Post a reply

Image
Nov 12, 2019 9:08 PM CST
Name: Abby B.
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Hello plant lovers,

I'm interested in opinions about your particular water preference for your house plants ( ex. tap water, distilled water, etc). Which plants have you found are most sensitive to the source of water used & what plants are more tolerant / not affected by particular water type?

I have been watering my indoor plants with water collected from (recent model) home dehumidifiers. I started doing this when I read that tap water might contribute to leaf browning in some plants such as dracaenas. This has worked well but since my plant collection (a variety of types) has grown recently I suspect I will run out of this saved water before the dehumidifiers run again next summer. If I run out, I could use house tap water (which for me is lightly softened municipal water), I could purchase distilled water, or maybe some plants would be fine with tap water (?)

Thanks for your opinions!
Image
Nov 12, 2019 9:19 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
I just use tap water. I've read it's more soft than hard (our county water that is), but after almost three years here, I haven't experienced any issues with any of my houseplants.
Image
Nov 12, 2019 9:28 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
Use RO on my indoor plants.
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Avatar for oneeyeluke
Nov 13, 2019 2:28 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
Since you are collector of plants and asking such an important question about water. The best way to learn about using different waters is to purchase yourself a TDS meter. That way you can check your water from the different sources. I check my water every time I water my plants. Top photo is RO,---Center photo is Tap-- Bottom photo is distilled out of the bottle. You can see a difference the 3 waters and are measured in ppm Parts Per Million. Rainwater usually runs between 17 to 40 ppm. .

Thumb of 2019-11-13/oneeyeluke/e9b5e5


Thumb of 2019-11-13/oneeyeluke/c8ea21


Thumb of 2019-11-13/oneeyeluke/fab208
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Last edited by oneeyeluke Nov 13, 2019 2:56 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for oneeyeluke
Nov 13, 2019 2:30 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
I use RO and Rain only with the exception of distilled water to calibrate my pH meters. I supplement the RO and rain with Cal-mag with about 60 ppm when using soil-less potting soil like Pro -Mix. When using a so-called organic potting mix I use only plain rain without cal mag. .
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Last edited by oneeyeluke Nov 13, 2019 2:40 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for oneeyeluke
Nov 13, 2019 3:44 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
If you notice the middle reading is 427 ppm from city tap water and who knows what the ppm are. When the ppm are high like this for extended periods of time, "the soil can become too heavy in ppm" for healthy growth. When using clean water, it helps to keep the soil nutrients available without the all the unknown junk that's in tap. The soil stays healthier when using clean water and the plants LOVE IT.

The other disadvantage of using City Tap water is the pH is raised to prevent heavy metals from leaching in the drinking water. The tap water I have tested are 7.9 to 8.4 pH which are very alkaline and over time will lock up trace minerals and raise the pH.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Image
Nov 13, 2019 6:32 AM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
I have been using filtered tap water from my refrigerator, brought to room temperature before use.

Seven months ago I moved from a farm with well water to a home with chlorinated municipal water, so filtered tap water is part of a larger experiment with houseplants that includes choice of plants, light source, location, frequency of watering and temperature.

I am cautiously hopeful about this experiment, but I have killed many houseplants over the years, so we'll see...
Last edited by csandt Nov 13, 2019 6:36 AM Icon for preview
Image
Nov 13, 2019 7:08 AM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
All of my greenhouse plants get highly mineralized hose water right from my well (186 ft).
All of my Houseplant Habitat plants (open, planted waterless aquariums) get RO water in both the humidifiers and the watering spray can, because some of them are from the Andean cloud forest are require pure water
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Image
Nov 13, 2019 1:13 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Houseplants Cat Lover Region: California Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
I just use tap water here, except for my nepenthes carnivores, I only use distilled water for them. My Pinguicula carnivore seems okay with tap water here as well, even better if we do get rains. Rain is the best if we ever have it and I get to collect some.
Image
Nov 13, 2019 4:05 PM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
The information that tap water is harmful to Dracaenes and other species is outdated. The concern was chlorine and fluoride that are commonly added to municipal water supplies. This is no longer a concern. However, hard water or artificially softened water are problematic because of their excess mineral salts. Otherwise, tap water is fine.

Distilled water, rainwater, and most filtered waters are all good alternatives.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Image
Nov 13, 2019 4:57 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
I use rainwater if possible.
If you loved me half as much as I love you, you wouldn't worry me half as much as you do...
Image
Nov 13, 2019 8:42 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Wouldn't it really depend upon where you live, your water source and soil makeup?

My water is snow-melt stored in an alkaline aquifer. Naturally soft water! Yay! My plants (and my misting system) are happy campers. Reno has the best water ever!

We had well water in CA. My misting system needed cleaning once a week (In Reno, once a year) and my plants were always crusted in mineral buildup. But... they did great!

I imagine the bigger worry would be damage from fluoride. If your water is so highly chlorinated, it harmed your plants, I would be worrying about my own health too.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Image
Nov 13, 2019 8:48 PM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
I used to use a chlorine filter when we had city water because we could smell and taste the chlorine. Our well water is high in dissolved minerals and iron, and the water in the house is both softened and we have an 'iron curtain' filter. But the water that goes to the greenhouse comes directly from the well. Sometimes there is oxidized orange water in the hose after it sits overnight. Takes a minute to clear. But all in all I have never had anything die from the water here, with the EXCEPTION of some Andean cloud forest bromeliads. Which is why they live inside and get RO water. You are right, Daisy, it all depends on where you live.
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Avatar for oneeyeluke
Nov 14, 2019 3:38 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
After the water has been filtered, a disinfectant ( chlorine, chloramine)is added in order to kill any remaining parasites, bacteria, and viruses, and to protect the water from germs when it is piped to homes and businesses. The Chloramine is added to kill parasites and living microbes and the Chloramine will not evaporate even with heat. The only way to remove Chloramine is by RO or distillation. Chloramine is a additive that is harmful to plant microbes and is best not to use if one can. However people grow plants using tap water all the time, but the long term use of Chloramine build up in the soil is not as good as using clean water Since Chloramine is used to kill living organisms, it is not as good as clean water like RO, RAIN, Distilled for your prize plants.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Image
Nov 14, 2019 6:44 AM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
My husband used to have a salt water aquarium for corals and fish. We had to treat the city water for Chloramine with a special product that would neutralize it. It wasn't a problem out here with the well water.
Award winning beaded art at ceinwin.deviantart.com!
Image
Nov 14, 2019 8:39 AM CST
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Plumerias Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
I use mostly rain water, especially now during the indoor season. We collect the rain water off the greenhouse roof, route it into the garage into large containers. With the help of a vacuum pump and a couple of compressors and some levers, I can route the water either outside for Summer use or upstairs into the greenhouse.
Image
Nov 14, 2019 8:55 AM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
What is RO? I routinely kill houseplants, likely because I use my salt-filtered well water. I keep thinking I'll set up a rain water catch system, but so far have not. My latest strategy is to simply dig up native plants that might tolerate indoor conditions - ferns, piggyback, etc. along with their native forest soil. Often I get bonus plants from seeds or roots present in the soil.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Image
Nov 14, 2019 8:56 AM CST
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Plumerias Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
Reverse Osmosis = RO
Image
Nov 14, 2019 9:03 AM CST
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
At work we have a reverse osmosis machine and I sometimes use that - only occasionally though to help keep excess minerals from building up - I hear that kind of water is actually too deficient for plants. so mostly I use tap water - but I put it in an open container and let it age overnight to remove the chlorine.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Image
Nov 14, 2019 10:03 AM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
Ursula, thank you. I would have never guessed (my pet peeve is undefined acronyms/abbreviations). I have a deep well, heavy in minerals. We run it all through a salt filtration system and I don't have a by-pass set up for watering. Plus the major reason we even filter the water is because of iron staining (and also taste). Not a perfect system but we've used it for 40 years with little problem.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.
  • Started by: Abby_B
  • Replies: 22, views: 2,466
Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )