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What’s the Best Water for Houseplants: Tap, Bottle, Rain?

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Houseplants are a lovely addition to any home. They’re pretty, they add some life to a room’s decor and they can even improve air quality in the surrounding area. However, caring for houseplants is a bit more complicated than some people first believe. They’re especially susceptible to environmental factors like sunlight, temperature and how much water they receive. In fact, even such minor details as the type of water being used can affect your plants’ health. Here’s how to figure out what water to use for the greenery in your home:

Which Type of Water is Best?
Although most people fill their watering cans with tap water, that’s actually usually not the best type you can be using to keep your plants healthy. Instead, homeowners should typically use rain, well or even bottled water. Why? It has to do with what’s in the water – rain, well and bottled water are the purest. Here’s the thing, though: Buying bottled water to keep your plants healthy may be a waste of money and valuable natural resources. Your best bet? Gathering rainwater or melted snow.

Avoid Hard Water
If you live in an area with hard water, it’s even more important to avoid using tap water. Hard water contains extra minerals that are bad for your plants. If you want to use your tap water, run it through a filtration system first. Keep in mind, though, that softened water could be just as bad – it sometimes contains salt, which can affect the health of your plants and flowers.

How to Gather Natural Water
Not sure how exactly to gather rainwater or snow for your plants? It’s actually relatively simple. For rain, use containers that have a large opening, like big cans or jars. Make sure they’re completely clean, so that they don’t transfer any additives to the water you collect. Then, when it starts to rain, just set them outside on your porch or under a downspout. Bring them in when they’re full, pour them into a clean jug, and set them outside again to collect more.

For snow, it’s important to make sure you gather only from areas where there’s no chance of picking up sidewalk salt or other debris. Shovel snow into clean bins, bring them inside, and let the water melt. Then, transfer the water to jugs for storage.

Does Temperature Matter?
Yes, the temperature does matter when it comes to the water you use for your houseplants. It should be neither ice cold nor warm – room temperature is best. If you’re using rainwater or snow, let it sit indoors for a couple of days to make sure it’s a suitable temperature.

What About for Cut Arrangements?
The type of water you use in vases for cut arrangements is vital if you’re hoping to extend the life of your blooms. Or rather, it’s crucial to not use hard water. If you live in a hard water area, use bottled or other filtered water, and don’t forget to mix it with the plant food solution given to you by the florist.

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