When it comes to plant care, proper watering is the most critical factor. It is not just the frequency of watering that is important, but also the water itself. Learn what is the best water for indoor plants, what to consider when it comes to water, and what type of water to use with various plants.
What Is the Best Indoor Plant Water?
Water from the pipe is frequently the first and only logical solution for folks who are just getting into plant care. And, for the most part, this is a good option.
Learn about the pros and cons of tap water, rainwater, aquarium water, distilled water, stream water, bottled water, and filtered water. You’ll be able to choose the ideal water for your houseplants after you understand what each one has to offer. Plants have varied demands, and while one sort of water may be ideal for one type of plant, it may be detrimental to another.
However, because no two plants are the same, tap water quality can vary widely from one location to the next. The mineral composition and water quality are not consistent across the board.
Plants like calathea will suffer rapidly if your tap water is high in minerals and pollutants. Calathea plants, for example, are extremely delicate. However, if you water your pothos with the same water, it will thrive. If your plants are chemically sensitive, you will need to locate an alternative to tap water.
While many plant gardeners recommend letting your water soak overnight to “fix it” before watering your plants, that water may still be insufficient for your delicate plants.
We do recommend letting the water soak for a few minutes so that it can dechlorinate. And it will reach room temperature, which is fantastic. Some heavy metals will be more concentrated near the bottom, allowing you to avoid them to some extent. However, this will not address the heavy metals issues, the hardness of the water, or any other difficulties. This is entirely dependent on the mineral concentration and quality of your tap water.
If you want your plants to thrive and not have their leaves destroyed, use rainwater, distilled water, filtered water, or aquarium water.
How Can You Tell If Your Tap Water Is Safe?
You can test your water to see if it is safe for some of your more delicate plants. While plants require magnesium and calcium, too much of either can be harmful.
Water that is too hard to drink is easy to detect. You have hard water if you have to clean your faucets, pipes, or even appliances (water kettles) frequently due to white depositions (limescale depositions). We reside in a high-water-use location, therefore we have to wipe limescale off taps virtually every day.
If you water your plants with water that contains too many minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, these can accumulate in the soil. If your water is exceptionally hard, you may notice a white crust on top of your soil that is not fungus but mineral deposits.
As additional minerals are deposited in the soil, the pH levels of the soil will change (making it more alkaline), which your acidic soil-loving plants will not appreciate. Mineral accumulation in the soil might also make it difficult for your plant to obtain the nutrients it requires.
If your water is too hard, you’ll need to find another solution. You can also cleanse the soil with distilled water on a regular basis to remove mineral buildups.
Can you remedy this problem with a water softener?
No. While water softened by a water softener will not kill your plants right away, it will do extensive damage in the long run.
Water softeners work by exchanging calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions. The salt levels in softened water are too high for houseplants. Water with high salt concentrations can cause wilting, leaf damage, dry leaf ends, and stunted development.
What about the use of chlorine in drinking water for plants?
To maintain water safe for human consumption, chlorine is added. It eliminates all germs and dangerous microorganisms.
You should not water your houseplants straight immediately if the chlorine concentrations in your tap water are too high. Chlorine can harm the more delicate roots.
If you run your tap water and smell chlorine, you know there’s too much water in it for your houseplants.
Allow your water to sit for a day before using it to water your plants to allow it to dechlorinate (chlorine will evaporate from the water over time). The similar effect can be obtained by filtering the water.
What about heavy metals, minerals, and fluoride?
Heavy metals and fluoride cannot be removed from water by allowing it to sit. While heavy metals will settle to the bottom and you can avoid higher concentrations by using only water from the top, fluoride will remain an issue.
Having said that, the concentrations of these should be rather modest in your drinking water (this varies from location to location).
Fluoride has the greatest impact on plants that are fluoride sensitive. Spider plant, a hardy plant, is vulnerable to fluoride buildup. If your water contains a high level of fluoride, your spider plant will acquire brown tips.
You can have your tap water analyzed to determine the type of water you have. Most plants can be grown in water that meets acceptable standards.
We still recommend flushing the soil with filtered, distilled, or excellent rainwater on a regular basis to remove any mineral accumulation.
Rainwater Can Be Beneficial to Indoor Plants
If it works for plants in the outdoors, it must be excellent for indoor plants as well, right? Yes, but there’s a catch.
Rainwater will not be perfect if you reside in a densely populated area or near an industrial sector. For one thing, there will be contaminants as pollutants are “washed out,” and the pH levels may be askew (acidic rain).
Collecting rainwater can sometimes be difficult, and you must consider where the water is coming from. There is a difference between collecting water in a bucket in the middle of the yard (which is good) and collecting water from a rain gutter that hasn’t been cleaned in ages and may even contain a recently deceased animal lurking somewhere along the way (which is terrible) (bad).
Overall, if you reside in an area where the quality of the rainwater is expected to be good, treating your plants with rainwater will be greatly welcomed by them.
Our ideas are that if you only gather a small amount of rainwater, you should utilize it for plants that can not tolerate tap water.
Water in an Aquarium
You can use aquarium water to water your plants if you have a fish tank (freshwater only, naturally).
Because it is high in nutrients, the water from the fish tank is ideal for watering your plants. To some extent, it can even be used as a fertilizer.
Now, unless you have a ton of aquarium water or only a plant or two, this type of water, while fantastic, isn’t practical as a primary source of water for your plants.
It is critical to understand that filtered and softened water are not the same thing.
If tap water is your only alternative, filtered water is likely to be the best choice for watering plants. Filters are available in pitchers or as faucet accessories. These filters are made to eliminate chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals from your water, making it healthier for both you and your plants.
Different filters provide varying degrees of screening for undesirable particles in the water. There are numerous options available on the market, so select the one that you believe will work best for you.
Filtered water is ideal for drinking. However, we still recommend allowing the water to soak for a few hours to reach room temperature before watering.
Water in Bottles
While bottled water is perfectly safe for plants, it isn’t the best solution for the environment if you stick to conventional bottled water (mineral, sparkling, or flavored water all out).
Is Distilled Water a Good Option?
You can achieve the same results with filtered tap water (which is often the same as bottled water), so we recommend using filtered water for the benefit of the environment.
Distilled water is great for your plants, and it may even be the finest water for indoor plants because it is free of pollutants. There are no contaminants or accumulation. Plants that are sensitive to tap water will thrive if they are watered with distilled water.
You may buy it in most stores or manufacture it at home. If you buy the water, we recommend getting a large container and researching where you can get distilled water refills in your area. This is a more environmentally beneficial approach than purchasing the container repeatedly.
Distilled water can also be made at home. You may buy a water distillery kit or make your own by placing a tiny pot inside a larger one and filling the larger one with water. Turn the glass lid over down and cover the pot. Boil the water – when the water evaporates, it collects on the lid (this is distilled water), and the water drops move towards the middle of the lid, finally dropping into the smaller pot inside the larger one. The sun’s heat can also be used for the same purpose, albeit at a much slower rate.
Water from a brook, pond, or river
It may be OK, but you should have the water tested before utilizing stream water to irrigate your plants.
It could be totally fine, or it could be contaminated with heavy metals or contaminants.
When examined, several streams that have been renowned for generations as “fountains of youth” were revealed to be rather harmful. You never know for sure.
So, what is the best indoor plant water?
The final solution to this question is not quite clear.
If your tap water is clean, this is the best water to use for watering the majority of your indoor plants. If you want to go one step further, you can install a water filter on your faucet to get filtered water.
While other options may be superior in some circumstances, they are not without drawbacks. This is the ideal solution if your plants survive on tap water or filtered tap water.
If you notice any plants still struggling with tap water (burned leaves or stunted growth), use distilled water or something else for those plants.
When watering your plants, whichever water you use, be sure the water is at room temperature. Your plant will suffer if the water is too cold or too hot.