Whether your green thumb grows herbs, succulents, flowers, vegetables or ornamental shrubs, you know the satisfaction you receive from seeing plants grow and flourish. You also know that proper plant care is essential to getting those results and that watering correctly is an essential component. What you may not realize is that choosing the right quality of water is every bit as important as determining how often to give your plants a drink if you want to master the art of how to water plants in the best way possible. Using filtered water for plants offers advantages. This guide explores why filtered water is an optimal choice for watering plants.
3 Harmful Metals & Chemicals to Plants
Ordinary tap water may contain the following metals and chemicals that are harmful to plants:
Chlorine Can Be Harmful to Plants
Chlorine is a micronutrient that encourages plant growth, but too much of it can be harmful. Excess chlorine can build up in the soil and become absorbed by root systems, leading to leaves that appear scorched. In addition, high levels of chlorine can stunt foliage growth, making leaves smaller than usual and prone to yellowing and premature dropping.
To determine whether your plants receive too much chlorine, check your water quality report. For optimal growth, chlorine levels should be within the normal range. If levels are above average, using filtered water for plant watering may help protect your plants from damage due to excessive chlorine.
Fluoride Can Be Toxic to Plants
Many water management authorities add the mineral fluoride to tap water to promote dental health. Unfortunately, what's good for reducing the risk of tooth decay in humans is less than ideal for plants.
Fluoride moves through plants from roots or stomata into the foliage. Over time, the mineral can accumulate inside the leaves. When this occurs, it can interfere with photosynthesis and other key processes necessary for plant growth. Some species of plants like spider plants, bamboo, Boston ferns and peace lilies are especially vulnerable to fluoride toxicity. Having some fluoride in your water is important for your own dental health. Ideally, your water quality report should show levels of fluoride within the normal range. If your tap water contains elevated levels of fluoride, consider using filtered water for plants.
Lead Is Damaging to Plant Growth & Development
Lead isn't just a toxin for humans. It can also harm plants. Although plants don't usually require lead, they can easily absorb it through roots where it builds up. Over time, it can begin to alter the membranes that enclose plant cells, interfering with the movement of materials needed to produce energy. In turn, this disrupts many important plant processes. Lead toxicity can interfere with seed germination, root and seedling growth and the production of chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis and water movement.
Your water quality report can tell you whether there is lead present in your drinking water. Only trace amounts of lead in tap water are acceptable under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). If the report shows elevated levels of lead, you may wish to begin watering plants with filtered water and using filtered water for your own drinking water.
How to Filter Tap Water for Plants
Purchasing a water filter system is the simplest way to filter tap water for plants. As you compare options, consider:
--- Filter performance: Is the water filter capable of reducing the specific contaminants that are in your tap water?
--- Location: Does the water filter need to be attached to or by a sink, or can you keep it near indoor plants?
--- Installation: Do you need to make major changes to your plumbing to use the water filter?
--- Dispense time: Will you be able to easily fill a watering can or mister or will you have to wait for the water to flow?
--- Maintenance required: How frequently will you need to replace the filter cartridge or media to continue to provide filtered water for plants?
What About Distilled Water for Plants?
Distilled water is water that has been boiled, converted to vapor and then condensed back into a liquid. The process can remove some impurities that may be harmful to plants. However, it can also eliminate beneficial minerals and substances. As a result, using filtered water for plants is typically a better option than watering with distilled water.
Buy A Countertop Water Filter For Your Plants
The Reservoir is an effective, convenient choice of water filter for plants. Lead, chlorine and fluoride are among the 76 contaminants that the filter reduces, and it delivers filtered water for plants on demand. Its countertop design means you can use it anywhere in your home. Setup is simple and requires no changes to your plumbing. Plus, the long-lasting carbon block cartridge cuts down on the need for frequent maintenance. Learn more about the features of The Reservoir.