Tap, Distilled, Bottled; What Type Of Water Is Best For Indoor Plants?

using distilled water in white jug to water indoor plants

What is the best type of water for plants?

The right type of water is almost as important as the right amount of water when it comes to keeping houseplants healthy. Houseplants are picky about their water, just like humans. In the wide world of water, there are plenty of different types to choose from, but what type of water is best for your houseplants?

Any water without salt, sugar, or chemicals is best for your houseplants. Rainwater and bottled spring water are the best types of water to give to your plants. The minerals and nutrients found in these water types will keep plants healthy. Any other filtered water can be suitable for plants. 

If you really feel like you’ve been watering your houseplants just the right amount and giving them the sunshine they need, but they’re still not thriving, it very well could be the type of water that’s preventing them from living their best life. Read on to determine what water is best for your houseplants.

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Can You Give Plants Tap Water?

Tap water is so easily accessible and often the easiest way to water your plants. But tap water typically has added nutrients and minerals that can harm plant growth, such as chlorine. 

It is recommended that you test the water using a water testing kit to determine what kinds of nutrients and additives are in the water. Chlorine, for example, can stunt plant growth. Also, cities may place other additives in the water due to their poor water quality.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ever use tap water for watering plants. You can let tap water rest before pouring it into your plants’ soil.

How Long Should Tap Water Sit Before Watering Plants?

Letting your tap water sit out is a great method for safely watering your plants. Tap water should be left sitting out a room temperature for twenty-four hours. As the water sits out, the chlorine will slowly dissipate and make tap water a more viable type of water to use. 

The minerals and nutrients in the tap water will remain, which is good for plant growth and can allow you not to use fertilizer for your plants. But before using, make sure you are testing the water again to make sure nothing is bad for your plants.

Is Filtered Water Good for Houseplants?

Filtered water can seem like an excellent option for watering houseplants. Just like the name suggests, it filters out the chlorine found in tap water, and it doesn’t have to sit out for 24 hours. 

One downfall of filtered water is that you can filter out the minerals that may be good for plant growth when using a filter. Also, filters can be expensive and need to be replaced. Using tap water after it’s been sitting out is a much more viable option. 

Is Softened Water Good for Houseplants?

Softened water is not suitable for houseplants and should never be used. Softened water has a higher salt content than other waters, and that can cause your plan not to have the necessary nutrients for them to grow. 

The salt in the water will collect in the plant and make the plant believe it has already taken on enough water. This can cause your plant to wither and die due to the lack of water the plant is soaking up.

Is Bottled Water Good for Houseplants?

Bottled water can be a great alternative to tap water. Bottled water has typically been filtered and has taken out most of the additives found in tap water. Your plants will not have the added salt, which can cause plants to die when some high salt content water is added.

There are some negatives to using bottled water, especially its effect on the environment. The use of plastic water bottles can be considered water, and the price of paying for bottled water can be high. 

Is Aquarium Water Good for Houseplants?

If you have a fish tank at home and you are going to clean it, do not just get rid of the water. The water can be reused to water your plants. The dirty fish water contains some of the very best nutrients for plant growth.

The fish and filters used in the water rid the water of chlorine while also adding nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and healthy bacteria. These are all things your plants need, and it is always great to reuse items!

Is Spring Water Good for Houseplants?

Springwater is excellent for your houseplants. If water has been taken from a stream, it is usually bustling full of all the nutrients your plant needs. These things can help your plant become fortified and strong.

Springwater can be expensive to use, though, because most of the time, spring water can only be found as bottled water. Bottled water can be costly and can be harmful to the environment.

Is Distilled Water Good for Houseplants? 

Distilled water can be used to water your plants. Distilled water is accessible for plants to absorb and help them grow, but it will not be fortified or strong. This is because the distilling process takes out many of the nutrients that plants need to succeed.

Distilled water should only be used if you are in a pinch, and then you will want to add fertilizer to your plants. The fertilizer will help the plants grow with the added nutrients that your plants will not get from the distilled water.

Is Rainwater Good for Houseplants?

Rainwater is the best kind of water for houseplants. In the natural habitat, plants would get their water from the natural source, the sky. Rainwater has the nutrients plants need to survive and thrive in their environment.

To collect rainwater, you should place water receptacles around your house outside to catch the most rain. If you do not want to leave them out all the time, you can watch the weather and put the buckets out of rainy days. Some larger areas will use ponds to collect rainwater and utilize it on a smaller scale in a birdbath.

It is essential to check city/state ordinances before collecting rainwater because some places do not allow it due to the climate. 

Can Water Add Nutrients to My Plants?

Water’s purpose is to provide the proper nutrients and water needed for plant growth. When choosing the appropriate water to use, you want to make sure it is free of chlorine and that you have done a water test to make sure it is safe. 

If you use something other than rainwater, spring water, or aquarium water, you may need to use fertilizer to up the nutrients required for plant growth. 

Some water already has nutrients, but it is always good to add fertilizer to ensure your plants are getting the right things they need to thrive.

Can You Over-Water Plants?

It is possible to give your plants too much water. Overwatering can cause less oxygen to go into the roots of the plant and the soil. These air pockets are crucial for plant survival and cause the plant to die or have slow, stunted growth.

Check the soil for dampness, and if it already seems wet, do not rewater it. You can even get a moisture meter to put in your ground to make sure you are giving your plant enough water.

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Final Thoughts

The best way to make sure your plants are getting enough water is to check the soil daily and watch the plant grow. If you notice that the plant’s growth seems stunted or the leaves are turning yellow, there is a good chance your plant is not getting enough nutrients. Now that you know the different types of water you can choose the best one for your plant!