When it comes to gardening, hard water may work for some plants. When planting, whether it is a vegetable garden or landscaping around your home, your garden may not flourish if you use hard water.
Hard water leaves behind magnesium and calcium carbonate.
Switching to soft water for some species of plants promotes healthy growth. It all boils down to balance.
Some plants need the nutrients from the hard water, while others suffer a build of material around delicate roots without the use of soft water.
Soft water is most beneficial for use on indoor or potted plants. As the soil does not mix with the elements of being outdoors, overtime buildup can cause an imbalance in the soil.
How To Soften Hard Water For Plants
The process of softening water for plants can be done through natural, chemical, and filtration methods. Natural methods bring in the use of porous materials to go around the plant’s base. Soil additives and natural liquid blends help soften the water and balance out the pH soil levels. Consider also the addition of a reverse osmosis system.
Natural Methods of Softening Water for Plants
There are natural methods for filtering out the mineral content in hard water.
Using volcanic rocks is an easy way to soften hard water. Volcanic rock is porous. This allows the water to run through it.
As it does, magnesium and calcium carbonate are filtered by being absorbed by the stone. Volcanic rocks have naturally occurring silica and other minerals that are added to the water as it runs through the pores.
Volcanic rocks can be used in the park in many forms, including larger hardscaping for large areas or by using a ground volcanic mixture called perlite.
When planting, mixing the soil with peat moss gives the soil a lightweight feel. Peat moss is made up of layers of decomposed plants that have various nutrients in it.
When water runs through it, the hard particles in the water around bound to it.
Peat moss adds tannins and acids, which, when mixed with the salt and calcium carbonate particles, the water is softened, and the pH is lowered.
Leaving water to sit out for 24 hours before using it on plants is a simple way to create soft water.
As the water adjusts to the air and the temperature, many of the harsher components will dissipate naturally. Through this process, the salt content sinks to the container’s bottom.
After watering plants that do not fare well with large amounts of salt, the remaining water can be discarded or used on plants that require more mineral content.
Boiling the water’s quicker method of softening hard water.
Like when leaving the water to sit out over some time, boiling removes many of the harmful additives. While it does it at a fast rate, you have to account for proper cooling time.
If plants are subjected to water that is above room temperature, they can die.
Not all plants can flourish through the minerals and high pH that come with the use of hard water.
There are mineral blends that can come in either the form of a liquid to be mixed with water or as a harder substance that goes into the soil mix.
When planting, choosing a soil additive that mixes directly into the dirt has mineral properties that create a balance between these levels.
When using soil additives, the correct ratio of additives to soil is essential. Having a lack or excess of minerals can hinder plant growth.
Install a Revere Osmosis System
A reverse osmosis system is a filtration method that removes minerals and impurities from hard water.
Water lines are connected to a high-pressure pump, which, when the water runs through the carbon filters, is pre-filtered to reduce the presence of salt and other minerals.
The water then continues to the semipermeable membrane, which is so tightly woven that it catches any remaining particles. The water is stored in a tank.
All of the sediments, minerals, and other unusable parts of the hard water are drained.
Frequently Asked Questions About Soft Water for Plants
Is soft water more beneficial for my plants?
Not all plants thrive with soft water use. Many plants do require a lower salt or higher mineral count in the soil. If you’re using soft water, it is a good idea to also use rainwater on occasion if possible. Unlike hard water, rainwater is still gentle on plants.
How Do I Know If My Plants Require Soft Water?
Consider softening your water if plants begin to show clear signs of damage or are lagging in their growth rate. Only watering plants with hard water leads to an imbalance. Softening your water can balance out the pH and mineral levels in your soil.
Do I need to add extra minerals to my soil if I use soft water?
Problems with lack of nutrients can arise, so any plants with soft water should have nutrient-rich soil to balance out the lack of minerals not received from the water. Depending on the type of plant, the use of soil enhancers or mineral compounds with soft water can correct this problem.
When it comes to softening water for your plants, you need to consider the method that works best for your planting needs.
Through the use of creating soft water and keeping a balance of nutrients, plants show more vitality than when submitted to a buildup of hard water materials.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.