Water provides plants with nutrients and carbon dioxide, key players in plant health and growth. Whether you have partially drunk water bottles sitting around or municipal tap water, you may have considered watering your plants with bottled water. But is bottled water safe to use?
Bottled water containing natural nutrients, such as spring water, is excellent for watering your houseplants. Not all bottled water is beneficial or recommended for plants. Some are nutrient-empty or include additives, such as salt and extra minerals that can hinder the health of your plants.
This article will explain why all water is not beneficial to your plants and which bottled water is best to hydrate your houseplants.
Choosing the Best Water for Your Plants
It’s difficult at times to know which water is good for you, let alone your plants, so for the water to be beneficial for your plants, it needs natural nutrients similar to what it would receive during rainfall.
Let’s go through the basics of rainwater and why it is beneficial to understand which bottled water will help your plants thrive.
Water Isn’t Just Water
When it rains, the rain isn’t just watering the outside greenery. It’s also feeding plants nutrients during the process. Rainwater contains very few contaminants, like pharmaceuticals, salt, and chemicals that you would find in your town’s water system.
Due to the purity of rain, it’s highly recommended for plants to get the best hydration.
The nutrients absorbed by plants keep them healthy and flourishing, so when the water doesn’t contain anything beneficial, you’re not only wasting money but also inadvertently hindering the growth of your plants.
Below are the primary nutrients your plants need from the water that wets their roots.
- Nitrogen: This essential chemical Plays a crucial role in energy metabolism and plant synthesis, which is necessary for plant development. Plants obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere and soil. It helps regulate the water and nutrients uptake from the roots, disbursing it throughout the plant where and when needed.
- Phosphorus: Plants use This chemical to transform energy into growth and reproduction.
- Potassium: This vital chemical plays a role in the movement of nutrients, water, and carbohydrates through the plant tissues.
- Carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen: These elements are vital components of plants breathing and creating food. During photosynthesis, the plant breaks apart hydrogen and oxygen to combine hydrogen and carbon to make carbohydrates. Plants use carbon for growth and to break down sugars for energy. Oxygen makes plant respiration more efficient and is stored for energy or released into the atmosphere through transpiration.
Rainwater is rich in nitrogen, which is why your lawn and garden look so healthy after it rains. And it’s also slightly acidic, so when it saturates the soil, it contributes to releasing nutrients like copper, magnesium, iron, and zinc. These nutrients provide healthy growth and development in plants, helping them flourish.
So, when assessing bottled water choices, you’ll want to go with water that naturally provides the nutrients for your plants to thrive.
Using Bottled Water for Houseplants
As said before, some bottled water just won’t make the cut. If you’re spending money on bottled water to share with your houseplants, you want to get the most out of the water and your money. There are many different types, but not all of them provide your plants with needed nutrition, and some contain contaminants you need to avoid.
Bisphenol A (BPA) contamination is another factor that may make bottled water unsafe to use. BPA is a chemical in the plastic that releases into the bottled water over time. The release process is accelerated if you expose the plastic bottles to heat.
These chemicals are harmful to you and your plants.
Bottled Water To Avoid
Not only should you pay attention to the type of bottled water, but the companies as well. Salt and additives harm your plants and their soil, and many companies will add them to the water.
- Purified water: This type of water undergoes a purification method to eliminate bacteria and dissolve solids. The purification process also removes any beneficial minerals as well. Some companies add low mineral content back into the water (not enough for your plants), while others add unnatural components and other additives after the purification process.
- Distilled water: Goes through a process to thoroughly sanitize the water. That means there’s nothing in it to help feed your plants what it needs, and it will only sustain and maintain them. Although there’s no harm in using distilled water on your plants every once in a while, keep in mind that it won’t contribute to their health and growth.
- Vitamin water: Usually contains sugar and synthetic vitamins that can cause harm. Since plants make sugar, the added sugar induces a developmental delay in plant growth. While plants need vitamins, too, it’s best to use supplements and fertilizers made for plants.
Bottled Water You Can Use
These bottled water types are better choices because they derive from a natural water source with a better balance of beneficial nutrients your plants need when kept close to their natural state.
Spring water is the best to use in its pure form because it is abundant in natural nutrients, including minerals. It’s collected from areas where water naturally flows upwards to and through the ground surface. While it’s flowing through the soil and rock layers, it absorbs the natural minerals and is naturally filtered.
Spring water is rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and more, necessary for your plant to thrive.
Natural spring water will only have contaminants if the soil is contaminated, such as in areas near industrial sites; otherwise, it’s the purest choice.
This type of water comes from a well source. Well water is extracted from the ground by boring, drilling, or conducting a hole deep enough to tap into the water aquifer. An aquifer is an underground layer of rock containing groundwater.
The difference between well and spring water is how you access it. Obtaining water through a well requires boring or drilling into the earth until you tap into a water source within the earth’s rock layers. Springs occur when groundwater is under pressure and pushes water toward and out of the earth’s surface.
Use These Waters Sparingly
It comes from natural mineral springs. Mineral springs produce hard water containing various dissolved minerals such as salt and sulfur. While it may seem a healthy option by the name, the same minerals and salts it contains are enough to inhibit the growth of your plants and throw off your soil balance.
Continuously watering your plants with mineral water will also cause a mineral build-up in your soil, making it hazardous for your plants to inhibit.
It’s essentially mineral water infused with carbon dioxide (CO2), so this choice straddles the fence.
Carbon is one of the vital components to plant growth and helps the plant break down sugars for energy.
In moderation, using sparkling water to water your plants can boost growth, but too much will have adverse effects. It can cause pH build-up in your soil and create a hazardous environment for your plant. Your plants won’t be able to break down and absorb the nutrients it needs and will weaken, making them susceptible to disease and infection.
Also, ensure the sparkling water contains no sugar or other additives that harm the growth of your plants.
Cons of Using Bottled Water for Your Houseplants
Make yourself aware of what’s in the water and how the manufacturers process the water before using it to hydrate your plants (or yourself, for that matter).
- The cost is the most apparent con, especially if you have several houseplants to care for in your home. Some houseplants only need to be watered once every couple of weeks, while others need more frequent watering, such as every few days. So, those water bottles can add up quickly during your watering routine.
- Aside from the cost, be aware many companies include additives (sugar, salt, chemicals, vitamins, and minerals) in water that may do more harm than good for your plants.
- Too much, not enough, or no nutrients cause issues in plant growth with continuous use.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) may have contaminated the bottled water and can hinder the health and growth of your plants.
Why Spring Water Is Best
Of the choices mentioned, bottled spring water is an excellent source of nutrients without all the additives and chemicals that can build up, causing health issues and growth stunts in your plants.
When it rains, the water is absorbed into the earth’s surface and seeps through the soil and rock layers, collecting nutrients along the way. It forms groundwater in the rock layers and springs that rise from pressure build-up.
Spring water naturally flows through rock and other earth materials, absorbing nutrients while moving to the earth’s surface. The layers of rock and soil act as a filtration system while the water flows toward the surface. Unless the ground has chemical and biological contaminants, it’s the safest option for your plants.
Water, air, soil, and sunlight provide plants with energy, nutrients, and hydration. Understanding how water benefits plants will give you a better idea of what type of bottled water you should use to water your plants. Many bottled water will contain chemical and biological contaminants, and unnecessary additives can leave you with unhealthy or dying plants.
Pure bottled spring water contains the natural amount of nutrients beneficial for plant survival, and it is rich in nutrients and oxygen, which helps your plants grow lush and healthy.
You can read my other article on watering outdoor and indoor plants here: How to Water Outdoor and Indoor Plants (Ultimate Guide)