Want to water your plants the right way? Let’s talk about your options for water and the best water for indoor plants!
Houseplants need water – I think most plant owners know that – but did you know that there are options for what water to give your plants?
Some plants are picky while others are not. Let’s talk about the best water for plants!
Types of water for plants
Here are the main kinds of water that you could use to water your plants.
Tap water is the most obvious choice for watering your plants. However, tap water varies greatly depending on where you live.
Some plants are more sensitive to the minerals and fluoride found in tap water. For example, calathea get brown spots if watered or misted with tap water.
Tap water can include:
- Heavy metals
- High sodium levels (common with a water softener)
Is Fluoridated Water Safe To Use On My Houseplants?
Most plants are fine with fluoride water.
How to make tap water safe for plants
If your water contains chlorine, you can typically allow the water to sit out uncovered in bright light for 24 hours. Or, filter your water.
Areas with hard water have limescale build up on pipes and appliances. Hard water has calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfites.
Watering plants with hard water can lead to a build up of calcium and magnesium salts on the soil. Overtime, this can be significant and impact the PH of your soil.
Can I Use Hard Water To Water My Houseplants?
Yes, you can. If you water your plants with hard water, take time to “flush” the soil of salts every 2-3 months by watering thoroughly with rainwater, distilled water, or filtered water.
Can I Use Tap Water For My Houseplants If I Have A Water Softener?
It’s better to not use softened water because of the build up of sodium ions. If you use this softened water, look out for a salty crust on your plant’s soil – that’s a sodium build up and can be toxic.
Distilled water is highly purified water that is boiled to remove impurities and then the steam is collected to become the distilled water.
Distilled water is good for plants. It is free of minerals, which prevents build up in your plant’s soil.
However, distilled water can be pricey and you have to go out and buy it, you can’t just get it from the tap as needed.
Rainwater is what nature wants plants to drink!
Rain water is free of chlorine and fluoride and is naturally soft. Rain water is good for plants!
If you live in an area with a lot of pollution, beware that that pollution could make your rain slightly acidc.
Plus, rain water is free. You will need to set up a rain barrel or a similar collection device, but once it is set up, you are good to go.
If you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of rain or you don’t have a yard or space for a rain barrel, rain water can be very hard to come by.
Is sparkling water ok for plants?
Surprisingly enough, some plants love sparking water. Soda water and carbonated water can include sodium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus – all of which plants love.
Never give plants flavored sparkling waters as the flavoring can damage the plant roots.
What type of water is best for plants?
If possible, use rain water for your plants – it’s the best plant water!
If you can’t use rain water – tap water is OK for most plants. Get to know your water and see if it is causing any build up or problems.
I suggest keeping a single gallon of distilled water for plants on hand, especially if you have any picky plants like calathea. If they start getting brown spots, try a little distilled water just on the picky plants!
What temperature of water is best for plants?
Generally it is better not to water your plant with very hot or very cold water, which can cause shock to the root system.
Cold water tends to have more dissolved oxygen in it, which is great for root systems. So, stick to slightly cooler than room temperature water (62-72 degrees) whenever possible!
Any more questions about watering your plants?