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Is Tap Water Safe for Your Indoor Plants? Uncover The Facts Before Watering Your Plants Again

Is Tap Water Safe for Your Indoor Plants? Uncover The Facts Before Watering Your Plants Again

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There’s one question that all plant lovers ask: is tap water bad for houseplants? 

Now, if you’re anything like me, you probably give your leafy friends a good dousing straight from the kitchen sink. I mean, it’s water, right? How bad can it be? Well, turns out, it can be pretty bad for some plants

Picture this: one fine morning, I decided to give my plants a big gulp of tap water. Fast forward a few weeks, and I noticed my usually perky pothos looking a tad droopy. Cue the panic! 

I wondered if my tap water had something to do with… and, of course it did. Turns out, there’s a bit more to it than just H2O.

Don’t get me wrong, tap water isn’t all evil. But depending on where you live, it might contain chlorine, fluoride, and other minerals that your plants aren’t too fond of.

I’ve had my fair share of issues with it – like that time I tried to filter water using an old coffee filter (spoiler alert: it didn’t work). But I’ve picked up some handy tips and tricks along the way to keep our green buddies happy and hydrated.

No worries, I’ll gladly share the tips with you. Just follow my lead! 

Tap Water, A Friend Or Foe To Our Plants? 

As someone who’s splashed tap water on my plants countless times, I can say that it is generally A-OK for most plants. Phew, I know! 

However, there’s a small catch (there always is). In some places, there’s more fluoride around, which isn’t great for plants like Calathea, Spider plants, and Dracaenas.

The alternative? You can mix tap water with rainwater, distilled water, or bottled water to lower fluoride levels. 

Curious about your own water? You can check fluoride levels through the CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride program. If your state doesn’t participate, just give your local water provider a call (trust me, your plants will thank you!).

Related: The Best Time To Water Your Vegetables For Maximum Yield 

Are There Other Minerals You Should Be Concerned About?

We all know that chlorine has a reputation for harming houseplants, but it’s largely just a myth because most municipalities use chlorine levels far below the threshold that could damage our plants.

You may have heard about leaving tap water out overnight to let chlorine evaporate. But nowadays, many companies use a type of chlorine that doesn’t disappear, so there’s no need to do that anymore. 

One less thing to stress over!

Related: This Simple Hack Will Keep Your Houseplants Watered Even If You Are Gone For Days

Does Water Softness Or Hardness Really Matter For Your Plants?

I found out that softened water can be a problem for houseplants because it’s often treated with sodium. Over time, this can build up in the soil and cause wilted leaves and stunted growth. 

My advice? Regularly flush the soil with non-softened water to keep your plants happy.

On the other hand, hard water might have a higher pH than some plants prefer. Using hard water repeatedly can increase the pH of your plant’s soil. 

To manage this, I recommend periodically flushing or diluting the soil.

Don’t know if your tap water is hard or soft? You can check with your local water provider or use at-home testing strips, though their accuracy can vary. 

For the most reliable results, sending samples to a lab is your best bet. 

What Are Your Options If You Don’t Want To Use Tap Water?

If you’re a bit wary about using tap water for your houseplants, I’m happy to tell you that there are other great options to water your plants! 

Instead of relying solely on rainwater, bottled water, or distilled water, you can also mix them with your tap water. This way, your plants get a nice, refreshing, and, more importantly, balanced drink!

Of course, if you’ve got a nifty rain barrel system collecting water runoff from your roof, by all means, go ahead and use that precious rainwater. Otherwise, a mix will do just fine. 

This might be helpful: This Is Why You Should Start Harvesting Rainwater As Soon As Possible

What’s The Best Type Of Water For Your Plants?

I swear by rainwater – this is the gold standard because it’s natural (and free!). I collect rainwater in barrels, and my plants absolutely love it. Seriously, they’re thriving like never before!

The real trick is getting the amount of water right. Too much or too little can cause more trouble than the type of water you’re using. You’ve heard about overwatering and root rot, right? 

Just focus on giving your plants the right amount of water (preferably rainwater), and they’ll be happy and, more importantly, healthy! 
Find more information about it here: Is Rainwater Good For Plants? The Definitive Answer