There is some debate about whether it is safe to use tap water on our houseplants. The tap water in each municipality has slightly different ingredients, which means the level of safety depends on the area. The greatest approach to hydrate plants is with rainwater, but some collection containers might not be the best option. Keep reading to find out if tap water is suitable for plants, and what the pros and cons of rainwater are.
Using rainwater for irrigation can save money on your water bill, but rainwater harvesting is illegal in some areas. This is due to drought conditions where water must naturally collide to irrigate wild plants. But where this practice is legal, is rainwater good for plants? The answer is complex, with many factors affecting results.
Should I use tap water?
The use of tap water on our plants has come under scrutiny due to worries about the concentrations of lead, chlorine, and other substances in the water. In most cases, tap water is safe because it is tested and regulated by drinking water safety standards. Therefore, the use of tap water should be safe for plants, with the exception of highly sensitive species and certain food items. If you’re concerned about your tap water, it can be boiled or left to degas for a few hours. The tap water will then be clean enough to water the plants.
Is rainwater good for plants?
As with almost everything, there are pros and cons to using rainwater for plants. Advantages of rainwater include conservation, cost, and ease of collection. It can also be high in nitrogen with a higher pH than tap water. Chlorine and fluoride levels in most tap water can prevent plants from absorbing nitrogen efficiently. Additionally, some drinking water has unhealthy salt levels. Rainwater that has been struck by lightning is particularly beneficial. The advantages of rainwater over lightning strikes are higher levels of nitrogen and ammonium. It is converted by beneficial microbes, fungi and bacteria into an available supply for easy uptake by plant roots.
loss of rain water
Finally, rainwater has some advantages over tap water. But the way it is harvested can influence these positive effects. The water should be placed in clean, covered containers to prevent debris and mosquito colonies. Some plastics release potentially harmful gases. Metal containers are usually suitable. Rainwater runoff from roof areas is of some concern. Roof runoff can contain high levels of zinc, copper, lead, and bacteria such as Escherichia coli. Treating your barrel with a small amount of household bleach once a month can also reduce levels of bad bacteria. Experts advise using surface water only on plant roots and not on edible leaves.