The Q&A Archives: Reusing Water

Question: We have three new saucer magnolias (since June) and 12 new mountain laurel, japonica shrubs. A drought emergency was just declared here in PA. No watering! In the statement, one of the people with the Governor suggested using washing rinse water. Is soapy water safe to use on these new plantings which will surely die without water?

Answer: Given the alternative, I would use the rinse water especially on an ornamental plant. (I would be careful though to use no borax in the laundry and probably not use water used on diapers and the like.) You should also verify that it is legal to use "gray water" in this manner in your area -- in some areas there are restrictions.

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