It’s Not Easy Being Green - Wolverine Water Systems

It’s Not Easy Being Green

How Hard Water Impacts Your Indoor Plants

Ever feel like you have a “black thumb”? Maybe you’ve purchased a low-maintenance house plant, done all the research on caring for it, watered it meticulously, and yet still face limping leaves and crispy leaf edges. The good news is, that you may not have a black thumb after all. You may just have bad water. 

Hard water can cause a multitude of annoying problems around your home – from crusty build-up around your faucets to spots on your dishes to dry skin and hair after showering. If you’re using hard tap water to care for your plants, those excess minerals may prevent your plants from thriving. 

So, what’s an indoor plant enthusiast to do? 

Step 1: Understand How Water Impacts Your Indoor Plants

Hard Water

Hard water contains excess levels of calcium and magnesium, minerals that are picked up as the water travels through the soil during the water cycle. If you use hard water for your indoor plants, you may notice excess mineral build-up in your soil and around your plant. Over time, this build-up can prevent nutrient absorption and repel water away from the roots. In the same way that hard water puts crusty spots on your clean dishes or prevents your laundry soap from lathering, it prevents your plants from actually getting all of the benefits out of water that they need. Hard water also tends to have a higher pH than naturally occurring rainwater, which can hinder plant growth. 

Soft Water and Your Plants

Indoor house plants are also sensitive to softened water. When hard water travels through a whole-home water softening process, it undergoes an ion exchange process, exchanging the calcium and magnesium for sodium (think the compound Na, not table salt, NaCl). While softened water provides improved taste and noticeable differences around your home, watering your indoor plants with it can cause sodium build-up in the soil. Over time, this excess sodium can interfere with your plant’s ability to absorb water, causing its stalks to wilt and the leaves to dry out and get crispy.

Step 2: Choose the Best Water For Your Indoor Plants 

According to experts, the best water for your indoor plants is collected rainwater, since it’s free from excess minerals and is the ideal pH for your plants. However, for several reasons, this isn’t a practical solution for many indoor plant owners. 

Tap water purified with reverse osmosis can be a great solution for indoor plant owners since the water is purified using a physical process (reverse osmosis) rather than a chemical one (softening through ion exchange). There are no excess minerals to cause build-up on the plant’s roots. Plus, you can adjust the alkalinity of your reverse osmosis system to best suit the needs of your indoor plants. 

If you already have a whole home water purification system or are considering one, know there are still ways to promote your plants’ health while enjoying softened purified water. Small steps such as repotting your indoor plants with new soil every six months can help mitigate mineral build-up from softened water. Overall, a whole home water purification system can help you improve the taste of your drinking water, prolong the life of your fixtures and appliances, and allow your soaps and detergents to work effectively across your home. There are huge benefits to taking the plunge into a whole home or drinking water purification system. 
Chat with our team today to learn more about which system is right for you and your home.

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