Hence, it collects the excess water and stores it for later use. It helps prevent roots from being damaged due to excess moisture.

Generally, Clay Pebbles are being used as base layers to help the plants get and provide them with the proper amount of water and air.


For the better growth of roots and one way to enhance their development, this will be a good idea to mix Clay Pebbles into your repotting soil mix about 10% of the total volume.

Environment Friendly 

Clay Pebbles are made of clay which is 100% natural and environmentally friendly. There is no involvement of any harmful gas or chemical in the process.

There is no harmful effect and full of minerals and natural organic matter to help plants grow healthy. It is an easy medium to reuse which means they are ecologically friendly.

Long Life Cycle

Clay Pebbles last longer. You can use Clay Pebbles multiple times to plant your favorite trees, vegetables, and plants. These Clay Pebbles are a perfect gardening medium for soilless.

You could always wash and reuse them. Clay Pebbles are being used for their natural, environmentally, ecologically friendly nature – given their long-life cycle.


Clay Pebbles are truly ornamental. A surface layer about 3 to 4 cm thick will highlight the color of the plants.

For which these Clay Pebbles become one of the most popular soilless options. Clay Pebbles have many benefits that give enhancement to your plants’ growth and well-being.


Clay Pebbles will last for a long time; however, they won’t nourish the plant because they don’t have nutritional value. But they are vessels for the food provided to your plant.

The Clay Pebble, for this reason, helps keep insects and bacteria away from the plant especially during their growth.

Now, we understand the process, make sure that the Clay Pebbles continue to nourish and grow your plants.

You need to take time to rinse them periodically because the Clay Pebbles are extremely porous, they can hold the nutrients for much longer.

Clay Pebbles give a level of nourishment that soil cannot keep over time. They are best for developing seedlings or for potted plants.

Clay Pebbles Give Great Benefit to Pot Plants

Clay Pebbles have gained popularity for their porous shape and the pores throughout their balls are able to support a steady distribution of nutrients, oxygen, and water around the roots of your houseplants.

Indeed, it is so amazing to learn all about Clay Pebbles for your houseplants. We only need to take an extra effort to maintain them.

We already know that air moisture is very important for almost every houseplant, and Clay Pebbles can increase it.

An important reminder and to note the key factors of Clay Pebbles.

  • Time to set up or prepare –           5 minutes
  • Water to fill up                   –           once/twice a day
  • Effectiveness                      –           High

Clay Pebbles do wonders for your houseplants and make them grow healthily.

So, start to enjoy the beneficial effect that Clay Pebbles have on your houseplants.

Just Add Water

They are baked clay balls that soak up a little water, after which they will expand slightly. The water inside that’s soaked up in the Clay Pebbles can be used to water plants.

They are so popular because of their help in increasing moisture around houseplants. Now, pot plants no longer dry out and they also receive the proper drainage.

Just add a little extra water, and they stay moist for longer. That’s what Clay Pebbles are capable of, and work wonders just by doing that.

They are great to retain moisture and keep your plants hydrated, along with many minerals and nutrients fed to your beautiful plants.

Final Thoughts

 Inasmuch as they absorb water, they can store it inside and use later as per your plants’ needs.

Clay Pebbles work for almost every type of plant and air moisturizers as well. They are very light, which holds air and increases the aeration for the root system.

These Clay Pebbles are also one of the most popular substances for hydroponics. Hence, as a natural and organic substance, Clay Pebbles are materials for soilless gardening. They are essential in many ways when it comes to hydroponics.

Jenny Marie

Tribal Writer


 Edited By

Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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