Ask a Question forum: Best Water for container Plants/Flowers

Views: 436, Replies: 13 » Jump to the end
Name: Patrick Alan
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Clematis Irises Region: New Jersey Roses Dog Lover Lilies
Image
AlanJ
Mar 30, 2016 4:27 AM CST
What type of water does everyone use for their container plants and flowers?
Tap Water? Bottled Spring Water? Purified Water ?
I have a lot of container plants (mostly Clematis, and Roses) and I am wondering
what water is best for them? I know Rain Water is really the best for plants, so
perhaps I should get a bucket and start collecting rain water.
What is everyone else's view on this ?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle ~ Plato
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 30, 2016 5:13 AM CST
Bottled drinking water could be tap water. Mineral/spring water (and any water that has touched the ground) has minerals in it that plants may or may not like. Buying purified/filtered water is much more expensive than distilled, which is always good for plants if one can't collect rain water. I try to give plants rain water whenever possible. Putting a screen over it can prevent birds from drowning in it & mosquitoes from breeding in it.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge Region: Texas Garden Art Irises
Daylilies Butterflies Dragonflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers Hibiscus
Image
froggardener
Mar 30, 2016 6:28 AM CST
I use rain water, we have been collecting water for many years. In Tx it seems to be feast or famine when it comes to water. At least in most parts ๐Ÿ˜Š
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
Name: Patrick Alan
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Clematis Irises Region: New Jersey Roses Dog Lover Lilies
Image
AlanJ
Mar 30, 2016 7:16 AM CST
I think I am going to use rain water. Distilled water is not good for plants as it has no minerals that the plants need. Since I will have so many Containerized plants I will collect Rain water.
Thank you all for your input.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle ~ Plato
Name: Brandon Garrison
Kentucky (Zone 7a)
Image
BrandonG
Mar 30, 2016 6:11 PM CST
Rain water for the win!
Our tap water here is extremely Toxic and carcinogenic.
I don't ever drink it,and neither do my plants.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 30, 2016 7:24 PM CST
Tap water unless you live in a few places in the country were the tap water might kill you. American Falls and Pocatello, ID, the Love Canal, Flint, MI, apparently Kentucky... .

But, in some places, the rainwater isn't safe either.... the eastern third of the United States, and southeastern Canada.

Distilled water is death to plants - lack of minerals. Bottled water is just out of someone else's faucet.

Dasy
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Mar 30, 2016 9:51 PM CST
But . . but . . plants and trees still grow in those places where the rainwater is washing pollution out of the air. Look at China and India with their terrible, uncontrolled air pollution. And yet they feed their hungry masses. Their plants must grow using that acid rain. Lightening even releases nitrogen into the rainwater during a thunderstorm, so it can be a mild fertilizer.

You could spend your life and your savings buying distilled water and adding in the minerals that plants want, in tiny trace amounts. Nobody's going to do that. It would be interesting to know if there is an accumulation of lead in plants and trees in the Flint MI area from that toxic water. Plants are pretty good at using what they need and filtering out the rest.

I have three different options for water here at my house. Tap water which tastes pretty good and has a pH of about 7.6, well water that tastes terrible and has a pH of 8.2 or thereabouts, and rain water which is brown and funky but all my edibles, orchids and acid-loving plants get it until it runs out (it takes about 3 weeks of no rain for me to run out of my 1300gal. of rainwater in a hot springtime season). Some plants react with iron chlorosis if I have to irrigate with the well water for too long, but that has only happened once in nearly 9 years. I use a little expensive tap water when that happens, and pray for rain!

You can even water your plants with grey water, if you have a way to collect it. Little amounts of soap, shampoo, detergent etc. don't affect it as far as the plants are concerned. They're surfactants and can even help to wet the soil if it has dried out too much.

For people to drink, tap water is usually safe but for plants rain water is always best even if it is falling through polluted air.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 30, 2016 10:29 PM CST
Elaine, Don't panic. I was making a point: Just water! Smiling
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Mar 31, 2016 7:14 AM CST
Yup, me too. Even my terrible stinky high pH well water keeps the plants going pretty well.

Another point I forgot to make - thousands of commercial plant nurseries and farms in Florida use that same well water. Just adjust the pH a bit at the nurseries.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Dragonflies Houseplants Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier
Image
AlyssaBlue
Mar 31, 2016 10:57 AM CST
OK, I can see how rain water would be good. We have well water, and the plants love it. There's an in-line charcoal filter and water softener and I drink it and water plants with it. Daisyl is correct that distilled is bad. Otherwise when I've lived elsewhere, I've used tap because I paid for water service and why have water service if I don't use it, right? (except for known areas, which is still shocking). Most times, I would use a Brita filter pitcher for anything we would drink if we didn't have in line filters. If you use tap, have your water tested if you really want to get into it, then adjust something else you are doing for the plant. I should note that I do not try to keep my plants perfect, I try to keep them healthy overall, so my goal would be different than someone who, for example, shows orchids, etc.

Long story short: The water you use depends on your goal.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Mar 31, 2016 11:32 AM CST
Besides natural rainfall I've been using regular old tap water from the hose for 30 years. I've always been a container gardener from a small yard with no ground to a big yard with big dogs. I have a lot of containers and would never be able to keep them watered without using the hose.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Mar 31, 2016 12:34 PM CST
I agree with rainwater being the best when it is available. Container-grown plants rely on the rainfall and whatever water the gardener provides. If a person has a water softener their water could/might contain more sodium than the plants would like over the long term.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 31, 2016 2:16 PM CST
This discussion is the first I've heard of trying to supply plants with minerals in regard to the source of water. That's usually done with fertilizer or some kind of compost tea.

I avoid using my tap water for plants (except occasionally while inside for winter, I can't afford that much distilled) because it has chloramine, fluoride, and a lot of lime, none of which can evaporate. Many plants can become chlorotic from prolonged exposure to fluoride. Not all tap water is the same. If plants like it, there's nothing to worry about. I've seen a drastic improvement in all plants since trying to use as much rain as possible instead of tap.

If I lived where rain was too polluted for plants, I'd be more concerned about moving to where I can breathe than anything going on with my plants.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: vee
Pasadena, CA (Zone 10a)
Image
V33JG
Apr 1, 2016 2:43 PM CST
Rainwater is ideal. We don't get much in Southern CA ): but thankfully the tap water in my area isn't too bad. I always have my watering cans filled so that chlorine can evaporate before I use it! Some of my plants just get straight tap. Like when they get a nice little shower or when I water my fern from the roots up. You'll be able to notice if your houseplants are not liking the water you're using. First sign I experienced with some of my plants was dry white spots on my leaves.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Pacific Blue Ice"