Herself's Houseplants

Conservation through cultivation

Tap water and house plants




Most plants prefer slightly acidic water. Rain and snow water are more acidic than tap water which tends to be basic. If you put a tablespoon of vinegar in a gallon of water before watering your house plants this will make the water less basic. Apple cider vinegar is to be the preferred vinegar for this.

Some plants are sensitive to the chlorine in tap water. Most will not be bothered and do just fine with tap water. Lucky Bamboo is on of the plants that is very sensitive to chlorine and fluoride in tap water, use bottled or rain water for it.

If you let tap water sit overnight most of the gases trapped in the water will escape.

Water that has been run through a water softener can hurt house plants. Water is softened using salts to which many plants are sensitive. But again, most plants will be fine. Watch yours for yellowing leaves and brown edges especially near the tips if you suspect a problem.

Distilled water contains nothing good or bad for the plants. You’ll want to regularly fertilize your plants if you use distilled water.

* Do not fertilize carnivorous plants.

Cold water should not be used on tropical plants, especially not on African Violets.

And if your plants are getting too many salts from your tap water, the tips will turn brown.  Usually replanting in fresh soil fixes this.

When you water a plant, water heavy enough so that the water runs through and out the bottom of the planter, let it drain, then place it back in its drip pan.

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